Taking Inventory Of Our Tools: What We Have & Love

Alternate post title: Tool Academy. Does anyone watch that show by the way? We watched one season of it and died laughing when all the guys learned they weren’t on a show called Mr. Awesome and instead were on a show called Tool Academy. Good times. Warning: This clip contains scandalous man panties.

Anyway, on the subject of tools, we’re psyched to be a part of Mrs. Limestone‘s “Junk Drawer Overhaul” series, where a few bloggers will be sharing how they’re kicking off the new year right by re-organizing their messy kitchen junk drawers. We bent the rules a little bit and shared how we organized our tool drawers (which are also located in our kitchen). But it wasn’t really a drawer re-organization since our tools had just been piled in the corner of our office after we moved. Nice, right?

You can read more about how our screwdrivers and hammers went from “yikes” to “that works” over on A Brooklyn Limestone In Progress. And an interesting thing happened while organizing our tools. In an act of “taking inventory,” we found ourselves spreading each and every item out on the floor. This was the result. A fun little grid of our DIY arsenal:

Since this sort of tool full monty wasn’t likely to happen again anytime soon, we thought we’d steal the opportunity to give you guys a peek at our little collection. This smorgasbord is comprised of our go-to tools for tackling all sorts of projects and quick-fixes, as well as a few miscellaneous supplies that we’ve subconsciously accrued over the years (why we have two spare toilet supply lines I’ll never know).

Here’s a closer look at each quadrant of our tool-covered rug (yes I said quadrant- I like math, ok?). This one shows most of “the basics” like hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, a crowbar, and a few saws. I realized after snapping the pic that our old scratched up yellow Stanley tape measure was playing hooky in Sherry’s purse.

Next we’ve got our ever-growing and always-diverse collection of nails and screws, as well as putty and spackle knives.

And of course then there are the painting supplies like brushes, rollers, paint trays, stir sticks, paint can openers, drop cloths, and tape. And no, that bundle of rope isn’t a paint supply – it just happened to fit on that part of the rug.

Lastly we’ve got our various tapes, glues, putties, caulks, and even some 3M command hooks. We’ve also got craft paints, brushes, Mod Podge and even a little tube of glitter leftover from making Christmas ornaments a couple of years ago. And those mysterious toilet pipes.

These pictures don’t show our bigger tools like the mouse sander, electric drill/driver, power saws, Kreg Jig, Dremmel, and a whole slew of garden and yard equipment. But hopefully you get the point, because we’re not about to lay those down on the rug.

The funny thing is that our personal collection is by no means a be-all, end-all tool collection. In fact, since snapping this pic a few weeks back I’ve already purchased a $4 set of hex wrenches since a towel-bar-removal project required a size that I didn’t own. And we were out of sandpaper so we had to restock that. We’ve also got some things we could probably get rid of since they’ve been sitting around untouched since the one time we needed them a few years back (this means you glitter tube). But who knows- it might just come in handy again someday…

You can read more about how our tools went from the rug to our kitchen drawers in a semi-organized fashion over on A Brooklyn Limestone. And we’d love to know what your tool collections look like. Are we missing something that’s a major must-have for you? Have you also acquired some pretty random items thanks to that a project that you tackled a while back? Is there Mod Podge in your tool drawer? Do you store your tools in the kitchen? Are there random glitter tubes and toilet supply lines? Let’s talk.

Psst- It had to happen sometime. Last night on an autopilot trip home from (where else?) the hardware store, we accidentally drove to our old house. It was fun to see it and also kind of weird to find ourselves in our old stomping ground.


  1. says

    Does sharing tools work for you? Can you usually find what you need?

    The reason I ask is because although my husband has dozens and dozens of tools, they are rarely organized in a way that makes them easy to find.

    So I have my own little tool box. Nothing elaborate, but it contains: tape measure, a hammer, an adjustable screwdriver, a mini-level, a paint can opener, a pencil, and a box of nails for hanging art.

    Funny thing is that my husband always comes to me when he needs a tool quickly.

    So, I was just wondering how it was in your household. ; )

    • says

      Hey Karen,

      We share! Seems to work well since John’s actually the brains behind our tool organization effort outlined over on Mrs. Limestone’s blog. He takes pride in his hammers and screwdrivers I guess. Haha. And since we use them so regularly, it’s definitely worth organizing them so they’re easy to find.


  2. says

    We have a LOT of tools and I’m sad to say that none are in any sort of organized order. Some are in our unfinished basement laundry room, others are in our garage in an old dresser, larger ones are just in the garage. We really need to organize our garage, so maybe that will happen this summer…

    As for random, someone was fixing something and needed a cotter pin. My mom said, “Hold on. I think I have one in my PURSE.” They thought she was talking about a bobby pin and made some smarty pants comment. They were totally surpirsed when she ACTUALLY had a cotter pin. Random, no?

  3. Aly says

    That’s hilarious that you drove “home”.

    I think you could make a cool art piece out of your tool photos. They are colorful and so organized. Cool!

  4. amy says

    Do your screwdrivers, etc. roll around in the drawers when opening and closing?

    My husband took some cupboards off his contractor father (that had been ripped out of a kitchen), refinished them, and made them “industrial” looking and hung them in the garage for a workbench an storage. He used the drawyers for screwdrivers, etc. but they kept rolling around. Trip to Target solved it with buying that rubbery drawer lining stuff.

    • says

      Hey Amy,

      They don’t seem to unless we jam the drawer open at lightning speed. We could always lay down some of that grippy ribbed plastic drawer liner stuff to keep things more in place. But so far they’re doing ok.


  5. Meg says

    When we first started renovating our bathroom we started out with just 2 hammers and to screw drivers to take down the tile. We then upgraded to a crowbar and we thought that was incredible…until we got the Sawzall. We didn’t look back! And actually for Christmas, we got a Drummel, which has been a really handy tool for us, especially for me because I find the Sawzall powerful and scary. The Drummel I can handle!

  6. Corinne says

    Finally cleaning up, clearing out, and organizing my garage is on my to-do list for the first warm day of the year. I have boxes that still need to unpacked, and if I need any sort of tool? It’s a nightmare. I think once everything is organized, I’ll be able to figure out what tools I’m missing and need to purchase. I think that’s part of the reason I haven’t done much around my house – I don’t know what tools I have!

    Funny story though….I have tools in every room in my house. A hammer in the kitchen, screwdrivers in the office, paint trays in the guest room, just to name a few!

  7. Angie says

    These pictures make me so jealous–I bought one of those short-handle brushes for painting that you all recommended and loved it! After I forgot to clean it, it is completely ruined & I can’t find that same one anywhere. Oh how I miss that brush:(

  8. says

    Wow! That is amazing you were able to organize your drawer and all of your tools! It amazes me how much you are all able to do with a baby at home. I have an 8 month old and it’s hard for me to find the time to unload the dishwasher at times! :) You guys are inspiring!

  9. Meghan says

    Ever since moving into my first house a little over a year ago, I’ve been steadily acquiring a strange assortment that I’ve come to call my “odds and ends”. It includes really random tools and screws that were really only useful for one project, as well as larger pieces of materials like dryer vent tubing and extra lengths of door weather-stripping. I’ve been dumping it all in a box in the guest room, and admittedly ignoring it. This post has inspired me to go sort it all out and DO something with it!

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