July 19, 2012

Tidy Tool Wall

One of my favorite organization projects around the homestead is something we did just after we bought the house almost ten years ago. We created a labeled tool wall to store garden tools, and it has made keeping track of shovels, rakes, outdoor brooms, etc. super easy.

Tidy tools

Labeled tool wall

Before the tool wall, there was either a jumbled mess of spades, hoes and forks in some corner of the garage, or the tools were scattered throughout the yard and we had to go on a treasure hunt before we could start on a particular garden project. A classic scene in our yard was the digging shovel parked deep in a pile of dirt and left there, looking like some kind of unplanned garden art, until the next time we needed it. That's not only frustrating for the gardener, but it's also not good for the tools.

Tool "storage"

Making a tool wall was as easy as cutting a redwood 1 x 2 from a leftover project into about ten small pieces, and then applying some leftover exterior trim paint to the pieces with a small paint brush. No fancy lettering here--just the basics. We picked up a bunch of bulk hooks from the hardware store, installed them just underneath or above the labels, and we were done.

Label using redwood 1 x 2 and exterior wall paint

I've found it's especially handy to have a labeled tool wall when you've got little helpers in the garden. More than once I've been out in the farthest corner of the yard in the middle of a project and found myself needing a different tool. Asking Charlie to grab the long-handled cultivator from "somewhere in the garage" would be an exercise in futility. Now, he can go to the wall and look for the tool that has the "cultivator" sign and bring it to me in a matter of minutes.

Labels make it easy for kids to identify tools

It's also nice for the kids to have a special place just for their own tools, and to know exactly where to get them and return them when they're finished with their garden chores.

I've seen lots of other neat ways of storing garden tools, and we might need to implement one of them, since we've accumulated additional tools since making the wall. What do you do to keep track of your tools in the garden?

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