There are few things as important as a well-rounded tool box. Whether it’s part of your job or simply for your own home maintenance, keeping a well-maintained tool box can be the difference between a job well done and an incomplete project. Especially if you own a metal tool box, keeping it clean and organized is an essential part of ensuring you’re ready for any handyman situation.
Keep Your Metal Tool Box Rust Free
The longer you have your tool box, the more important it is to make sure rust isn’t setting in. Nothing makes working with tools more difficult than having to work around a rusty tool box or rusty tools. Fortunately, with a few simple tricks, you won’t have to worry about a rusty tool box. Just follow these simple rules to make sure your metal tool box isn’t affected by rust:
- Keep your tool box in a dry place, like a shed, closet, or garage.
- Place chalk or silica packets in your metal tool box to absorb moisture.
- Try to not get your tools wet, and clean tools off before putting back inside your tool box.
- Close and latch your tool box after each use.
Regularly Clean Your Metal Tool Box
Even in a dry environment with the proper precautions against rust, a tool box can still get dirty. And if your tool box is already showing signs of wear, follow these easy cleaning tips to make sure the inside and outside of your metal tool box is clean:
- Use a fine steel wool to remove surface rust.
- Apply mineral spirits and wipe off any grime.
- Sand the interior and exterior a second time.
- Rub metal surfaces with water and a rag, then dry.
- Wet a rag with paint thinner or machine oil and apply lightly to the metal surface.
- Use a cardboard cutout and place it in the bottom of your tool box to soak up any oil spills.
- Add new chalk or silica packets to keep the interior dry.
Organize Your Metal Tool Box
Once your tool box is clean of all rust and dust, the next step to make sure your tool box provides the easiest access to the tools you need for any given job is to keep it organized. This might seem like an obvious rule of thumb, but organizing a tool box can be more difficult than you think. Follow these guidelines to keep organized easier:
- Take everything out of your tool box and arrange on a cloth or tarp.
- Throw away anything rusted or damaged tools.
- Place tools in order from least to most used, so you don’t have to search the bottom of your tool box for your most frequently used tools.
- Place similar tools together and roll into a cloth or tie together (wrenches, screw drivers, etc.).
- Store tools in their original cases, if possible.
- If tools don’t fit in your tool box, consider other tool storage options by making room for them in a drawer or hanging them properly from a peg board.
Keep Your Metal Tool Box Handy
Of course, to get the most out of your tool box, it should be kept in an easy-to-reach place. But make sure it’s kept out of the way so children and people don’t mess up the cleanliness you’ve worked hard to maintain. Your tool box is only as easy to use as you make it, and all your organization can be quickly erased by the wrong person trying to use it. So, make sure you’re the only one actively using your tool box. If anyone needs to borrow and use a tool, find it and give it to them. This keeps your tool box clean, but it also ensures that other people aren’t messing with tools and equipment they don’t know how to use.
So that your tool box is easily accessible and out of reach of other people that shouldn’t mess with it, keep it in your basement, garage, or neatly tucked away in a closet. Ideally, you can keep it in a tool shed or designated garage space. As long as it’s inside, you won’t have to deal with keeping rust and dust off it. As long as your tool box is clean and organized somewhere you can quickly access it, you can be sure you’re ready to handle any situation.