I don’t know about you guys — but whenever it is “almost spring” — I get the urge to clean. Besides the daily vacuuming of the rugs (Leo, any time you’d like to stop shedding your winter coat would be fine with me) the spot in my house that needed the most attention was the corner of the basement where I keep all of my home improvement stuff, tools and supplies. What a mess!


It was so bad that there were spilled nails all over, I could never find the tool I needed when I needed it, and I had stuffed piles of tools mixed with other odds and ends into cardboard boxes and scattered them all over the basement. I’m hoping to start remodeling my bathroom in May (FINALLY!) and since I’ll be doing a lot of the work myself — I needed to get organized to avoid needless headaches, delays and annoyances once the project started. No better time than the present to get it done, right?


Since I’m saving up my money for the bathroom remodel, there would be no purchasing any fancy tool storage systems or anything new to help me get organized. Luckily, ever since I adopted my Great-Grandmother’s couches, the large wooden drafting table that used to live in the office has been freed up — and is just the right piece of furniture to store my tools and supplies. After reassembling it, I stacked an old bookshelf that was laying around on top of the drafting table to give me more eye level storage.


All I had to do was turn my back for one minute and Milton and Phil were already investigating. They decided this was the perfect ladder system for jumping up in the ceiling…


Leo is afraid to go down the basement stairs (too steep and too many stairs) which means the basement is Milton and Phil’s dog-free playground. They can jump on whatever they like (upstairs rules are 4 on the floor — meaning four feet on the floor at all times) and run and hide in boxes and play without being chased by their brother from another mother — aka the cat herder. This also means that whenever I’m doing projects in the basement, I have cats trying to help me or attack me at any moment — fun!


But back to the cleaning — after several hours of sorting, organizing and labeling — my project/tool area was much better…


I tried to group like items, or group them by project (like drywall tools and supplies) as much as possible…


…all the clamps are clamped to one side of the table…


…the large flat drawer that is supposed to be for paper storage was just deep enough to house all of my boxes of nails and screws. They are easy to find and hard to spill now — yippee!


Since I dislike waisting anything, I keep all my scrap wood for possible future uses. Using cardboard boxes, I sorted it by length into two groups…


…then stacked my long pieces along the center support brace and leaned my plywood behind the table.

I still have some more work to do down there — but after today’s efforts, I’m happy to say that it takes only minutes to locate tools, nails, screws, putty knives, sandpaper, etc. Just one step closer to the start of the master bathroom remodel!

Stay tuned!



  1. That’s great! I wish I had that much room to spread out. I currently store my tools in my clothes closet, or my mom’s (way messier than your before picture) garage. Happy remodeling!

    • Thanks Rebecca! It did take a while, but it is so worth it. I now also know exactly how much of something I have — which will help me avoid buying more sandpaper when I already have plenty that I just can’t locate. 🙂

  2. My husband and son have been doing some work over at our daughter’s house. I asked my husband to please bring my drill home and,so, he did. Then I asked if he could please bring my drill bits home, too. He said that he wasn’t sure where they were. My guess is some of them are in bathroom cupboards and some are in laundry room cupboards and some are in her garage.

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