20 Tips & Hacks for Your Tool Box

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When you work with many tools, nothing is better than having a clean and organized tool drawer. On the other hand, tools get disorganized really quickly. It mostly happens with carpenters and mechanics as they need to handle many tools to perform their work.

So did you ever wonder if there are any easy and quick ways to organize them after finishing work? Also, it’s very common to lose your tools while working in a big place with many workers. Here in this article, we will give the top 20 tips and hacks on how to make a toolbox organizer and how you can prevent losing the tools.

Tool Box Organizers – 20 Tips & Hacks for Your Tool Box

Tool Box Organizers – 20 Tips & Hacks for Your Tool Box

1. Make a Layout Before Cutting The Foam.

Get your foam liner and cut it in size so that it fits the tool chest’s drawer and fits all of your tools. And do not start cutting the foam if you don’t have a plan. First, layout all the tools on top of the foam you want to place in the drawer. 

Now make a plan on what will be the arrangement of the tools. Try to place the tools together that you use the most and place them closer to the drawer door so that you get them easily. Once you are done selecting the layout for tools placement, make marks using a pencil, pen, or marker. 

Now start cutting the foam but make sure you follow the plan carefully. The steps may seem simple, but if you cut the foam without a plan, you may end up wasting the foam by cutting with a poor layout. 

2. Create a Shadow Board for The Tool Box.

You will find toolbox foams in different sizes and shapes. There are a few foams that come in single colors, and they are mostly known as foam drawer liners, and a few foams come in two different colors. Two colored foam kits have a black or blue color top layer, and the bottom layer has a bright color. 

When you create the shapes of the tools on the top later, you will be able to see the bright bottom layer. And this arrangement of the tools is like a shadow board. These shadowing toolbox foams are great as they can tell you what you are missing.

This trick is especially helpful for those people who go to work in various locations with their tools. Again, if you go to work in a place where the FOD is a concern, these boards will create a huge difference. 

Read More: What Tools Does a Beginner Mechanic Need

3. Use a Drywall T-Square to Draw Lines.

When you make outlines for small tools, drawing a straight line is not necessary. But if you want to draw a long and straight line, then using a drywall t-square will make the task easier. 

Make alignment by using the t-square’s short end with the edge of the foam, now cut along the size of your tools. The edge of the foam will be perfectly straight, and your toolbox will fit perfectly inside the toolbox drawers. 

4. Use the Right Tools for Cutting Foam.

The majority of the tool foam sheets and organizers are made with cross-link and crossed-cell foams for making them durable in water. Just because they are made from durable materials doesn’t mean it will be complicated to cut the foam. You just need to grab all the right tools. 

You can make use of an X-Acto knife or utility blade to cut the layout. These blades are super handy and small that let you cut the small shapes easily. You also have the option of using the hot knife of heavy-duty foam to cut the shapes. You can easily make the shapes on the foam clean and precise by using these blades. 

5. Cut Finger Holes for Easy Pick-Up.

If your tools can fit in the toolbox snugly, then it will be harder for you to pick them up quickly. The solution to this problem is making semi-circles on both sides of the tool’s handle so that you can easily reach it and grab it. 

You can use a knife to cut the circles but using a hole punch is easier. Before using the punch holes, make sure you make the layout on the foam and cut according to it. This way, you can use your fingers to pick out tools from the shapes easily. 

6. Cut Strip Horizontally for Easy Pick-Up.

You can also use this method to pick up your tools easily from the foam. All you need to do is cut a strip past the tools in a drawer so that you can lick the tool quickly. This method is more useful when you have many wrenches in your drawer where all the wrenches tools are stored close to each other. 

All the wrenches may be organized too close that you can’t use the hole punch process. Then you can use the horizontal strip method to make a cleaner finished item. Try to use a straightedge to draw the lines and cut the foam so that it has a nicely shaped ending. 

Read More: Socket Sizes in Order From Smallest to Largest

7. Save Space by Putting Small Tools Close Together.

Toolbox foams are a great option for organizing your tools. This trick is more helpful when you are making a DIY tools organizer, and you can easily make a lot of space if you put all the small things together. 

When you put all the tools on the foam for creating the layout, you can minimize the spaces by putting the tools close to each other. You can organize them according to their sizes or putting them in the same direction to save space.

8. Alternate Handle Directions to Save More Space.

Another method for saving spaces is using an alternate handle direction. It works really well for screwdrivers, pliers, and other tools that have narrow ends with wide handles. 

