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Tips For Decluttering Tools

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Today's mission is decluttering tools, from your tool box, your junk drawer, garage, basement or wherever else you may keep them.

This mission accompanies yesterday's mission to declutter and organize hardware, such as screws, nails, and other small parts you use when doing minor home repairs and DIY projects around your home.

Tips for decluttering tools from your tool box and around your house to get rid of the excess, but to keep the ones that really matter {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
Once you've done both missions you'll have a tool chest or box that actually fits everything inside, with only the best and most useful tools left, and you will be ready to tackle just about any small home repair or minor DIY project that you encounter.

What Tools Should I Keep?

The first question I get asked when I run this mission each year is, what tools should I have and keep, versus which ones should I get rid of?

Basic home tool kit list, including printable
So I've answered that question for you! I've written an article with a basic home tool kit list, including a free printable, that is like a checklist of what items you should keep in your tool box.

This list is designed not for those who are professional contractors, or that work with tools as part of any type of hobby, but instead for those of us who use these tools only infrequently, when we've got to fix something minor around the house, or want to put something together we've purchased at the store.

Criteria To Consider When Deciding Which Tools To Get Rid Of

Keep all the tools you regularly use, plus any on the list I've provided that you think will be helpful for normal repairs and small jobs in your home.

However, often what happens is we get a new, better tool, and keep the old one as well. That's one of the ways clutter creeps in.

Another tool clutter problem comes from tools you don't even know how to use. Those can actually be dangerous, to either your personal safety or cause you to damage something you're trying to fix.

So my criteria for what tools to get rid of are pretty simple. First, get rid of any duplicates of tools, keeping the best one for use.

In addition, get rid of any that are broken or that you know you will never
use (because you don't like it, or you have no idea how to use it).

If you use a tool quite infrequently, and would be able to easily borrow a replacement in the future if you needed to use one, you may also want to consider getting rid of some of those tools. However, I know tools are expensive so consider the amount of hassle involved in tracking down another one to borrow or to purchase, plus how frequently you might need it, before getting rid of any tool.

Ideas For What To Do With Old Tools

Once you've decided which tools will go, the next question is where will they go?

You can donate tools that are still in good condition. I suggest somewhere like Habitat for Humanity or a similar charitable organization that can actually use the tools to help others.

In addition, some tools in good condition are actually worth enough money that it makes sense to take the time to try to sell them.

Some ideas for places to sell used tools include in a garage or yard sale, or online through places like Craigslist, Facebook buy and sell groups, eBay or in pawn shops.

I would love to hear even more ideas from you about what to do with your old tools below, in the comments, because this can really help people feel better and more confident about getting rid of some of their excess tools, if they know what to do with them.

To get you inspired, below I've shown some pictures sent in by readers who've already done this mission, showing what they got rid of and kept, and how it made them feel so much better to get this task done.

But in addition to the photos below, the photo above was sent in by a reader as well. Christine sent in her photo, which I've used for this mission, showing some of the tools she decluttered. She said, "Tool boxes in the loft! Binned loads of stuff and selling lots of tools that I would never use and tools I wouldn't trust my boyfriend to use! This photo is just some of them! I still seem to have 3 or 4 hack saws in my refreshed tool box!"

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Before & After When Decluttered Tool Drawer

Before and after results when Cindie decluttered her tool drawer {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Cindie sent in the photos above, showing her before and after when she decluttered her tool drawer, which she classified as a junk drawer.

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Getting Rid Of Tools Wasn't As Bad As Dreaded

Before, during and after collage showing the process of decluttering tools {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}

The photos above are from a reader, Kimberly, who also worked on this mission, although with as many tools as she had it took a bit longer than 15 minutes (which can definitely happen if you've got a lot of them).

