Basement Project: Day 4

The next task in my basement project was to clean up our tool bench. Here is a picture of its cluttered state before I got started:

It is a decent tool bench and serves our purposes. Unfortunately, the workspace had become quite the dumping ground for whatever we thought belonged in the basement but didn’t yet have a permanent storage solution. After a couple hours of attention, the clutter was removed. All that remains are the tools that we use for guitar and furniture making and basic home improvements.

In addition to the great peg board for the most-accessed tools at the back of the bench, I also put to use a set of four plastic storage bins from Ikea (which I can’t seem to locate on their website, but Container Store appears to carry similar ones):

These bins will keep errant screws, nails, and other small materials from running rampant on the workspace. A significant improvement to our tool bench.

Other posts in this series:

16 Comments for “Basement Project: Day 4”

  1. posted by Sky on

    Wal Mart, Target and most of the big stores carry the plastic boxes. They also have an upright storage container with small bins that pull out for nails, screws, etc.

  2. posted by Brad on

    As Sky mentioned, you will find a good array of storage boxes like those at any mass-merchant store. I have several boxes from Stack-On that you can get at K-Mart:

  3. posted by knitwych on

    I’m a big fan of the compartmented hardware boxes for nails, screws, washers, etc. The ones that have adjustable dividers are wonderfully versatile.

    You can also repurpose an old tackle box, which makes a great portable ‘Quick Fix’ kit. A couple of screwdrivers, a hammer, an awl (for popping lead holes into something you’re going to nail or drill), and a collection of nails, screws, etc. in a small portable unit stashed in a closet on the main floor of the house will encourage you to fix things *now* rather than saying “Eh, I gotta haul out the tool box” or “Eh, I gotta go downstairs” or whatever excuse you might use to put off taking care of a quick fix.

    I keep a small plastic compartment box in my office closet to hold extra paper clips, binder clips, etc. You can stand them up on end like a book and tuck them into a bookshelf, if necessary.

  4. posted by Kimberly on

    Thanks so much for sharing your decluttering project with us! I am working on my basement storage room at the moment, too. I forgot to take “before” pictures, however.

    You mentioned that you make furniture and guitars. I would love to see pictures of your creations. I’ve made a few side tables, and my husband and I have built some cabinetry for our house, but we’ve never attempted a musical instrument!

    One of these days (hopefully this year) we’ll be done remodeling our study/home office/music room, and then I’ll post pictures on your “Workspace of the Week” Flickr pool.

  5. posted by Sandra on

    Thanks for the many tips and ideas about uncluttering, I love reading your posts!

    Here are the boxes from IKEA:

    Sandra (from Germany)

  6. posted by Adventure-Some Matthew on

    I’ve seen boxes similar to this in a number of big-box stores, they’re pretty easy to find. I have a couple of them, myself.

    I need to clean up my storage area/tool room. Over the last few months it’s become a cluttered mess. I need to go through and get rid of waste, re-organize, and turn it back into a usable space!

  7. posted by Dave on

    I use those same Ikea boxes for hardware. A general tip for those types of boxes: once you have your divider configuration finalized, use packaging tape on both sides of the divider to connect it to the bottom of the bin which will keep screws, washers, etc. from getting under the divider and therefore preventing the lid from closing properly.

  8. posted by Nana on

    Pegboard is a wonder for so many things. Friend outlined his hanging tools with white paint so that he knows (a) where a thing goes after he’s done with it and (b) what’s missing.

  9. posted by Heather T on

    Looks great! I love those IKEA boxes – I put all my sewing thread in one of them. They are exactly the right height for a standard spool.

  10. posted by gb on

    Looks great, Erin. “Guitar or furniture making…” will we have an opportunity to see the results of your creativity?

  11. posted by Barbara Tako|ClutterClearingChoices on

    The basement is sometimes the last holdout for household clutter. Maybe it is a “dumping ground” or maybe it is okay to have a “temporary holding area” out of the regular traffic flow for some of these items to make the best decision about where they ultimately could go (toss/donate/relocate).

  12. posted by Erin Doland on

    @gb — My husband is the guitar and furniture maker. Our community has a woodworking shop, and I’ve definitely used it, but I’m not the artisan.

  13. posted by Melissa A. on

    I need some of those little boxes for paper clips, staples and such, and another one for hair accessories. I don’t have Ikea or Container Store here though (and ordering stuff online ends up being really expensive). Maybe I can find something at the dollar store.

  14. posted by MaryJo @ reSPACEd on

    Your basement is looking so great! A lot of people avoid organizing their basement (aka Black Hole of Stuff) because they think they need a lot of expensive shelving and bins, but you have showed that it can done inexpensively and still look nice. Bravo!

  15. posted by Kristof on

    My garage workshop area once looked like that (actually worse). Then I found a PDF about essentials tools and reduced my collection of tools down to three simple plastic boxes; 1 for hand-tools, 1 for fasteners etc. and a 1 which is a Metrinch set. Best thing I’ve ever done. Now, no matter what I need to work on , I can quickly find what I need and easily carry it with me.



  16. posted by Leigh Ann on

    One thing that we do is trace the outline of the tool on the pegboard in heavy dark marker. This allows us to easily see where each tool belongs and if any are missing.

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