In the movie "Knocked Up," Paul Rudd's character, a dad, looks at his kids joyfully playing with a bottle of bubbles and says, "I wish I liked anything as much as my kids like bubbles."
Not to be presumptuous, but I imagine if he thought a bit harder on that statement, he'd quickly think of something he and most men could get just as giddy about. Tools.
Boy, do men LOVE their tools! They research the best tools. They spend hours in the hardware store scheming their perfect setup. Once bought, they will only loan them out to the most-trusted friends. And, just like kids with bubbles, they love running around the yard with their tools bragging about who has the biggest...collection! What's more, if they're anything like my husband, they also love to organize their tools. Ah yes...if there ever was a more-Zen-like and meditative process for any tool-owner, displaying tools for both functionality AND beauty would be it. This alone will turn any burly, grown man into a kid again, chasing bubbles in the grass.
It helps if you have the right organizational system...and my husband Erik put a lot of effort into crafting his...
The first step was investing in his heavy-duty Milwaukee Tool chest (the huge red structure on casters). There are other brands you can use as well, but the most important thing is making sure it is well built and solid. This one is. He subdivided both his hand and power tools into the many, varying-sized drawers for easy access. Each is lined with a thick, non-slip material that prevents the heavy tools from sliding around whenever the drawer moves...and they're soft-close, which prevents slamming and allows closing with any body part available. Most importantly, he knows when he needs a T-20 Security Torx driver, it will be in the exact place he put it. It's a good system and that box is more organized than Dewey Decimal. It IS a big investment, but one that is totally worth it in the long run.
Have you ever been working on a home improvement project and needed a certain-sized screw, for instance, went down to the basement, and completely stabbed and killed your hand groping through an old coffee can filled with rusty, various-sized sharp screws and nails looking for the right one? No?? Yeah...me neither. But my husband has, and he tells me it's not fun...SO, that inspired him to get this hardware organizer so he knows exactly where, say, a 1 3/4" Drywall screw will be when he needs it. Noticing a trend, yet? DIY and home improvement projects are ALL about having the right tools when you need them. If you already HAVE the tools, knowing where they are is crucial. An organizational system 100% helps with this! Like this hardware organizer...it has MANY tiny drawers to bring structured order to that coffee-can-chaos. It may take a bit of time to GET to this point, but once you do, it makes life SO much better!
Underneath the hardware organizer, on the middle shelf, he has all of his power tools lined up in a row, ready for quick and easy access. He told me he chose this particular shelf for these items because it is at waist level, convenient for an easy grab and go. On the shelf below that, a number of open-front bins to help organize larger miscellaneous items...because we all know workshops are mostly made up of larger miscellaneous items! It's good to have them organized. Before we were married, Erik once had me save two scrap pieces of 1x4 because he said they were good pieces of wood and I may have needed them for something? I don't know...be prepared, I guess? In any case, I would have put them in one of these if I had them...and then LABLED the box with the contents, like he did, so the system STAYS a system! I taught my man well!
One final note, so you can impress your tool man (or tool woman) after reading this... Sometimes the basement can be far away. It sucks to walk all the way down one or two flights of stairs just to get a screwdriver and then come all the way back up again. In an effort to save the battery life on his Fitbit, Erik keeps a small tool box upstairs, filled with only basic necessities for random home improvement projects. A grab and go tool kit, if you will. It can also double as a convenient travel tool kit when you need to go over to your parents' house to fix your dad's boat motor. Oh...that's never happened to you? Yeah...me neither...but it did to Erik. He was glad he had his "Upstairs Tool Box" all ready to go.
With Father's Day right around the corner, help your man fall in love with his tools again! Give him the gift of organization. Because, let's be honest...if his tools are organized and easily accessible, he's going to want to use them ALL the time. And if you have a man who wants to play with his bubbles ALL the time, you're going to get that DIY spa, cozy reading nook, serene yoga space, or idyllic outdoor oasis even faster!
NOTE: My wonderful husband Erik contributed heavily to this post...he's the best.