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Earlier today I came across a Craftsman 3pc parts retrieval tool set that looked to be a great buy.
In the process of posting about it, I convinced myself I could use a set for my own tool kit, and so I purchased one.
Look what I found when cleaning up – a Craftsman magnetic pickup tool exactly like the one I just ordered.
It’s the end of the year, and I’m looking at a list of all of the projects I wanted to complete but didn’t.
“2024 is going to better.” I tell myself something similar every year, but this year I mean it.
If I didn’t use something in the past 2 years, and I don’t plan to use it in the next 6 months, and it can’t fit in a portable tool box or single tool chest drawer, it’s got to go.
I like to hold onto tools, whether for comparison purposes, further editorial consideration, or nostalgia.
For example, I have a pair of Bessey pipe clamps, and they’re attached to silver-finish threaded pipe. I ordered the pipes from a woodworking supplier, under the pretense that they’ll be nicer to handle than iron pipe from the home center. They were right!
But I haven’t used those clamps ever since I started building a collection of Bessey parallel clamps.
So, they’ve got to go.
Back when my workshop was a spare bedroom in a 2-bedroom apartment, I stored the clamps under my bed. They’re great clamps. But why am I holding onto them?
I might need it!!
Isn’t that the reason we buy certain tools on occasion, or why we buy sets?
A lot of tool users are packrats – we hold onto things we don’t want to have to buy again, or might need for some impromptu task or project need.
I don’t want to have to buy the same tool twice. That’s part of what led to ToolGuyd’s creation – I wanted to make the right purchase the first time, to stretch limited funds as much as possible.
It’s deep cleaning time, and decisions are going to have to be made.
I also made bad purchasing decisions. I bought too many Packout organizers, because they were on sale in previous years, but they’re not the best for my needs. Thanks to this year’s deals, I’m moving to Packout drawers, which suit my needs a lot better, and I’ll find other uses for my Packout organizers.
The ultimate goal is to know exactly what I have, be able to retrieve anything in a moment’s notice, and be able to perform different tool operations with minimal cleaning or setup.
Since I have limited space, this means getting rid of tools, equipment, and supplies that are no longer earning the space they take up.
I didn’t even know I had this retrieval tool, but upon seeing it I remember buying it when Craftsman launched their first new hand tools at Lowe’s.
Will getting rid of 2 pipe clamps and a bunch of other things help me find my retrieval tool and other supplies? Yes, or at least that’s what I hope.
You might see posts about all kinds of tools in coming days and weeks, because that helps me part with them a little easier. Then, maybe I’ll talk more about purchases that I’m keeping.
I also dumped out 12 of my last remaining Bosch L-Boxx tool boxes, and transferred the contents to new Packout drawered tool boxes on rolling dollies. The Packout drawer tool boxes – and Packout tool boxes in general – are so much better than L-Boxxes.
I stacked the L-Boxxes in the corner so that I can donate them this weekend, and I almost took a sledge hammer to them. They’re just BAD. One or two are fine, but stacking a couple together is a test of my patience every single time.
I have 3-4 L-Boxxes with tools that are best transferred to… I don’t know yet, maybe Packout organizers or some of my empty Systainers. I also have a stack of Bosch L-Racks and pull-out organizers, and don’t have a better replacement storage solution for those yet.
My L-Rack looks like this Tekton tower, but taller, and with organizers with bins instead of open trays.
This might be the first year I fully organize everything and keep just what I need – with some duplicates and favorite mementos allowed.
Once I get through everything that I haven’t been using and can part with, I’ll focus on asking two questions about almost everything remaining – “do I need this?” and “where will it go?”
Take a look at your tool box, workshop, storage spaces, vans, or other tool holding areas. What works for you, and what doesn’t?
Got any tips for someone that does a little bit of everything, such as woodworking, metalworking, electronics, and more?