She explained, "Here's a collage of my tools before, during and after. I don't know why I was dreading it so bad other than the fact that it was a dirty job. I was able to throw away the shoe box and the tool can. I've had it over 15 years. It was time to let it go. I almost got all of the tools in the bottom of the toolbox and the hardware and accessories fit in the carrying caddy. About 2 hours later and I'm done. Thanks for the motivation my fellow declutterers and kindred spirits."

Want To Do More Decluttering Missions? Get Started With Declutter 365 Today!

Declutter 365 missions: 15 minute missions for your entire home

Once you declutter one type of item in your home I bet you'll want to declutter some more. After all, decluttering gives you a great reward for even a small investment of time and energy.

The Declutter 365 system is designed to help you declutter, over the course of a year, your entire house, with just 15 minutes of decluttering each day!

Hundreds of thousands of people use this proven system to get rid of their clutter, and bring peace and calm back to their homes.

Declutter 365 works to guide you to clear the clutter without overwhelm, focusing on just one small area at a time, and without making a huge mess in the process, so you see consistent forward progress without all that "messy middle" that makes it even harder to function in your home than before you started.

In addition to building a daily decluttering habit, the Declutter 365 program, along with the accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, teaches you the skills, habits, routines, and mindsets necessary to maintain the clutter free and organized state of your home from now on, so it'll never be as messy and cluttered as it is right now, ever again.

If you haven't already, make sure to get your copy of this year's Declutter 365 annual calendar here (it's FREE!), find today's date, and do 15 minutes of decluttering on the day's mission. Then, repeat again tomorrow, and again and again. Over the course of the next year, if you do this 15 minutes per day, you'll declutter your whole house!

Click here to take me to this year's Declutter 365 calendar

Get This Storage Areas Decluttering Checklist + 32 Other Decluttering Checklists For Your Home

Right now you're decluttering storage areas within your home, and there's a lot of stuff to declutter in these spaces.

Get your 2 page storage areas decluttering checklist, plus 32 other decluttering checklists, to help you declutter your entire home here.

Get this storage areas decluttering checklist and 32 other decluttering checklists for your home {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

I've done the hard work of breaking down these tasks into smaller more manageable steps for you, so you don't get overwhelmed or worry you're forgetting a task, and you can go at the pace you want, whether that's fast or slow.

In addition, you can tackle these decluttering tasks in whatever order you want when you use these checklists!

Click here to learn more about 33 Decluttering Checklists Pack

If you're looking for more tools to declutter, why not work on declutter yard tools and equipment, in the linked mission article.

How to declutter yard tools and equipment

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Getting Rid Of Garage & Storage Area Clutter Hall Of Fame

Go From Decluttering Tools Mission To Home Page

Comments for Getting Rid Of Tools Wasn't As Bad As Dreaded

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Tool Hoarding
by: Anonymous

Men hoard tools the way women hoard clothing. Rationale is, any new tool used once or twice pays for the cost of someone else's service charge or shop time or dealership rate. Ergo, tools accumulate, and many do get reused periodically, but not often. When does a perfectly good twenty year old router become clutter? How and where does one resell such tools without taking a big loss, and/or finding they then need to buy a new one the year after? No simple solutions here, except that handyman skills atrophy after 20-30 years, and craftsmanship may no longer meet spousal standards. Buy only what you need, when you need it, and unless you're a professional, a wood or metal shop is a quick $30,000 out the window.

What was I thinking?
by: Anonymous

I thought my toolbox was ok - but no. Why did I have 4 sets of wire cutters? When did I ever use a saw when flat pack furniture is my limit? The mini-screwdrivers with different colour handles were cute- but too small to hold properly. All gone. On the plus side, I’ve been planning to buy secateurs but I found some in the toolbox! So even where I think I’ve cleared something this is a lesson that it never hurts to check again.

Tool Library
by: Anonymous

Donate your excess tools to your local tool library or tool bank. You might even consider donating some tools that you need but maybe only once a year. When you need them you can go there borrow it for maybe $.10 a day and return it this way you don’t need to have everything around.

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