Tool Box Organization Ideas – 10 Tips and Hacks For Your Tool Box

There’s nothing more beneficial than having a tidy and well-organized tool box. Without one that compartmentalizes all of your gear in an orderly fashion, your tools can become disorganized.

If you’re wondering if there’s a quick and straightforward method to arranging your workspace and gear, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will provide the top 10 tool box organization ideas and the best way to keep your tools orderly and accessible.

How to Organize Your Tool Box

Don’t waste time looking for the perfect storage solution before first cleaning your tool chest. Start by removing all of your tools and the foam linings and attachments you’ve added to your tool chest over time. These accumulate dust and grease. Use industrial-grade cleaning wipes to clean all the surfaces, nooks, and crannies.

For those who haven’t had an opportunity to clean your chest for years, you can use a clean, dry cloth soaked in paint thinner to take off difficult stains with ease. Otherwise, apply a clean cloth soaked in soapy water or any other cleaner you already have for the exterior.

10 Tips & Hacks for An Organized Tool Box

1. Sort All of Your Tools

Take the tools out of your garage, your truck, the basement, or any other place where you store your tools and place them in one place to take inventory of what you have. It’s good to put them on a blanket or tarp to protect the flooring.

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Then, sort them according to their use and kind of tool. For example, screwdrivers go in one place, and impact drivers go in another. Sort them by subcategories if necessary. This is a good opportunity to declutter and get rid of any tools you no longer need.

2. Make a Layout Before Cutting the Foam

Take your foam liner and cut it to dimensions so that it will fit into your tool chest drawers and accommodate all your tools. Don’t cut the form if you do not have a design.

Make a simple plan of what you want to do with the arrangement of your tools. It is best to arrange the tools you use most and put them somewhere to allow you quick access. After you have decided on the layout for the tools, mark the area with a pencil, pen, or marker.

Then, begin cutting the foam but be sure that you follow the guidelines carefully. These steps might seem trivial; however, you could be wasting the foam if you start cutting without having a plan.

3. Save Space

The foam sheets are great for organizing smaller tools that could otherwise get thrown into the drawer. When the gear is neatly organized in the shapes you have cut in the foam; you can find the tools you require without rummaging through a pile of tools.

If you set out your tools on foam, you will be able to make the most of the space you have by placing them closer together. Place them next to one another in the same direction or join them like puzzle pieces. It’s a good idea to play with different layouts before choosing the most effective one.

mechanic's hands choosing screws and nuts from a tool box in the workshop

4. Make Spaces for Batteries & Cords

You can also designate specific spaces to store all the cords and batteries without tangling them. This will prevent you losing them and allows you to keep them with their associated tool. It will also minimize damage to cords.

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5. Put Extra Tools in a Cabinet

Whatever your level of experience, any mechanic or repair person is bound to have specific tools that rarely get used. These could be anything from the electronic torque wrench to an OB2 scanner. In addition, if you’re like me, you’ve probably purchased several different types of wrenches, hammers, and ratchets and only use the ones you love.

In this situation, store these in separate tool cabinet to ensure they don’t get in the way and leave extra space in your chest.

6. Use Stack-Ons Inside the Drawers

Plastic stack-ons are an excellent enhancement to add to newly organized tool chests, allowing you to easily keep small parts such as bolts, nuts, or spare tire valves and screws in order. In addition, they are relatively affordable, and you can buy them at the nearby Home Depot or Lowes.

Consider purchasing ones with more storage space than you require to ensure you have extra capacity if needed. If you’re in a pinch, many household containers or trays will also work fine for this purpose.

7. Color Coordinate for Identification

If various tools are kept in the same drawer, it’s best to color coordinate them so you’ll be able to locate the tool quickly. For example, to help you easily identify your tools, use black for the screwdrivers and green for the pliers. If you’re using foam, the top layer of the kit can be black, and the bottom layer will can be a different color. Moreover, if you trade instruments with someone else, you’ll be able to recognize your own instantly.

8. Add Labels

If color coordination seems too complex, then try adding labels. This will help you to recognize which tools belong to you. It is also helpful when sharing tool storage spaces for tools to place small labels on every tool’s cutout, giving it a name. This makes finding and returning tools quicker, particularly for those who aren’t experienced.

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You can also put labels like this on the exterior of drawers, chests of tools, and cabinets to store tools, so users can identify the location of the kind of tool they’re searching for.

9. Use Socket Organizers

Sockets are available in various forms, lengths, and dimensions, and it will take a lot of time and energy to make shadow foams to fit these. In addition, once they’re fitted inside a foam organizer, you can barely distinguish between metric and SAE measurements without clearly labeling them on the sides.

Many people use a tool organizer for sockets, and they do that for a pretty good reason. Socket organizers solve these issues without costing a fortune. Moreover, they are available in different colors. You can use different colors for SAE units and metrics, and all you require is a glance to identify the one you need. Additionally, most models have marked lines in bright white paint that can aid in determining the different sizes quickly.

man took tool from a case for work

10. Get A Store-Bought Organizer

Various models and brands are available on the market to help organize your tools. Apart from their versatility, they are durable and long-lasting.  One of the disadvantages of using them is the tight fit your tools will require. Getting all of your equipment into identical tool organizers isn’t easy.


Spend time considering your tool organization system and ensuring it meets your requirements and space before your next job or DIY project. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all technique for figuring out the best way to organize your tool box, but by following these tool storage ideas, you’ll be able to manage your work area and has easy access to what you need in your tool box.

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