Small handheld tools like scissors and rulers, large electric tools like the Gemini or Cricut, big flat tools like cutting mats and punch boards, - all of them need to be organized and stored so they're easy to use. There are many challenges with organizing your tools; size and shape, how they're used, what they're used with...
In this blog post, I'm hoping to give you a little insight into how to choose the best organizers for your tools.
What types of tools do you own currently or are you planning to purchase?
The first step to organizing anything is knowing what you've got, what you might buy in the near future, and what you're ready to purge.
Gather your tools together and organize them into groups.
Group them as:
Small hand tools - scissors, rulers, bone folders, X-acto knife, etc.
Larger hand tools - hot glue gun, heat gun,
Flat tools - paper trimmers, punch boards, cutting mats
Large machines - Xyron, Cricut, Gemini, Grand Calibur
What kind of crafter are you?
In so many of my other posts, I talk about storing your supplies based on the type of crafter you are, if you've got dedicated crafting space if you always craft at home if you travel some/always with your supplies. The answers to these questions can really help guide you through supply organization, but tools are a little different. With tools - you've got your every/always tools that you use regardless of the project - scissors, rulers, cutting mats...and you've got your "special project" tools - Alphabet Punch Board, Xyron machine, Cricut -as examples.
My best advice is to keep your always/every tools out and accessible and your sometimes tools stored in a way that they are easy to pull out and use.
Always / Every time Tools - Desktop, Shelf, or Mobile
If you've got space on your desktop or on a shelf within arms reach I strongly recommend keeping your tools out and available. If space is at a premium, go with a "cart" or rolling option. This will allow you to bring your tools close when you're crafting and store them elsewhere when you're not.
If you really want to maximize the usefulness of your cart, consider adding 1 or 2 of our 15" Desk Maid organizers to the cart baskets. These will help you keep everything in the cart baskets organized and orderly. The 15" Desk Maid pieces also fit in the Raskog cart from IKEA.
Even though you don't use all your tools every time you craft, you still want to organize them with "easy access" in mind.
For flat tools like cutting mats, die machine platforms and punch boards - get them vertical and arranged in something that allows you to pull them out with just one hand.
We R Punch Boards are really fun tools, but storing them can be a chore. They're bulky and they usually have extra parts or accessories as well as instruction booklets. Try putting them into the 8.5x11 Paper Handler. Use your Xyron to label the front of each Paper Handler.
If you've got a machine that you love and work with constantly - of course you want to have it on your workspace and near an outlet if necessary. If you don't have room for that machine on your workspace put it on a cart with all the tools necessary to operate it. This is the EASIEST way to move these things around, especially if you've got some of the heavier machines