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. Robin says

    You guys must have ESP! I was just wondering about how you organize your tools. I was going to add a comment and ask, but now I don’t have to. WOW! That is cray town. This is like the second time you guys have posted something way relevant the day after I was thinking of it. Thanks!

  2. says

    My wonderful husband just organized our tools yesterday in the garage. We had the work table just sitting there for the past couple of months, but it’s finally in place with all our previously strung all around the house tools in their home.

    It feels so much better!

  3. says

    I know right now you’re using those tools as often as you’re using your daily silverware, but are you planning to move that new toolchest into the basement eventually? Or are these your “first floor tools” so you don’t really need to run out and down to grab a screwdriver or drill? And hey, how about some casters on it? That would sure make it easier to roll around for photo shoots…

  4. says

    weeelll… my current tool storage situation is quite sad.. all of my tools are in a large plastic (think Old navy bag, but plastic) living on the floor of my master closet. It’s a hot mess in that bag too. We have a ton of stuff in a shed outside, but I honestly don’t even know what all is out there. The important stuff I use all the time is in my closet. I’m seriously in need of a place to keep and organize all of it!

  5. D'Ann says

    a few years ago now, I worked as a kitchen&bath designer at big orange and I snagged a couple cabinets and a corian-like top with integral sink from a display as they were just going to end up in the compactor. First they were stored in our garage for maybe a year, then we sold the house and they went into a storage unit for another 2 years, then into unfinished space in the new house for approx 6 months. Finally we painted and installed them with a few other bargain finds and now I have an awesome sink and storage area in my studio. So pick-up your chin- 3 months is lightning fast in my book.

  6. Lindsey says

    When we moved in our first house a year ago, I repainted the kitchen and laundry room cabinets. Somehow the master bath vanity got left out of this lovefest, so last weekend I started in on painting it a deep chocolate to better match the decor. Mainly because I realized that the paint had just been sitting there for over a year and I thought daily about how ’80s my vanity looked–time to do something about it!

  7. Beth says

    Even though it’s probably a legitimate carpentry term, I still got a chuckle from when John said he used a “straight edge” to mark the cut because I flashed back to middle school when the math teacher made us use a compass and straight edge to make angles and lines.

  8. Lindsay says

    That was a good idea to cut the top off. That actually would make a nice dresser or night stand in a bedroom with the height it is.

  9. says

    We keep ours in an antique armoire. Which makes us sound all classy & fancy. NOT!
    (I’m a Gen Xer, so “not” never really left my vocab. Fortunately I was too old for slap bracelets.)
    The armoire is a hand-me-down that I still need to rehab. It’s been 3 years. Talk about Dude Get On That Already…
    Have a great weekend, y’all :)

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