How to use SHOO to Organize Your Tool Box

Are you always digging around for the right tool? Hammers abound, but why are the flat-edge screwdrivers always missing? Wouldn’t it be great to have everything in one easy-to-find space?

Here is how you can use the four steps of SHOOTM to get your tools organized.

Step 1: SORT

First, start by gathering all your tools. Bring them all together to a single location. Check your garage, kitchen, basement, car, truck, etc. SORT them by type to get an idea of how many different types of tools you have.

During the SORT, inspect each tool and decide what to keep.

  • Are there duplicates? If so, how many of this tool do you reasonably need?
  • Have you ever used it? Some tools passed down thru the family should be kept for sentimental reasons, but others that you’ve never used can surely go.
  • Is it broken? If it isn’t usable and can’t be repaired then discard it.
  • Have you replaced it with a multi-purpose tool that does the job more efficiently?
  • Does a neighbour have a better version that you can usually borrow?

Then group your items together by either function or where you will be using them.

Step 2: HEAVE

Toss out the broken tools, sell the good ones on eBay, Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji. Get a tax break by donating to a local charitable organization, have a yard sale, or help a favourite college grad begin their first tool box. Only keep the tools you are sure to use in the future.


This is the time to think about how and where you will use your tools. You may decide to centralize your tools in the garage or basement. In step one you sorted your tool collection into groups according to function or where you’d use each group. This will help you determine the storage space requirements for each area.

The internet is a great tool for finding the latest tool storage solutions. Portable tool boxes are great for on-the-go types to keep in their car or truck. Behind-the-wheel tool boxes for pickup trucks are a great way to take advantage of unused truck bed space. If you have a ton of small parts, you may consider some plastic storage cabinets with sliding drawers. Pegboards work nicely in the garage, basement or office workspace to keep tools handy and off the countertops. Maybe you need some new shelving to store larger-sized tools.


This is where you live with your system and make adjustments as needed.  If you’ve ordered a new tool box or some other item, then when it arrives begin to place your tools in order.

Once you’ve got everything in its place, remember to always take the extra time to put items away when they are done being used.

If you’ve added a pegboard, consider drawing an outline around each tool as it hangs on the pegboard to make it easier to know where to return the tool.

Once you’re organized, maybe you’ll even have space to buy some new tools!

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