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. Irene says

    We keep a tape measure and some smaller screw drivers in one drawer but otherwise, we need tool boxes and someday we’ll get DH a real big one you see in Tim Taylor’s garage. Currently have a kitchen storage wrack in the basement that he fitted with peg boards on the sides (hammers, screw drivers, etc). Each shelf has their own stuff like one shelf for plumbing/electrical/painting/misc house and bottom is all the power tools. Most everything else we need are for the cars so we have tool boxes in the garage.

    If we brought in all his tools to the kitchen, we could fill up a majority of our precious cabinet space.

  2. Jen_nifer says

    Modge Podge is with the tools? I think you should definitely keep the glitter, but put it away with craft supplies for when Clara is a couple of years older, she will love it!

    I have a hard time figuring out if my embroidery floss should stay with my scrapbooking supplies or my sewing supplies.

    I have a couple of screwdriver sets that are laid out on peg board, and despite the fact that my husband has his own, he goes for mine everytime. Just so easy to find exactly what he’s looking for. It takes a lot of space, but definitely works!

  3. Leah says

    I noticed super sliders in the picture. We recently moved a hutch from our dining room by sliding it over carpet (I am too weak to lift it). We have since had the carpet removed and are having hard wood floors put in. Do you like the sliders? Is it something you leave under the furniture once it is moved into place?

    • says

      Hey Leah,

      Those were a moving gift from John’s parents but they really came in handy for sliding things across the hardwood floors without scratching them- we even used them to move Ed the bed when we painted the bedroom. Once things are in place we take them off the sliders and put them back in the drawer.


  4. says

    I recently reorganized my tools too! I used to have them nicely laid out on pegboard in the basement but I got so tired of walking up and down two flights of stairs every time I forgot a tool. Instead of keeping them on the wall, I put them in different tool boxes based on what I use them for – electrical, soldering, general house stuff. etc. The general house one is great, it have the standard tools I need for almost any project so I just carry the whole box with me and never need to do the walk of shame back to the basement :)

  5. says

    Well, it’s not the kitchen, but we keep our tools in the dining room. Right below our fancy silverware. Our garage is detached and we quickly realized that 1) I don’t go out there to look for tools (that’s hubby’s domain and he keeps it messy) and 2) tools we used often kept ending up in the house anyway so it made sense to keep them inside. The dining room is the only place where we had spare drawers and it turns out to be a nice central location.

  6. says

    My fiance received a large rolling tool box for christmas. I have no idea what all he has, but he always has what I need minus a bunch of saws. We usually rent those.

  7. Annie Lee says

    My poor husband. During the first year of our marriage, our just-starting supply of tools was kept in a pink plastic basket. That’s right. Pink. Honestly, I don’t think it even had to endure a year. It wasn’t my hubby, but ME who finally put her foot [scratch off] high-heel down and bought a big-boy tool box. He’s very easy going, though. He would have kept his tools in a sachet if he had to. (But I’m more than relieved that he didn’t!)

  8. Kellie says

    I blame a career as an auto mechanic for this, but I have a rule against getting rid of tools. Unless it’s a duplicate of something really, really off the wall and random, odds are, you’ll use it again – even if you don’t use it for its intended purpose. Even duplicates of things you really only need one of, like pliers or screwdrivers can come in handy because having an extra one around means that if you need to modify one to suit the job, you can.

    My other rule is that if I used a tool once, it has paid for itself. Unless, of course, it’s a $2000 tool that allowed me to complete a job that I got paid $200 for (or in your case, a job that would have cost you $200 to pay someone else to do).

  9. Ethan says

    I’m not at all surprised to see a Stanley Wonder Bar there; what a great tool! I augment it with a proper 36″ crowbar for framing work, though.

    I want to pass along a little tip that my dad passed to me by way of a gift when we were in the middle of one of our many remodels. It’s a tool I would never have just picked up on my own, but experience is wise, for sure: a 3lbs “drilling” hammer. The particular model I have is an Estwing, and while it is certainly true that not all hammers are created equal, I’m sure there are other good ones out there. I find myself using that drilling hammer for just about everything but driving nails (for which I use a regular 16oz claw hammer). I use it for “disassembling” recalcitrant fixtures, for drifting lumber before fixing it in place, for driving chisels and punches, you name it. The heavier head and broad striking surface reduce the effort required for many tasks, while also reducing the velocity of the hammer and spreading out the impact on a larger area, making it less likely that you’ll damage what you’re striking (in an unexpected way — it’s also great for just beating the tar out of a 2×4 that isn’t responding to less persuasive means of removal!). It’s a wonderful addition to the DIY-er’s toolbox.

  10. says

    I wish we had extra drawers in our kitchen for tools. It would make things sooooo much easier. Right now hubby has a tool box under the stairs in our cubby hole I call it and it’s not easy to get to at all, but it’s where we have room for it. Maybe one day we will think of a better way or figure out a better place for them. Then the bigger tools are in the shed. It’s not ideal, but it works for us for right now. We don’t have a garage or a basement so our large shed and the cubby hole are it for us. (we have an attic for long term stuff ;) )

    My hubby actually has one smaller tool box that has everything “electrical” in it. That stays in the shed because we don’t need it that often, but I don’t know how we collected all that stuff in 3 years.

  11. says

    Question for you, would you consider writing a post on your bigger power tools, and what you use them for? The reason I ask is that I would like to make the investment, so that we can cut out own crown molding etc, but I have no idea which tool does what. A tutorial would be most helpful!


  12. says

    We have been remodeling our home for about 3 years now and have acquired all kinds of tools (my husband is a mechanic who LOVES QUALITY tools). We have a Bosch reciprocating saw (can’t live without it!!!), Bosch drill, Bosch impact driver (Dave says THIS has been great for running large 3″ screws into the wall to hold up our new kitchen cabinets that we built, etc.), Bosch pocket screw driver, Kreg Jig (we LOVE this!), sander that runs off the air compressor (which is awesome to have…), Dewalt miter saw, Dewalt table saw, Dewalt planar, Bosch jig saw, painting supplies, drywall tools, wood putty, drywall mud, etc, etc, etc. (a lot of the stuff you showed in your pic).

    HOWEVER, we have hardly any organization. Right now it is all piled in our living room in plastic tubs. We do have them sorted and labeled: Plumbing, electrical, etc. That helps. We also have one of these


    to organize screwdrivers, putty knives, tape measure, etc. It is awesome! We did repurpose some plastic drawer things that we used to have in our closets to organize screws, nails, sand paper, paint rollers and brushes, etc. That was very helpful. Our living room is the last room that we will remodel. Right now it is more of a staging area for all our other rooms. I am desperately trying to come up with a plan for when it is done so we have a place to put all our tools. I think they may end up in cabinets or the closet in our laundry room. But it sure is a lot of stuff to store!

  13. says

    We have a few tools, only the necessary one for hanging pictures etc. But we JUST got a power drill for a wedding present and its SO nice! It makes me feel like… what the heck did I ever do without one??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *