Stop Searching Endlessly: Workbench Organization Tips to Save You Time and Money


If you’re like most people, you don’t have a good system for organization. But, you probably need one – especially for your tools. So, here’s how to stop spending hours looking for your stuff and spend more time doing what matters.

Put Up A Pegboard

Pegboards have almost infinite uses. And, they can organize your garage or workshop in short order. If you’re planning to use wall space to minimize clutter, then a pegboard will be your best friend.

The cool thing about them is that they’re easy to put up and they have an almost unlimited number of configurations. For example, you could put up an additional shelf for your screwdrivers, use hangers to hang up anything that have a hole in it or a strap.

You could secure your wrenches by putting a magnet on your pegboard.

Get a Wire Spool Holder

If you work with a lot of wires and wire spools, you know they can easily get tangled up with each other and become mostly useless. This is a simple problem to solve, fortunately. Get a spool holder. Or, make one.

All you need is a wooden dowel and three pieces of scrap wood (one for the base of the spool and two sides. Put all your wires on there and you’re done. Now when you need something, you don’t have to fight with it.

Use Toolbox Foam To Protect And Organize

Companies, like Creative Safety Supply, LLC have a really neat solution for toolboxes. Most of us struggle with tools that end up unorganized in a toolbox. Sure, they’re all in one place, but they’re also almost impossible to find.

And, the bigger the toolbox, the bigger the problem. Plus, they’re banging around in there. Toolbox foam and organizer kits make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for because everything in your toolbox has a space designed specifically for it.

So, wrenches have individual slots, scissors have cutouts made for them, hammers – ditto. Since everything has a place, you’re not rummaging around looking for tools.

An Alligator Clip Clothesline Can Minimize Clutter

Alligator clips are wonderful little inventions. A clothesline with them hanging off of it is one of the coolest (and simplest) ways to organize them. Plus, it’s simple. Just hang up a piece of clothesline with pushpins and clip the clips to them.

You don’t need much space between each one. And, even if you do need to bunch them up together, you can generally avoid getting things tangled up because the clips aren’t grabbing onto each other – they’re attached to the line.

Use Component Drawers

Component drawers are those miniature organizational drawers you’ve probably seen a million times in hardware or home improvement centers. You can put almost anything in them. And, if you do a good job labeling each drawer, you shouldn’t have any problems finding what you’re looking for.

Purge The Unnecessary

Purging the unnecessary junk in your garage will make your life less stressful, but it will also make it easier to find stuff. If you’re hesitant to get rid of something, but you don’t have a good place for it, put it into a “junk drawer” or an old suitcase.

Milkcrate Storage Bins

Milkcrate storage bins are a simple solution to a complicated problem if there ever was one. Where should you put things like pens and pencils, bags, odd-shaped things that won’t easily fit on a pegboard (or anywhere else for that matter), glass jars, and “junk” bins?

Answer: milkcrates. They’re sturdy, and usually made of plastic so they’ll last for years (probably longer than you). And, you won’t worry about scuffing them up or getting them dirty because they’re already a little bit horrendous-looking.

Organizing Tapes

Put a string through all of your rolls of tape and then fix them to a carabineer. Hang it on a wall. You’re done. Now you don’t have to fight with tape rolling around everywhere.

Get Shelves

Shelves seem almost too obvious, but most people think of putting up shelving units as single units instead of tiered units or multiple shelves hanging low to the ground. Go to the container store and pick up a few shelving units. Or, hit up your local home improvement store. They probably have something you need (and it might be a bit cheaper).

Metal shelves are great for getting boots up off the ground, storing ice skates, storing fertilizer and seeds, or mulch, and bags of whatever else you might have in the garage. You can store water jugs, baskets, pots and flashlights.

Mike Wilson has spent many years teaching Lean and 5S, while integrating products and supplies to help manage clients’ needs. He also enjoys sharing his experiences online.