How to organize your workshop: small tools without toolbox

In this article we will discuss how to organize tools in your workshop. We will also discuss some limitations like space, price, and not having a toolbox.


  1. How to organize tools without a toolbox?
  2. How to organize tools in your workshop?

How to organize tools without a toolbox?

Organizing small tools like screws, nuts, and bolts can be a challenge without a dedicated toolbox. If you do various projects that do not only include wood, then you may have very different types of screws with varying thickness, length, and threads.

  • Option 1: Keep them in the box
  • Option 2: Purchase a generic organizer
  • Option 3: Make your own organizer

Separate your screws and organize them by category

First, you will want to separate your screws into categories. You can create piles or put them into boxes. If you screws are already organized in their original boxes, then you can skip down to the organization options section.

You will first organize the screws by type. Create a section for wood, machine, specialty screws, and any other types of screws that you may have.

You will then organize the screws by head type, and then metric or standard. Then you will organize them by size.

Option 1: Keep them in the box

The first option that you have for organizing your small tools is to keep them in the box. This option is beautiful because the screws are already labeled and the boxes are the ideal size.

The downside to keeping your screws in boxes in that the boxes may wear and fall apart. To prevent this, I like to protect the bottom of the box with clear packaging tape.

If you will be transporting your boxes or moving them around a lot, then I would recommend a stronger tape like gorilla tape.

Another downside to this option is that the boxes will not look pretty forever. If you want to keep everything organized and pretty, then you should consider the other two options.

Option 2: Purchase a generic organizer

The second option is to purchase a generic organizer. This option is great because you have a sturdy place to put your tools that will look clean and neat. Additionally, you can get a tool organizer for very cheap in comparison to a toolbox

One downside to this is that you may not have the correct spacing your toolbox. For example, lets say you have a lot of 1.5 inch wood screws of a certain type and there is not a compartment that is big enough to hold them all.

You may also have a few specialty screws that that are so few in number that it will not make sense to use a whole compartment for them.

Purchase a generic organizer: Amazon Link

A generic organizer is great for durability and cleanliness, but if you would like to make compartments based on your needs, then you should go to option 3.

Option 3: Make your own organizer

The last option is to make your own organizer. Creating your own organizer is a great option because you can create a sturdy organizer that is durable and will stay clean, and you can customize the compartments to your needs.

There are many ways that you can create your own organizer. You can create the whole thing out of wood with compartments to fit your needs.

You can also purchase small containers of varying sizes a create a container holder.

There are many ideas for “DIY screw organizers” online. Some of my favorites are individual organizers because you can arrange the shape of each compartment to your needs.

How to organize tools in your workshop?

How do you organize larger tools in your workshop? I am referring to anything that is bigger than small hardware like clamps, drills, glue, and handheld saws.

  1. Do an inventory
  2. Look at your space
  3. Look at the list of ideas

I will go over some key ideas to organizing tools in your workshop.

Do Inventory

First, you will need to see what you have because knowing so will help you pick the best organization method for you.

You will want to separate your tools into categories. I separated my tools by car tools and woodworking tools. I then separated the woodworking tools into cutting, drilling, sanding, jigs, and hand tools.

Look at your space

After you organize all the tools that you have in your shop, now look at the space that you have to work with. Do you have wall space, cabinets, or space under work benches and tables? If so, record what space you have thinking about these storage ideas.

Organizing Ideas


Pegboards have gained a lot of popularity over the years and for a good reason too. Pegboards are great because they allow for easy organization and you can see everything that you have in comparison to cabinet storage.

Naturally, your organization will become messy if you are digging through cabinets to find what you want.

If you have any reachable wall space in your workshop, you can put up a pegboard.

There are many different types of pegboards and you can even create one yourself. You will want to get one that is sturdy enough to support what you want to put on the board.

If you want to put circular saws, jigsaws, and larger nail guns, then you will need a more sturdy material with big enough tool holder attachments.

You can get by with a more lightweight board if you are just holding clamps and lighter drills.


Cabinets are good for holding other tools that may not be ideal to put on a pegboard and more tools. A cabinet would be great to organize your small tool storage like if you use the original box to store screws and nails.

Magnetic boards

Magnetic boards are a similar to pegboards, instead of hooks and holes, you will just stick magnetic tools to the board.

Magnetic boards can look more clean without the additional hardware of the peg board. Additionally, you do not have struggle with finding a tool holder attachment that will fit the tool.

The downside of magnetic boards is that not all tools will be compatible with it, but it is a good option to have.


You can use floating shelves to use up some of that extra wall space. The beauty in floating shelves is that they do not take up as much space as peg and magnetic boards.

Depending on the size of your shelf, you can also store larger items. Just make sure that the shelf is large enough and the tools are secure.

Pegboards on the side of cabinets and workbenches

Lets say you looked at your available space and you realized that you do not have much wall storage to work with. Or you may have strict renter regulations to where you cannot drill holes in the walls.

If so, then you can create pegboards to be mounted to the free space on the side of your cabinets


In this article we discussed how to organize tools in your workshop and some limitations like space, price, and not having a toolbox.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article and I wish you luck on your woodworking journeys!


My name is Rachel Blanding and I am a woodworker. I started woodworking at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I mainly create and refurbish furniture and create art. In this site I will share with you the knowledge I have gained over the years, and what worked for me and what didn't.

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