Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Project at Mom's: Tool Organization.The Very Beginning

Organizing my Mom's tools is something I've been looking forward to for a long time.

I am quite excited about it even though the task is daunting. Currently, it is beyond frustrating trying to get anything done at her place. We can never find what we need.

She has duplicates of duplicates--three drills, for example. Countless screwdrivers. Oh, and drill bits and driver sets. Wire strippers. But a simple pair of needle nose pliers? Well, I think I saw them here, somewhere. One day last week.

And the tools are all over the place, most, dangerously, in the unheated porch just outside (outside!) the back door.

Want to break in but forgot your hammer? Oh look, here's one right here.  

Sometimes, I am astonished she is still alive.

Anyway, every day I worked on her dressing room, I brought my own tools (except for the drill. I did use one of her drills) because I could not bear to be slowed down by the hunt. But that's obviously inconvenient in its own way--not to mention impractical. So I've been collecting ideas for simple and inexpensive ways to corral her tools and make them accessible.

The first step in any organization project is to gather inspiration. Seriously. You need to have a grasp on what you want your space to look like--and how it will function--before you begin.

I love this to pieces. Everything is out and accessible. Unfortunately, unless a tool is put away immediately, there's no chance you'll ever find the spot for it again! It needs labels or a schematic of some sort nearby.

Mom loved this workshop, right down to the shiny floor.

This a different sort of organizational system. Stuff in bins and on shelves may work for some things.

But, I told her we just didn't have room. Not for a lot of shelves--and not for a lot of bins.


The area is not anywhere near this bright. I had to boost the photos substantially so you could even see what's (not) here.

This is where we're going to attempt to store her tools. It's to the right of the bottom of the stairs. (I was standing on the bottom step when I took this.) You have to pass through here to get to the laundry room. (Turn right at the snowflake mat)

It is going to be quite a challenge. As you can see, the space has nothing. That's the concrete wall of her foundation, folks. No studs. No drywall. Mom set up the card table and started gathering what tools she's found around the house. There's that cabinet. The water heater. (helpful?--um, not so much.) There is a set of shelves and filing cabinet to the side.

 I am taking out the cabinet and the card table.

sorry about the blur!

Right beside the stairs are these shelves. Mom cleared off whatever was on these shelves before--and put all of her paint cans here. It's a good spot.

I think what I would like to do is set up some shelves where that cabinet and card table are now (tricky because there all all sorts of pipes and drains and what not in the corner there). And then mount some plywood (or pegboard from the porch?) onto the wall. Of course, then I'd have to frame out the wall.

I have no idea when I am going to be able to do this.

It's not like I can just work on it when I have a spare moment. As it is winter after all, I can't build anything, really. I have tentatively scheduled myself to be over at her place for a full day, once a week.

It is going to be slow. But getting the tools sorted, at least, would make her life--and mine--so much easier.

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Paula said...

You are a hero-daughter!
I can only imagine the effort it takes ...

Lately I remembered my father mentioning the one kitchen cabinet - the one where strange odeurs greet you, everytime you open the cabinet door.

Our guess was, that some pots and jugs need a thorough cleaning.
I plan to jump in and go through that closet this weekend.
Maybe I add their fridge.

I am talking about just 1 closet, and a fridge, mynbe, while you have a whole room to deal with!

How are you getting along with the January Cure?
It feels less overwhelming, now that I've joined for the 2nd time.


Alana in Canada said...

Thank you, Paula! You're very kind. I am not a hero--I inherit that house when she passes and I want to make sure it is in good shape to be sold. I also want her last years to be pleasant ones, though, of course.

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