Keep Your Workbench Organized and Clean With These 5 Tips

Scott Dylan Westerlund
Updated December 21, 2021
woman using her tools at her workbench
Photo: (JLco) Julia Amaral / Adobe Stock

Stop getting worked up by workbench clutter

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Messy workbench not quite working out? Don't let disorganization throw a wrench in your project. Instead, use these five simple tips for how to organize a workbench to make finding the right hammer or screwdriver easier than ever.

1. Value Accessibility Over Aesthetics

It's tempting to create a picture-perfect workbench that's completely free of clutter. However, keeping your homeowner's toolbox essentials out of sight makes your workbench inefficient. Make sure your got-to tools are always within reach.

Most people understand why having a "work triangle" in a kitchen is important for functionality. The same rule applies to a workbench. First, make sure your bench tabletop has enough room to safely hold saws, sanders, power tools, safety equipment, and current projects. Don't be afraid to add auxiliary storage and surfaces if your table is tucked into a tight space. To free up tabletop space, try adding mounted shelving, standalone steel cabinets, and plastic bins.

2. Use a Pegboard to Hang Your Tools

woman putting back her tools on pegboard
Photo: Jose / Adobe Stock

There's no such thing as a pegboard that's too big when it comes to functional garage organization. A pegboard is a simple hanging system that allows you to mount smaller tools for easy access and visibility. It's a great option for keeping tools and equipment out of your storage drawers where it’s easy to forget them.

Here’s a fun way to approach setting up a pegboard: Pretend you're designing your own private hardware store. Start by assembling every item you want to place on your pegboard. Next, sort your tools and parts into categories. Finally, sketch a diagram of how you'd like your pegboard to look based on the placement of each category.

You should put the items you use the least in harder to reach spots, and place your frequently used tools in prime places for easy reaching.

3. Label Everything

Like goes with like! It's the simplest concept to cling to when organizing a workbench. Make a habit of grouping "like" items together when you're dealing with an assortment of resins, glues, screws, bolts, and nails. 

A labeling system will ensure that you can find all the obscure parts you'll need for future projects without rummaging through a mess. Start by labeling the various parts of your storage system, including the bins, drawers, and boxes. You can even use labels to mark the name and function of each tool, which is helpful for other people in the household who might need to use tools.

If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of tools and pieces of equipment to organize, consider hiring a garage organizer to help you complete the project.

4. Invest in a Multi-Roll Tape Dispenser

woman carrying several roles of type
Photo: Alliance / Adobe Stock

Tangled tape is the last thing you want to deal with when you're trying to hold items together at your workbench. Things can get loopy when you're trying to manage rolls of duct tape, painter's tape, masking tape, and more.

Buying a large multi-roll tape dispenser is one of those life hacks you'll wish you tried sooner. If you don't want to shop for a multi-roll tape dispenser, you can make a DIY version by suspending a dowel over a wood base using wooden scrap pieces from your garage.

5. Outline Your Tools

Do you struggle to maintain an organized workbench system because you forget to put things back in their places? This hack is for you.

Start by determining the perfect placement setup for all of your tools. Next, outline all of your tools using a marker or chalk. This will create a "puzzle template" that you can follow to keep your workbench organized. Then, make a rule that you can't close down shop for the night until every single item has been put back inside its outline.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.