This project isn’t one of the more glamorous ones. It isn’t even craftsman-style or mission-style, though some could say it has to do with Craftsman style (see what I did there?). Every project we do includes many tools, whether artistic in nature (such as the tiny brushes I use for stenciling) or heavy-duty (such as powerwashers and drill presses). This means that every project also depends on the organization of these items. We’re lucky enough to have one of the few basements in Southern California, and this area had become a mess of storage. Oh- did I mention it’s actually an unfinished *dirt* basement? That’s right- no walls, no floor, just dirt. There’s a concrete walkway that’s been poured, and a few short walls made of brick, but the basement is overwhelmingly crumbling dirt for both the walls and the floor. I’ve never seen anything like it!
We’d been operating under these sketchy conditions. Essentially, as we’d moved in, we just stacked our existing tools on the two work tables and in the weird tall closet (dare I say body-sized?) that were already present. As we acquired more specialized tools for various activities we weren’t allowed to do when renting (like drywall tools and outdoor painting items), those items just sort of stacked up in these same places, along with cans of paint and various other detritus left behind by previous owners and workers. Things got a bit out of control, and we found ourselves using a tool belt as a sort of hanging organizer for things that didn’t quite fit into the toolbox anymore.
Therefore, before we completed any other projects, we felt we had to organize our project-doing area. Unfortunately, the house supports aren’t spaced apart very conveniently, so we needed to actually frame the walls before installing pegboard. Pegboard seems to be the reigning champion of organization even on Pinterest, and it’s so easy to customize and alter that we went for it. While framing, we wrapped the bottom boards with plastic in order to protect them from any water damage that might happen in the dirt.
As far as hooks and shelves, we really didn’t know what to purchase, so we obtained some assortment packs and one long-ish shelf. The assortment packs gave us a great idea about what to purchase more of and what performed poorly. Those little jars with plastic lids? Useless and fragile. Mesh baskets? Genius.
Also, we’d kept some shelves and brackets from our old place (which had considerably less storage). We used two of the shelves on one side of the organization wall, and they’re great for placing screws, nails, and other assorted hardware. We sorted all the various paints into large plastic storage containers under the shelves.
The pegboard does so much for the area and completely disguises the dirt walls behind it. And, of course, things are more organized now. Our next step is to add more shelves into the now-almost-empty body-sized closet so that it’s more efficient. The drill press is now installed on the previously full work table and is ready to use, namely for my custom tile cabinet handles project (coming soon)! We’re still adding more pegboard organization to make items accessible even more intuitively. What a relief- all our upcoming projects will be so much easier with this system!