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Strategize Organize LLC
Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 8

If I Had a Hammer


I have lots of tools but unfortunately they are all over the place, and I can’t find what I’m looking for.  When I do try and organize them, other people use them and then I’m right back to where I started – I can’t find what I’m looking for.

This newsletter talks about the importance of being purposeful in your organizing with specific references to tools.

Things to consider

1. Do you put the same kind of tools together in one place or in a few different places?  
For example, you might have all of the hammers together in one space, or have a hammer in the garage for outdoor projects and also a hammer in the kitchen drawer for indoor projects.  Both make sense: it is really up to you and how you work.  The important thing is to be purposeful: know what your plan is and stick to it. 
2. Are your tools easy to get at and put away?  
For example, are your tools stuffed in a tool box in the basement, with heavy boxes stacked on top?  The easiest way to use something you already have (instead of buying another) and to put that item away is to make the storage space as easy to access as possible. 
3. Is it clear where the tools belong? 
For example, does the tool’s home make you want to use it and return it to its place?  If a big bin with hammers, nails, screw drivers, putty knives, saws, caulk guns, etc. works for you, great.  Perhaps you enjoy digging around and even emptying the bin out when you want to get a tool.  Then it might be fun for you to throw everything back in when you are done. On the other hand, having specific homes for tools can make sense as well:
  • nails to hang putty knives, saws, caulk guns 
  • jars for screw drivers
  • hooks for large tools  
  • baskets for drills and drill bits
  • baby food jars for nails
4. Does everyone in your household know where the tools go?
For example, you might create a great plan but if no one else is in on it, the plan can go to pieces in a flash.  Show everyone in the household where the different tools go.  Include interested members in the planning for buy-in.  Make tool retrieval and put away as easy as possible by using labels and by outlining tools with a pencil or chalk to indicate their placement. 


Think through how you like to access and put away your tools.  Also consider whether or not other family members will use the tools.  Use the above questions to guide you.  Most importantly, remember number four: tell people the plan and what you are thinking.

If you want a picture of a sample tool zone with hooks, nails, and jars, you can click on this link.

Good Luck,

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Copyright (C) 2008 Susan Hunsberger Professional Organizer All rights reserved.
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