Sometimes it’s a good idea to save spaces by placing more tools so that you don’t need more drawers to keep the tools. Try to do some brainstorming before you select a layout and find out the best layout that you are looking for.

9. Always Make Spaces for Batteries & Cords.

If you make a toolbox with foams for power tools, then always remember to make spaces for batteries and cords. It will help you to prevent losing them, and you can store them with its own tools. Cutting spaces for them will also reduce damages for cords. The good thing is you don’t need to make any perfect shape for keeping the cords. But make sure you also measure the layout for cords and batteries to get a specific space for it. 

10. For Larger Tools, Always Use Thick Foam.

Foam kits are great for making organized tools of small to medium size. But when you make a tool organizer for large tools like drills, using thick foams is advisable. 

Most of the thick foam is created with thin layers, and all the layers are glued together. That’s how you don’t need to put much pressure while cutting the shapes. And also will give your large tools a big wall that will be helpful for protecting your tools. 

11. Use a Retractable Blade to Cut Thick Foam.

When you cut the thick foam, try to use the retractable blade, it lets you measure the depth accurately without cutting through your foam. Make sure the depth of the blade is similar to the object’s depth, then you can start the cutting process. 

If you notice that the tool is fitting in the foam but sticks out more on top, then you can cut another layer of the foam. It’s better to stay alert while cutting the foam to avoid cutting too many thin layers. 

12. Cut Out Shapes in Sections.

Sometimes it would be better if you cut out the shapes in sections for some specific tool shape. This method is usually best for when you cut out shapes for large accessories. While cutting the intricate shapes, following this method will prevent tears on the foam. At first, try to cut a small section of the foam, then gradually move forward by following the layouts to create a perfect shape. Just don’t rush the process. 

13. Purchase Large Foam Sheets to Save Money.

This one is a great tip to make you save some money. When you are making a tool organizer for many drawers, try to purchase the large foam sheet of foam kit, then separate them for many drawers. That’s how you may be left with some foam scraps, but also you can save some money with it.

If you chose this method, then you use a measuring tape to find out the correct size of the organizer according to the drawer. No matter which brand you choose for foams, but make sure the foams are of good quality so that they can last longer. 

14. To divide The Toolbox Drawer, Use Foam Scraps.

You will always end up with some foam scrap after making the organizer, don’t throw them away. You may have many small objects that don’t require an organizer, but you can store them by dividing them into small groups. That’s when you may require something small like a square section to create mini-groups to keep the small objects. 

Now you can use those foam scraps to store nails or screws. Just cut the scrap’s thin strips and turn them vertically to use them as a divider. This DIY divider will work really well to create small groups in your drawer, and that’s how you can find those small objects quickly. Another use of these foam scraps is using them to pad around your tool’s drawer edges. 

15. Create an Organisation of Upright Wrench 

If you want more tips and tricks to save spaces on your tool organizer, then you can turn all your tools and foam on their sides to create an upright wrench organizer. This method is ideal for small tools like wrenches.

To make this happen, you need to measure the depth of the drawer of the tool. Make sure that you can make them fit while being in this angle. The next step is to take the measure of the strip of the foam according to the drawers. 

Now it’s time to cut slits on your toolbox foam to fit the tools. Make sure you maintain the right depth of the organizer so that the tools can fit snugly. Before cutting slits, count them and split the slits evenly. Once the process is done, you will see that you can fit many tools in a similar drawer. 

16. Color Coordinate for Using as Tool Identification

When there are many tools in the same drawer, it would be better if you use color coordinates for tool identification, that’s how you will be able to find the tool quickly. For better understanding, you can use black color for highlighting the screwdrivers and use green color to highlight pilers. But if you use a foam kit, then the whole top layer will be black, and the bottom will be a bright color. 

You can also use a color coordinator even if you do not store many tools in the same drawer. Color coordinators are more helpful for programs like 5S or in a workplace where you need to share your tools. Even if you miss a tool, then you can easily and quickly find out the tools. It will also help you to maintain the organizer. If you exchange tools with someone, you will realize them immediately when you see the tools. 

Read More: How to Use a Ball Joint Separator – A Complete Beginner’s Guide for You

17. Carve Custom Drawer Inserts with the help of Dremel

If you own a Dremel rotary tool that contains depth accessories, then you can make them as a plunge router to save some space. It will help you to turn your foam cutting tool into a foam shaping tool that lets you experience more detailed work. 

It will be more helpful if you need to carve into thick foam sheets or having a snug fit for the tools. If you use the Dremel as plunge routers, then you will be able to cut various depths to create a good custom fit. 

