Cutting Down A Cabinet For Tool Storage

Our poor tools. Remember how they used to live in our kitchen?

Well, they obviously had to move when that whole cabinet went kaput a few months ago in favor of a nice big peninsula that we were adding.

Well, I guess the cabinet didn’t go kaput. It just went to live in our sunroom (aka cabinet purgatory) – along with the drawers full of tools, which have been splayed out on our daybed for three months now. Yeah, we’re organized. Not.

Come on, let’s bring back “not.” And slap bracelets.

Anyway, as Sherry and I embarked on three weeks of photoshoots in our house for our book (you can survey some of that chaos here) we learned that space was at a premium.  New things like this giant white backdrop…

… and this crazy photography equipment…

… suddenly needed room to come live with us.

So see this giant cabinet that used to house or tool drawers? That guy was taking up valuable real estate. And after pushing him around to get him out of the way, we realized it was just time to do something real to remedy things.

Rather than find a new piece of furniture for storing our tools, we decided to try to retrofit the existing cabinet. At least for now. Heck, it’s free because we already own it, so why not? Our first step was to chop off the upper part that once housed the wall oven and some cabinets. To get that going, Sherry and I just tipped it on its side and used a straight edge to mark our cut.

Then I broke out the jigsaw to make big slices across each side, right where the top drawer ended….

…leaving me with two separate pieces. Too bad Sherry didn’t lay down on top of it and reenact some Vegas-worthy magic act, eh? Next time.

I broke the top piece apart with my foot and a hammer and put it out in our recycle pile (the ReStore wouldn’t want it but we’re going to call our local recycling center to see if they take clean wood scraps). But the leftover drawer base found a new (temporary-ish) home tucked away in the corner of the sunroom. Remember all of our kitchen cabinets used to be this ugly with these eyeball drawers, so there’s definitely room for improvement in the form of leftover primer, paint, and hardware for sure.

But for now it gets ‘er done. Meaning our tool drawers – for the first time in over 3 months – can actually reside in functioning, pull-out drawers. Gasp. It’s like we’re real people again all of the sudden (don’t mind the drawer sitting on top of it, floor space is precious with this many people and cameras and tripods and reflectors – so up it went).

I won’t show you the inside of the drawers this time because those could still use some organizing. But at least that tall cabinet that we were dragging all over the house is finally gone! So maybe this should count as a Dude Get On That Already challenge since having drawers full of tools all over the daybed in your sunroom for OVER 100 DAYS STRAIGHT is definitely deserving of a “dude, get on that already” statement (picture me hanging my head in shame). Ah well, it’s finally done. What have you guys been retrofitting or hoarding for way too long? Does anyone else have a cabinet purgatory going on in their house? And where do you keep your tools? They seem to be things that get stored in a wide variety of places (the garage, the basement, the kitchen, a guest room or spare room, the attic, the shed, etc). Spill it.

Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winner (and laughed at all of the impromptu poetry you guys shared) – so click here to see if you’re the big hundred dollar flower winner.


  1. Sarah says

    I’m just wondering why you kept the drawers on the daybed instead of just keeping them in the large cabinet once it was moved into the sun room? You always seem to have a logical plan for almost everything so I’m just intrigued by your thinking on this one.

    • says

      We were just crazy. No other reasoning. It was easier to move around without the drawers in it, so maybe that’s it since for shoots it moves around so much?


  2. hannah says

    sweet. little things like that are always good- meanwhile half our basement is begging for a tool reorganization!
    maybe this weekend…..
    also, we have lately acquired many ceramic animals- mostly by my husband no less who doesn’t read the blog… creepy. as of now we have a garden gnome, a ceramic GIZMO!!!, a blue dinosaur/ potted plant holder, and an owl that you can put a candle in. rock on! i do have the urge to spray paint them all though…

  3. says

    Smart fix! We keep all of our tools (not like we have a lot) in the closet of our spare bedroom. Joe has a tool box and all that stuff gets a shelf in there. Most of the time, an occasional tool is left in the living room or kitchen (can’t help it that I’m busy crafting!).

  4. says

    This looks exactly like something that resides in my parents’ garage. Wonder if they performed a similar cabinet-surgery many eons ago. This would be great with a butcher-block or something on top to provide a durable crafting surface!!

    PS… I picked up Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” and LOVED IT and promptly decided to lend it to everyone I know. I was just reminded because this comment composition is happening right next to the link to the book in your sidebar.

  5. says

    We were at Disney this weekend, and they were selling snap bracelets all over the place. So I guess you get your wish on bringing back snap bracelets!

    Our tools are in the garage. I’d keep some (MINE) in the house, but the hubby always absconds with them. So I give up and just accept that I have to find them in the garage.

    • says

      Also, I saw snap watches like two days ago at Paper Source. They’re definitely making a comeback.

      Must go now, have plans to shop for scrunchies this afternoon.

    • Beth W. says

      I’ve seen a couple of my elementary students wearing slap bracelets recently too. As a teacher, I can’t say I’m a fan of them coming back because they can be distracting. But as a child of the 90’s, I’m a little bit nostalgic about them. As long as they don’t come with stirrup pants, haha… or heaven forbid, Tamagotchis.

    • Caity says

      I had 5 tomagotchis on one keychain once. Left them in my dad’s car, and he said he came out on his lunch break to try and keep them alive. That is some giga-pet dedication/fatherly love right there.

      YAY for this 90s discussion! :)

    • Amanda says

      I am 26 and I bought a slap bracelet a few weeks ago. My husband and I were at his favorite sports store and found one with our favorite baseball team on it. I could not resist, even if just for the childhood memories!

    • says

      We’ve even got slap bracelets in Perth, and we’re normally ages behind any trends (for example, I’m only just seeing chevron print stuff in shops here now).

  6. says

    Very resourceful indeed. However, have you guys considered getting a two-tier toolbox? Craftsman makes some good and relatively cheap ones and it really does help keep tools organized… (I don’t work for Sears or anything, just love my Craftsman toolbox…)

    • says

      We actually have one of those that we keep in the attic of all places- we just couldn’t find a spot for it, so putting tools in cabinet drawers (which is also what we did in our first house) just must be our “reflex” – isn’t that weird?


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