Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Quick and Easy Hardware + Fastener Organization

You know those sections of your home that seem to be doomed to being chaotic and disorganized until the end of time? For me, it's the section of my house to the right of the front door. 

I kid. A little bit. Okay. Not really. The kids' room, despite my best efforts, is a mess of toys, and the third bedroom is a disaster. I don't even want to open the door. However, the other day Deputy Dad and I went to my local Big Orange and bought the supplies we needed to build this amazing bulk bin toy box. I didn't have self-tapping screws, but I had about a million-jillion screws at home and didn't want to buy more, so I was confident I could figure something out. I was super proud, because I did figure out how to make the bulk bins using pocket holes. I was not so proud when I pulled out our box of screws and saw what a cluster the storage of such a basic item had become.

Seriously, check this out.

How in the world is a girl supposed to find her 1.25" fine Kreg screws in this mess? This box at one point in time had a lid, too. The lid was annihilated during the move from our apartment in Rock Hill to this house. RIP, box lid. I've had these boxes since my first marriage. I got them from Jo-Ann's to go on the bottom shelf of some leaning bookcases to go in my brown and green living room. They literally held nothing and just filled a shelf. They went from the easy life to a life of constant abuse. I say they because there was two of them. I don't even know what happened to the second one. Poor boxes. 

Deputy Dad is one of those people who can fall asleep within five minutes of his head hitting the pillow. Lucky man. I, on the other hand, like to fall asleep while falling down the rabbit hole of the blogosphere. The point of this random side story is that one night while falling down said rabbit hole, I found the blog of my savior. My savior posted about using the Creative Options Large Rack System to organize all of her Kreg screws. Please remember, I was falling asleep while reading this, so I was not smart. I did not pin this idea, or bookmark this idea. I have no idea who my savior was, but if you know, please tell me, because I need to build a shrine to her and name my firstborn child after her.

I went to Jo-Ann's to check out the Large Rack System, but in the end, it was just way too big for me. (That's what she said.) But when I went on Amazon hoping to find similar products, I discovered that Creative Options had the exact same product in a Medium Rack System. And it came in a pretty blue color, too!! I snapped it up, and with the magic of Amazon Prime only had to wait 48 hours.

So I sat down with the box of gloom. See that empty clamshell container up on top? That should be an almost full container of drywall anchors. It opened and dumped everywhere. That upside down black cardboard box was also about 1/4 full of wood screws that also emptied all over the box of doom. 

My first task was to sort out everything that was in the box. The tools in the upper left weren't even supposed to be in this box; they're supposed to be in the tool bin. Same with the bits and the drill bits, we have a different home for those, too. I put all the drywall anchors and their screws back in their container, and put all the wood screws back in their box.

All of this stuff was put back where it belongs. Except for that black funnel-looking thing. I have no idea what that is. Anyone else know?

Then I got to start playing with my pretty new organizer. I love that the top has this big open area for oversized items.

Then the body of the unit has these three divided organizers. The best part about this section is that these organizers are set up like drawers. There are little plastic "runners" under each section, so you can take out the middle or the bottom organizer without everything else coming down. It's amazing. I'm so in love!

I put random fasteners, along with staples, brad nails, and our bit extenders (two of which are currently MIA) in the top organization tray.

The second organization tray is dedication to my Kreg supplies. From left to right there is 1" screws, 1.25" screws, and 2.5" screws. The bottom has the miscellaneous sized screws you get when you buy the Kreg Jr kit, and the pocket hole plugs. I love that I still have room to grow in this organizer!

The bottom tray has the 1.25" wood screws and the drywall anchors, now all nice and contained. Below that are 2" and 3" toggle bolts. I keep saying that the walls in our house are like pasteboard, and I'm only partially kidding. They are definitely a lot thinner than standard drywall, so for pieces like our Hemnes shoe cabinet, it's really important to us that they are securely attached to the wall. We don't mess around, especially since J and L have been known to hang off of the bottom "drawer" and almost pulled it out of the wall. For that reason, the shoe cabinet got moved in to our bedroom, but we still have it toggle bolted in to the wall. Safety first! Below that is some other miscellaneous hardware including some hinges, latches, and some long bolts because I still want to make the kids these folding lap desks - maybe for Christmas?

In the big open section on the top, I put our Kreg Jr. R3 along with the Kreg clamp. One day when we have a workshop outside I'll upgrade to the K4 or the K5, but for now, this works. We also keep a tape measure and some painter's tape up here, just because in this house we always seem to need one of these two things and we can never find them. We have two packets of brackets up here that didn't fit down below.

Look at all of the trash I was able to get rid of! Seriously, best idea ever. I wish I could remember whose blog I read this on, because I feel like I need to go back in her archives and read everything she's ever written. 

The only thing I have left to do to completely finish this project is to label each section. I want to have everything labeled for two reasons. Ones, labels make my heart go all pitter-patter. Two, it will be a lot easter to remember which screws are the 1" and which are the 1.25" six months down the road from now when I have everything labeled. I just want to live with this organizing solution for a little while before I decide on a label type. I have so many choices! Vinyl with the Silhouette? Label maker? Washi tape? The possibilities are endless!!

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