How to Declutter and Organize Tools (part of my basement challenge Week 2)

Garbage day is now Tuesday due to some holiday and the garbage bin is beginning to bulge. That’s how I know I’m doing it right.

This post’s focus is the tools. We aren’t contractors so we only need a basic amount to keep a house in good repair ourselves. In case you’re wondering: BASIC = VERY LITTLE.

The tools were jumbled in one big box and two smaller ones. I hadn’t gotten around to decluttering the tools in our previous home since there was one tiny closet in the living room where we just tossed them all. Tsk tsk.

Before

it was actually this amount X 2 of extra boxes of tools that I had to declutter

it was actually this amount X 2 of extra boxes of tools that I had to declutter

this box was full of tool stuff

this box was full of tool stuff



The tools

-threw out 1 of 2 hex keys sets
-threw out 1 of 2 screwdriver head attachments (THEY’RE NOT ALL GOING TO COME IN HANDY and we live too far away from my brother to give him the extra sets.)

-moved the polyfilla from the junk drawer upstairs to the tool box downstairs and brought the painting hooks I found in the tool box upstairs to the junk drawer

-threw out a 2 foot piece of extension cord with no plugs and bare wires at both ends

-found a set of curtains in the tool box. Moved them to the curtain shelf in the linen closet where there was room for them because I’d given two old shower curtains to our babysitter who just got her first apartment.

-dumped out the jumbo sized vitamin C container of nails. Threw out every bent and rusted one. Kept 10 in each size. My rule is if you haven’t found a use for it in 6 months, throw it out, but these nails had survived 6 years!

-found a bag of misc screws, etc that had been stored near an unknown chemical can. Threw it all out and washed my hands twice.

-threw out the box of old phones. Yup, we had a small box of phones that were in various stages of not working well. We were poor in our previous province and had to keep things like half broken phones in case the one we had broke thoroughly because we literally could not afford a new phone. Now we can because we moved West so Hubby could get a full time job.

-I moved any screws that were stored in a paper bag into a see-through Ziploc bag so we’d know what we had.
-I rerolled any rolled things that had come undone (weather stripping) and taped the end down, put in Ziploc bag if it fit.
-threw out big Ziploc bag of curtain hardware from some hardcore, industrial curtains that we removed as soon as we bought our last house. Kept 2 L brackets.
-threw out an unopened “hold-your-flashlight-to-your-hardhat” attachment because it belonged to Hubby’s previous roommate and Hubby has no use for attaching extra weight to your head.

After

labeled tool accoutrements

labeled tool accoutrements

3 boxes, that's it.  All labeled.

3 boxes, that’s it. All labeled.

containers I repurposed: The empty Costco size vitamin C bottle, a metal box for alphabet fridge magnets, baby wipe containers, small and regular sized Ziploc bags, diaper boxes (they’re really sturdy for heavy tools), empty jam jars, a small soap dish box, a very sturdy Lancome cosmetic box that my grandmother gave me, and an empty film canister (if you know what that is).
-then I labeled, labeled, labeled

The giant moving box is empty, garbage amounting to the size of 4 full diaper boxes was thrown out and now I know what we own and we only own useful things.

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