No two shops are the same, and no two tool organization systems are the same. Woodworkers need a different toolset than auto mechanics, while home repair DIY-ers and hobbyists need various other tools.
Tools can also be difficult to store and organize because so many tools come in a large set, while only one or two items are frequently used. Everyone manages their shop in their own way and devises their own system, so making a DIY tool organizer is the perfect way to customize your shop or workspace in a way that works best for you.
These nine DIY tool organizers are great projects to help you maximize space, work more efficiently, and find everything you need when you need it.
DIY Tool Organizers
DIY Tool Organizer from PVC Pipes
PVC pipes are a versatile material that can easily be used to make a DIY tool organizer. PVC is affordable and comes together quickly, making a variety of custom DIY tool organizing solutions.
Cut PVC pipe in half to make rounded shelves perfect for storing rolls of tape, spools of wire or cable, or sanding discs. Cut notches in large diameter PVC pipe and attach them to the underside of a shelf or cabinet for easy storage of power tools.
Finally, you can use PVC pipe and PVC pipe glue to build a variety of custom racks to fit your needs.
DIY Tool Organizing Pegboard
Pegboard is a timeless way to organize a tool collection. Pegboard accessory collections give you convenient ways to store and organize nearly everything in a shop, from hand tools to power tools to screws and fasteners.
But remember that pegboard can be used in more ways than simply hanging an organizing wall above your bench. Consider adding a pegboard panel to the side of a rolling tool cart to maximize storage.
Mount pegboard with standoff bolts or spacers inside cabinet doors for compact hidden storage. You can also build pegboard sliding racks, or hinged pegboard panels, for a wide range of pegboard tool storage projects.
DIY Tool Organizing Caddy
A tool caddy is a great way to collect all the tools you need for a specific task or project and keep them organized in one place. Tool caddies can be large enough to store power tools or small enough for hand tools, paints, adhesives, rulers, and items needed for minor home repair projects.
The classic tool caddy design has a broad, stable base with a shallow rim for storing loose items. Caddy shelves can have a row of holes drilled into them for paintbrushes, screwdrivers, and hand tools.
Add a compartment for storing loose items like pencils and rulers and a handle for carrying it. Consider accessorizing a tool caddy with heavy-duty magnet tape that can hold hand tools or keep screws, nails, and bolts in one place.
A row of eye bolts can keep your most frequently used items on the outside panel of the caddy or add a pegboard piece for more versatility.
DIY Tool Organizer from Wood Pallets
Wood pallets are an easy way to organize your tools, shop, and whole life. If you remove the boards from one side of the pallet, you can expose the interior and use the structure to make shelving.
And of course, you can always disassemble a wood pallet and repurpose the wood for virtually limitless design and function options.
DIY Tool Organizer with Magnets
More and more people are discovering the power of magnets to help keep tools handy and organized. Instead of systems that require you to replace tools in precise locations or manage bins and boxes, you simply stick your most frequently used tools to a magnet bar and forget about it.
For easy storage of fasteners and small things, attach a magnet bar to the underside of a shelf or upper cabinet, and use magnetic jars to store and organize screws, nails, washers, and bolts with easy visibility.
DIY Tool Organizer with Shelf Brackets
You can organize nearly anything with shelf brackets, and they are a great way to make use of limited space. Hang a pair of shelf brackets side by side with a 3-4 inch gap between them, and slide the handle of power tools between the brackets for effortless storage of a wide range of power tools.
Hang two shelf brackets 2-3 feet apart and attach a wood dowel between them. Hook hammers over the dowel and let them hang down, or use the dowel to hang wood clamps.
Add S hooks to shelf brackets for hanging tools and shop materials virtually anywhere.
Triangle-style shelf brackets allow you to use the flat top for shelf storage and hang items from the bracket below the shelf for additional organizing space.
DIY Tool Organizing Cart
A mobile cart is a great way to get all your tools to your job or project site and help get them back into the shop when the work is done. A DIY tool cart is a great project to help you work faster and with less frustration.
Make sure you use heavy-duty locking casters to keep your cart in place. If you frequently use power tools, consider adding a power strip and cable cleats to manage cords and cables and keep batteries charged.
Consider hanging a folding stool if you work on cars and motors or work in the garden from the cart, so you stay comfortable and on task.
DIY Tool Organizing Drawer
A well-organized tool drawer is a great way to keep tools clean, protected, and convenient whenever you need them. However, standard silverware trays are not adequate for the job, and it’s best to DIY your drawer organization in a way that makes the best use of your space and arranges your tools the way you want.
If you want to save time, you can use pre-made adjustable drawer dividers to divide your drawers in the best way for you. It’s always a good idea to line a tool drawer with a shelf liner to keep tools from rattling as the drawer is used.
For particularly delicate tools, consider tracing the tool outline onto EVA foam and cutting out a precisely designed shape to protect your tool and keep it in place. If you have especially deep drawers, consider building a second shallow tray intended to fill the top half of a drawer but half the depth.
Adding side-mount drawer slides to the tray and to the drawer interior allows you to move the tray back and forth, accessing the tools in the tray and the tools stored beneath. A shallow tray is an excellent way to hold drill bits and get the most storage space out of a drawer.
DIY Sandpaper Organizer
If you work with wood (or a wide range of other materials), not only do you need sandpaper, but you need lots of different kinds and grits of sandpaper. It can be difficult to keep sandpaper organized and ready for use, but with just some thin plywood and a router, you can assemble a simple paper organizer.
Add wooden brackets supporting a dowel on the side and thread rolls of sandpaper onto the dowel like a paper towel dispenser. You can also add wooden pegs to hang sanding discs from the side. Keeping all your sandpaper in a single location is a great way to stay organized and make all your sanding jobs faster.
Keeping your tools organized makes them easier to find and helps you work more efficiently. It also helps to protect your tools by keeping them cleaner and protected from accidental impacts.
An organized shop is a happier and more productive environment, and making your own DIY tool organizer is a fun and interesting project that lets you customize your storage.
Designing your own system makes it more likely that you’ll put tools away when they aren’t in use and be more able to find them the next time.
These DIY tool organizers are a great way to practice your skills, customize your work area, and design the solution that works best for your habits and needs.