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21 Tool Storage Ideas to Create a Functional Space

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Got tools lying around everywhere? It’s about time to declutter! Use these tool storage ideas to get inspiration and organize your space for good.
tool storage ideas

Whether you’re a scrapbooking fiend or a woodworking enthusiast, if there’s one thing all crafters know, it’s how frustrating organizing your tools can be. Personally, I’m constantly finding tools in strange places.

The key to a sound tool storage system is functionality. Think about how often you use specific tools, how best to keep them clean, and whether they need to be regularly replaced.

Each of these twenty-one tool storage ideas makes your space simple to organize; it’s just a matter of picking one that’s perfect for you. Let’s get cracking!

1. Slot Away Your Clamps

Slotted clamp shelf

Credit: Instagram

First off, this one goes out to the woodworkers. If you’re in love with all things woodworking, your workshop is most likely covered in stray clamps. After all, they’re necessary for almost every project!

But that can get frustrating when you’re trying to find a clamp amid a challenging DIY project. It’s much better to have a single place for all your clamps to live, and that’s where this clever slot system comes in.

Simply mount a couple of simple shelves (one level for each clamp length) and saw slots into each one. This offers a simple way to keep your clamps organized by size, so you’ll never be without one again.

2. PVC Pipes Shelf

PVC Pipes Shelf

Credit: Instagram

There’s a specific art to keeping your tools both well-organized and easy to see. While many people opt for placing their tools out of view, this DIY enthusiast chose to create a shelf of PVC pipe stands.

This one is super simple to implement on an existing shelf, but you can also build a brand-new one for your tool storage purposes. All you need for the hack are a couple lengths of PVC pipe (here) and a saw.

3. Floating Metal Shelves

Floating Metal Shelves

Credit: Instagram

The age-old fallback for garage storage is the trusty metal shelf; this simply… elevates it. The key is to use waist-high frames for the unit’s base, then back it with pegboards and floating shelves.

If you like, you can also accompany the entire setup with a metal rail system for storing longer tools like brooms, rakes, and spades. Start off with a set of shelves like this and build the system out to suit you.

Make sure you’re using wall anchors (here) when mounting your shelves to prevent the screws from stripping and falling out of the wall.

4. An Immaculate Pegboard

Pegboard Storage

Credit: Instagram

If you grew up with a tool fiend for a father, you might have also grown up with a gorgeously organized pegboard hanging on the garage wall. These are the epitome of workshop organization!

Not only are all your tools in view, but they also each have a single place where nothing else can go; a place for everything and everything in its place. Luckily, these are super simple to create for yourself.

5. Storage Above and Below the Workbench

pegboard storage

Credit: Instagram

Finding the right storage plan is about using all the space you have at your disposal, whether that’s above or below your workbench. This woodworker decided to place crates beneath the bench and a pegboard on top.

A great way to make your storage feel cohesive is also to choose a designated color palette. For example, this one uses gorgeous walnut (here) and mahogany (here) for a masculine vibe.

The smaller tools can be a hassle to organize with this system, so why not create a DIY drawer divider for easy-to-maintain drawer storage.

6. A French Cleat Wall

wood shelves

Credit: Instagram

If you’ve never heard of a French cleat, you’re about to have your mind blown. These spectacular joints use 45-degree angles and gravity to create a simple interlocking joint, making shelving a breeze.

This is a genius way to utilize any free wall space, using wooden slats across an entire wall and easy French-cleated blocks for your tools. This allows you to create a custom holder for each power tool you have.

7. Magnetic Strips for Metal Tools

magnetic strips

Credit: Instagram

For some, the pegboard presents too much of a challenge. That or crafters just don’t have the time to lay it all out. Don’t worry, there’s a much simpler solution that uses science to your advantage: that’s right, magnetism.

Using magnetic knife strips like these is a quick and easy way to keep your metal tools in line. I like this because it doesn’t corner you into one organization method; you can change your mind at any time.

8. Foam Board for Small Tools

foam board

Credit: Instagram

Keeping those tiny bits and pieces in line can be an absolute nightmare. Trust me, I know. On the other hand, there’s nothing more satisfying than organizing these tiny components by size, color, or use.

Enter the foam board. Using this ultra-versatile material, you can literally carve out a spot for any things in your toolbox that might otherwise be lost. Whip out a craft knife like this and get carving!

9. Put Your Tools on a Pedestal

tool pedestals

Credit: Instagram

I don’t know about you, but I hold a certain amount of reverence for all the tools I own. If you do, too, this is a cute way to pay homage to your tool worship while keeping them well-organized and dust-free.

You can set this up as a french cleat system or simply create pedestals with horizontal platforms. Odd things like batteries or sandpaper can have custom shelves made to keep them in line as well.

This is a great option if you’re a renter and don’t want to put up an entire shelving unit, but it’s not the only option! Check out these small bedroom organization ideas that don’t need drilling for more inspiration.

10. Tuck Your Tools Away

tool cabinet

Credit: tidbits-cami.com

Another way to store your tools away—whether you rent or own your space—is to install a workshop cupboard and retrofit it. This is a fantastic way to minimize clutter and increase space, plus your tools stay clean.

Use PVC pipe to hang your drills, shelves to stack toolboxes, and hooks inside the doors to take care of longer tools. A good unit to use for the garage is this one, or your local hardware store will have some too!

11. Wooden Bench Bins

wooden bins

Credit: 100things2do.ca

This next hack is fantastic precisely because it is simple. Using some old wood and the same pattern repeated as many times as needed, you can create wooden storage bins for your screws, bolts, and nails.

