Old House Tool Storage

By: Mark Clement , Contributing Writer
In: Home Improvement Tips

Anybody who lives in an old house will surely tell you that storage is an issue. Closets–by modern standards anyway–are either small or non-existent. Hence, our household dust pan and broom are stored leaning (oh, or we ever so proud of this) in a corner until we build a closet for them.

The same is often true of the workshop. In our case, the shop is in the basement and competing for space with everything from “life” stuff we store (bikes, skis, the entire of contents of the room we’re currently remodeling) to stuff that lives there (furnace, hot water heater, sump pump.) Needless to say, important and necessary shop space is valuable real estate.

But valuable, cramped, or whatever one of the biggest keys to the home improvement castle–whether you’re a weekend warrior or boots-in-the-mud pro–is organization. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or expert, if you can’t find or access the tools you need to get the job done, neither one is making progress.

It’s mainly for this reason that we’re adamant and passionate about smart, efficient storage–techniques that enable us to at once have access to gear (which usually means being able to see it) without it being in the way.

There are a million and one approaches to this–and we’d love to hear some of yours I hasten to add– everything from workbenches and shelves to storing small parts and tools. And while we build a lot of our storage customized for our space, there’s one tool that comes with its own built-in storage: bar clamps.

I guess this is a long preamble to one of the simplest, most effective storage tips we’ve found over the years: we use a clamp to store our…wait for it…clamps.

Clamped to a floor joist overhead or, in this case, a lumber rack we’ve found this meets our simple criteria for effective storage. And since it’s nearly impossible to have enough clamps–we employ them on everything from decks to fence building to woodworking and more–we go for them often, but not every day. When we need them, we need them.

And when we don’t need them, we still need to know where they are for when we do. Now if we can just figure out where to store the dust pan and broom…

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  1. 2 Responses  to “Old House Tool Storage”

  2. Roger
    Aug 29, 2011
    Totes are where it's at for storing things. I hate clutter and I'd much rather have a few bins and totes on my shelves than just random objects taking up space and collecting dust.
  3. frank
    Aug 29, 2011
    A few years back I got sick and tired of a constantly messy workbench, so I installed a wall-mounted pegboard and made an (outlined in red) place for each tool. It took a while to finish, but it works well. The rule is that a tool is either in use (in your hand) or it's in its place on the wall!