Real Tools

tool boxes 1019

In my still-unrealized quest to fit at least one car in the garage, I unpacked every box I found marked “garage” and set items at random on shelves. The result now is that tools are strewn everywhere, and while I unearthed at least three tool boxes and one tool bag, I have decided I need one more container.

I will keep, of course, the littlest tool box which was the first one my dad ever bought for me (Terri got one too, and possibly Tia, each of us with our own set of basic tools), but I thought to consolidate whatever is in the other two boxes, along with the bag, the red plastic bucket, the tool belt, the tool kits and everything just lying around randomly.

My basic objection to the boxes I already have is that they are just that: open boxes, perhaps with a small inset. I am wanting to actually organize tools so that I could find what I need and perhaps learn along the way that my screwdriver collection is larger than anyone’s ought to be.

So I went tool box shopping at Ace, and it turns out, that’s all tool boxes are anymore: boxes of varying sizes with the one small inset. I wanted to look at the rolling tool chests, too, although that may be more storage than my small but sprawling collection requires, but Ace turned out to have precisely one of those, still in a box where I couldn’t look at it. Sight unseen, even though it was right there in front of me. I could do that much on-line.

So then I went to True Value, two minutes before close on a Sunday, and they had the same sort of wide-open boxes, and zero on-floor options for drawers. What kind of hardware stores are these?

Next I went to True Value on-line, and found what seemed perfect: a two-foot wide, three drawer box with a lid on top and three drawers in the front, for 50-some dollars. Even if the picture didn’t show any of the drawers open or provide height dimensions for the drawers. I wrote the numbers down and took it in to True Value, where Paul Wayne said he would order it, no problem.

I got a phone call approximately three minutes later: problem. The box has been discontinued and there were none in the warehouse. I have now, a week later, found that exact same box all over the internet, marked with about five different brand names and prices ranging from $50-60 — and every last one of them has been discontinued.

How can this be that hard?

Somewhere in my searches I saw a  tool box with hinged trays, which instantly transported me back to my dad’s toolbox. I don’t know what happened to that one, but that was a good way to organize tools. I don’t remember what was wrong with a similar one I found on-line wherever it was, but I rejected it for some reason (maybe it wasn’t wide enough). And I haven’t seen another one with trays since.

I suppose I could check the automotive stores, and perhaps the lumber yards, but I really didn’t think this was going to be so difficult. I thought, go in to Ace, peruse the vast number of options, make my selection and buy it. Come home, organize tools, done.

This is why we will never be unpacked.

In the meantime I turned my attention to one of the boxes marked “junk drawer” and decided that ought to be organized, because once again stuff that fit in three drawers in the old house doesn’t seem like it will fit in the space in our bigger house, which comes with bigger but perhaps fewer drawers.

I haven’t made it very far with this project, and earned Lynn’s despair because I was using the one kitchen counter I am allowed to put things on as my sorting station. So now I have set up a folding table, and this is what is on it so far: 495 boxes of matches, rolls of duct tape and an infinite number of light sources. Including one million tea lights.

It seems that with some judicious pruning, perhaps we never needed three junk drawers. The new drawers, which Lynn has already dumped some items rather higgledy piggledy, come with spacers. And if I move some items to garage shelving, we might get every last roll of duct tape to fit.

In the middle of these projects, Kara located a used shed for sale, and I have made a verbal commitment to buy it. It’s only 8 feet by 8 feet, which in math terms is half as big as the 10 x 12 we wanted to get, but the price is very hard to argue with.

But: I have to figure out how to get it here, preferably without costing so much to move it that it negates the price we would pay for a new shed that would include most of the delivery cost. The shed owner keeps suggesting I find a forklift, but that sounds expensive.

Lynn texted our moving guy, but he’s out of town until next Thursday, and didn’t reply as to whether he thought this was something he could move. Dusty has a small bobcat, but I had been waiting to talk to him, hoping my bathroom vanity would arrive as promised this week — why on Earth did I think that was really going to happen? — and I don’t know that the bobcat would be big enough.

Lynn wondered if a tow truck could do the job; when I was looking for tool boxes at Ace I saw giant casters and thought, “What would you ever use those for?” Now maybe I have an answer. There has to be some means of moving it, right?

Of course I can’t do anything about moving it until the HOA gives me a go-ahead. I sent my supplication, with photos, yesterday morning, but probably won’t hear back until next week. And then I’m wondering if I should follow up, in case the attached photos sent my e-mail to spam. I’ll probably be told to provide a map, but I didn’t really know how to go about that, so I sent a photo showing the stake demarcating the building envelope and the trees against which we wish to put the shed. That seemed more accurate than me guessing on a map that doesn’t show either trees or our house, but what do I know?

Once again it’s like everything unfinished around here: tools but no organizational box to put them all in; junk drawers still junked; and a bargain rate on a shed but no clear method of getting it here. This all seems to be the story of my life.


One thought on “Real Tools

  1. I’m going to say this one more time: We can help you with garage organization: tools, shelves, place to hang implements, storage space for items large and small. And we can help install everything and unpack your stuff into it. One weekend and your garage issues will be resolved- and both your cars will be happy having inside parking!


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