To do this process, you can attach a bit of multipurpose inside the Dremel then screw an accessory. You will have options of Dremel 565 or 566 rotary attachment, so it will depend on which model you have to screw the depth accessory over it. Now you can carve out the foam by utilizing the foam bit after adjusting the depth accessory as required. 

As this step of cutting out the foam is great for foams that have thick layers, you can also use this tool to cut out the shape from the two-layered kits of foam. Using the Dremel is good when you want to get a perfect and protective fit for taller and larger tools.

18. Put Your Metal Tools in the Oven

If you don’t like tracing on tools, then you can use this method to mark the outlines, but it requires an oven. But one thing that you need to keep in mind and be careful about is you can’t apply this method to tools that include rubber or plastic. 

First, you need to mark out the place where you want to keep your tool; you can at least indicate their basic position even if you don’t want to trace them. Now bake your tools in the oven for 30 minutes. The heat should be 350 degrees and use a cookie tray for baking. 

Once you are done, be careful while removing the hot tools from the cookie tray. Now put the hot tools on the foam, and it will melt down the foam; thus, it will make its own shape itself. You can also try a toaster if you don’t have an oven. Once the tool has created its shape in the foam, remove it after it cools down. Now cut out the shapes following the melt path. 

19. Add Labels to Tool Box Foam

We have already discussed the color coordinator and shadow border that will help you to identify the tools accurately. It will be a more useful method when you need to use all your tools in a place where you need to share them. After you finish your work, you can easily find all your tools, and if you exchange any tools with others, you can easily identify them. Adding labels is also a similar way of them, but the difference is here you stuck a label on the toolbox foam instead of coloring them.

20. Use a Store-Bought Organizer

There are plenty of brands and models available in the market to organize your tools, for example, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Sortimo, Festool, Akro-Mils, and many more. All of them come in various sizes and shapes so you can always choose according to your needs. They are also long-lasting and durable. But the cons of using them is having the snug fit for your tools. It will be a bit tricky to fit most of your tools in a similar organizer. But it’s not a bad idea if you can use them effectively.

Helpful Resources

You may also want to know:

Knowing these above things will make it easier for you to keep all your tools organized. By following the storage tips and tricks, you will be able to create DIY storage if you don’t want to use a drawer to store them. And the last one is for those who are not interested in making toolbox organizers at home, and they can purchase ready-made organizers from Amazon.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Can I organize my tools without a toolbox?

Yes, you can organize them without a toolbox. We would suggest you use a pegboard organizer; they are a great option as a toolbox. They are perfect for use in the basement, garage, or workshop.

Why is tool organization important?

No doubt you can always leave the tools in your drawer unorganized, but it will be a hassle to find a small tool from your messed-up tool’s drawer. By organizing them nicely will help you to create spaces to put more tools, besides finding out a specific tool quickly. You can always put them back after finishing your work to maintain the organized drawer. 

What are the benefits of using tool foam for the organization?

You can take many advantages from the tool foams when you want to use them for an organization. They are great because they can provide you with more durability, protection, and customization for your tools. Using closed-cell foam is more effective as it can reduce the water and gas from entering the foam surface.

How do you organize a tool chest like a pro?

First, you need to start the process by sorting out the tools. Take out all of your tools and wipe them with a clean cloth. And throw out all the broken tools and tools that are not necessary. Now while putting them back again in the drawer, organize them and put the similar tools together. Always keep some space for storing small objects, and lastly, label your every tool. That’s it!


You have just learned how you can use toolbox foam to create an organization for your tools. We know how frustrating it is to find a tool from messed-up drawers when it is most needed. It is really easy and simple to maintain an organized drawer of the toolbox by using the toolbox foam.

We have shared the top 20 tips and tricks with you on how you can effectively organize your tools box inside the drawers. Cut the foam carefully so that you do not lose the right shape of the toll while cutting. We really hope that you could learn many ways to organize your tools from this article. 

Avatar for Jack R. Stephen

I am Jack R. Stephen from Dallas, TX, USA and Co-Founder of Handy Tool Tips. I am a tool expert with years of practical experience. Besides my professional work, I love writing to help others with knowing handy tools thoroughly. For recreational & enjoyment purposes, I love going to hike with my best friend, Cameron. He was mentioned in several News Portals for his outstanding skills and professionalism for making great stuff with his tools. If you would like to chat with me please feel free to reach out via facebook or twitter or email.

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