Making a wooden bin like this is super simple. Not only that, but constructing the containers is also cheaper than buying them if you have the necessary scrap wood lying around.

12. Dominate a Wall with a Pegboard

pegboard wall

Credit: thecreativityexchange.com

There’s mounting a pegboard above a workbench, then there’s dedicating an entire wall of your workshop to the holy pegboard. With this DIY organization project, sacrifice an entire wall to the decluttering gods!

Seriously, this is a mega-effective way to keep all your various tools in line. The pegboard is ideal for power tools, and using hook-in wire baskets like these is a big help for smaller pieces.

The bottom of this wall is dedicated to storing paint cans and spray paint, but really, you can use it to store anything the wall can’t hold. For some hints on how to organize your pegboard, check out these ideas.  

13. Wall-Mounted Swivel Storage Rack

swivel wall

Credit: woodsmith.com

Many woodworkers have minimal space in their workshops, and dedicating bench space to an entire set of drawers for nuts, bolts, washers, and more is difficult. Luckily, there’s a solution that’s clever and functional.

This is a fun and simple build ideal for the budding woodworker; the entire diagram is available in the linked blog post. All you’ll need is some timber, some screw-top jars (here), and ¾ PVC pipe spacers (here).

14. Rustic Wood and Leather Tool Rack

leather tool rack

Credit: kingsleyleather.com

Tool racks are the epitome of functionality, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put a stylish twist on them too. Your workshop is the ideal spot for a rustic take on organization, and this rack is super simple to make.

Using old timber stained black (with this) for the shelf’s back, you need only mount a simple shelf at the top and bottom of the rack—drill holes in the bottom one for long tools and mount hooks for hammers.

Finally, fix a long leather strap like this along the center bottom of the rack, inserting studs at regular intervals to create pockets for hanging tools. Easy!

15. Old-School Cool

rustic wood wall

Credit: Instagram

Speaking of rustic style, there’s arguably nothing better than a throwback to how the old-school wood crafters stored their tools. A basic wooden board with magnetic strips is perfect for storing chisels.

If you find yourself nigh-on overwhelmed by your chisel collection, this is the idea for you. Not only is it simple to store your chisels in any order you choose, but also accessing them as you turn wood is so easy.

16. Portable Multi-Role Workshop Cart

wooden tool cart

Credit: Instagram

While we all wish we could hire someone to follow us around and hand us the right tools as we work, we’d better leave that to the rich and famous. Instead, create a portable workshop buddy of your own.

This multi-role cart has a place for everything. The extendable top offers ample room for measuring and cutting. At the same time, the deep drawers are perfect for storing tools or projects in progress.

You’ll undoubtedly need a solid set of heavy-duty casters, as these spin easily in any direction, so you won’t have to struggle with the cart. Pick some up here.

17. Make Cheap Look Expensive

wooden box frames

Credit: Instagram

Having a tool wall that looks high-quality doesn’t mean you have to shell out ridiculous amounts of money. Using Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and some simple box joints, you’ll have a gorgeous wall.

Create a frame designated to store each tool in your arsenal, from your planer and chisels to your workshop ear protectors. Paint the back of the frame black for a modern twist, mount, and you’re done!

For the smaller tools that might not make it into a frame, try out these 20 dollar store storage hacks that will keep your budget low.

18. Compact Cordless Drill Charging Station

cordless drill station

Credit: Etsy

There’s nothing worse than going to pick up your cordless drill and finding out that it’s run out of juice. The frustration is on par with stubbing your toe. Not to fear, the compact charging station is here!

Take on this simple build in an afternoon, and you’ll come out of it with a quick and easy way to keep your drills always charged. Consider investing in a multi-charger like this to speed up the charging turnaround.

19. Simple Wire Baskets on Pegboard

pegboard wire baskets

Credit: tidbits-cami.com

If you’re already blessed with a pegboard in your garage, this is a great way to create space for smaller tools. Pencils, measuring tapes, craft knives, and more will all fit perfectly in these baskets.

Simply stack a few wire baskets along one side of your pegboard wall, ascending vertically. To prevent these from turning into junk baskets, consider using labels like these to create designated baskets.

20. Rotating Workshop Carousel for Small Spaces

rotating carousel

Credit: popularwoodworking.com

Many craftspeople struggle with a small space. However, thanks to the community’s ingenuity, there are many solutions out there! One of those is to dedicate a corner to this rotating workshop carousel.

With deep shelves featuring brims to keep items secure, these are the ultimate space-savers in even the smallest rooms. Just use one or put one in each corner of the workshop; it’s up to you!

You can even do the same thing with your nuts and bolts, but this time, use a countertop spice rack like this.

21. Purpose-Built Charging Station

cabinet charging station

Credit: instructables.com

Finally, this last idea is perfect for professional workshops because it provides a super quick turnaround on tool charging. This is best if all your tools come from the same line (I can’t recommend DeWalt enough).

Start by grabbing a professional-grade multi-charger like this (make sure it’s compatible with your tools’ batteries). Then, mount it below your devices on the wall with a supersized plug box to keep the power going.

If you want the best result, run the wires behind your wooden power tool organizer for ultimate cable management. Now it looks neat and clean!

Conclusion

I know I’ve gotten some ideas on how to improve my workshop’s organization, have you? Do you have any lesser-known hacks that other people should be using? Leave them in the comments below!

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