When he arrives at work and opens his locker, essentially all of the tools he will possibly need for the day are on the shelves in front of him.
Some of those tools are important enough that he carries them on his person. But he doesn't do this randomly. He keeps his essential tools organized in four pockets in the exact same order every day. On particularly hectic days, if he accidentally puts a tool away in the "wrong" pocket, he's very likely to spend some time backtracking to look for it.
Within that group of important tools, there are a few which he would replace with the exact same brand and model should they break or go missing. No shopping for the best bargain or trying something new.
T is for Tools: Making the Most of the Essentials
As a scrapbooker, I can relate to my husband in many ways. Within my creative space are all the tools and supplies I need in order to scrapbook, but there are some that I must keep out in the open and near to me because I will reach for them often. And within that group are those items to which I am brand-loyal.
Making the most of basic tools starts with discovering which ones are the best fit for you, making sure you always have those items on hand, and storing them in a way that allows you to use them with ease.
I asked the Write. Click. Scrapbook gals What are the 3-5 tools you cannot live without? and How do you keep them close at hand? As I compiled their responses, I found many areas of overlap as well as plenty of uniqueness.
The most popular responses were trimmer, adhesive, pens, computer, ruler, and punches. No surprise, but there was a lot of variety within each answer. If you're still experimenting to find your favorite in a certain category, perhaps some of the specifics will be helpful:
trimmer: Rotatrim M Series Rotary 15" (on the spendy side, but not as expensive as a Genesis, and cuts exceedingly straight, according to Celeste), Tonic Guillotine, Quartet brand guillotine-style paper cutter, Fiskars 12" Rotary Trimmer
adhesive: Herma Dotto, Scotch double-sided tape, 3M Scotch wrinkle-free glue sticks, dimensional adhesive (such as Diamond Glaze), pop dots, Scotch ATG Gun (direct quote from Celeste: "OK, if you aren't using an ATG gun you are paying too much for adhesive." I agree!)
ruler: cheap plastic T-square, metal ruler, retractable tape measure
punches: corner rounder, butterfly punch, heart punch, WRMK Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper
Some other tools worth mentioning include x-acto knife, paper piercer, adhesive eraser, bone folder, sewing machine, needle & floss, Undu, cutting mat, sandpaper, and distressing tools. Three people consider white cardstock to be a necessary tool, since it's so foundational! Elizabeth can't scrap without her iPod, Sara puts Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to good use as well as a sketch journal, and Candice is always pulling out paper with lines for journaling.
The most unique responses? Tina uses tweezers from a suture removal kit for removing stickers from their backing and for placing those stickers onto layouts, as well as for fishing brads out of their jar. Clever. And Elizabeth uses an awl she stole from her husband ten years ago (her words!) for poking holes, because it's sharp and doesn't drag.
As far as keeping tools within reach...
USA Jody has a huge 4' x 6' table in the middle of her studio where everything she needs is basically at arm's length. Beth keeps all of her essentials in a tray in the middle of her work table. Others keep their tools in baskets or drawers near their workspace.
Aussie Jody has a Making Memories Carousel Organizer for all her tools, but at the moment her favorite items are in a Cropper Hopper Photo Case because she's found it easier to transport to craft events away from home.
Tina up-cycled a couple of soup cans by covering them with cute October Afternoon patterned paper and filling them with necessities.
Since I'm such a vintage nut, I enjoy using this old tool caddy for storing the things I use the most.
I hope this post has motivated you to decide on and centralize your favorite tools and organize them in such a way that you never have to think about where they are or work to get to them. Maybe you've even found a new tool to try out. I know I have!
See you back here tomorrow to wrap up the week with Y!