I love helping people organize their tools. My love of organizing tools goes way back. I attribute a lot to the rigorous training I had, starting at age 7, at a very old-fashioned Virginia horse riding school that had been founded in the 1950s. In college, studying architecture, it was very important to be able to keep track of lots of little pieces of wood and foam core, and sharp X-acto blades for building models. I then graduated with a BFA in Crafts, so had a foundational understanding of fibers, ceramics, metal, wood, and glass equipment, plus general sculpture supplies such as plaster, wax, and rubber. After school, I worked for years as a production glassblower, where having the right tool on hand at the right time was absolutely paramount. I needed to know exactly where the tool was, if it needed to be hot or cold, lubricated with wax or wax-free, wet or dry. There simply was no margin for error when you’re working with a material as particular as glass. Time was always of the essence. Spending time looking for the right tool was just not in the cards. The glass would cool down and break. In grad school, I loved how seriously everyone took shop-clean up sessions. We even had a slip casting teacher, Frank Bosco, who I dearly adored, who would sometimes spend the majority of class (slight exaggeration) educating us on the proper way to clean buckets. These were my kind of people! Lol.
Needless to say, I feel very at home when I’m helping someone organize their workshop. Even though I’m not an expert in all types of materials, I’m able to apply what I know about tools, production, workflow, cleanliness, efficiency, and safety, to many different types of workshops. In addition to basic types of tools and art supplies, I’ve also helped many clients organize their car tools, computer/electronic tools, and lots of different specialty tools. I decided to create this post to give you some tips and inspiration for organizing your tools.
What’s your favorite tool organization system?
Send me a message, I’d love to hear about it!
By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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