1 2
Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
5/17/20 9:18 a.m.

Long story short, I'm tired of repeatedly buying parts and supplies that I already own, but don't remember. Like 7/8 c clips. Or #4 aluminum washers for rivets. 

I have a plan and have already started, and think it will become a decent article, too, but before I go down this rabbit hole any further, what are you all using to keep track if everything?

Dr. Hess (Forum Supporter)
Dr. Hess (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 9:36 a.m.

Put like things together, such as washers for rivets with the coffee can full of rivets, C clips in the C clip box. Truck parts in the Truck Parts box. Lexus parts on the Lexus shelf.

 

Note that I do databases for a living.  There is a point where it is not worth the data entry. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 10:29 a.m.
Dr. Hess (Forum Supporter) said:

Put like things together, such as washers for rivets with the coffee can full of rivets, C clips in the C clip box. Truck parts in the Truck Parts box. Lexus parts on the Lexus shelf.

 

Note that I do databases for a living.  There is a point where it is not worth the data entry. 

QFT

wae (Forum Supporter)
wae (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/17/20 10:31 a.m.

Tom Suddard said:

what are you all using to keep track if everything?

 

hahahah!  That's really funny!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/17/20 11:09 a.m.

Organization and the brains to remember to check before buying something. The first part is the easy part. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 11:44 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Truthfully Tom, this is my setup I've dubbed the "Altar of Hardware". Ignore it's current disarrayed state...

Basically I have a bin I place any random/leftover/found hardware in, then I eventually get around to sorting it out. Though like Hess mentioned above, vehicle-specific parts stay in boxes/piles/shelves in my storeroom sorted by vehicle.

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
5/17/20 11:48 a.m.

My modified version of Keiths.

Organization and remembering where to look for similar and/or related items before buying something. The first part is the easy part.  The older I get the harder the second part gets.

Under a bench? In the attic,? Storage trailer? Front shop room? Dining room? Back shop room? One of the closets? Under the bed? One of the tool boxes? Laundry room? OH YA!!! In the kitchen!

The0retical (Forum Supporter)
The0retical (Forum Supporter) UberDork
5/17/20 12:19 p.m.

I buy 2 packages (2 ct per package) of the HDX 15 compartment small parts boxes everytime they go on sale and I'm at HomeDepot.

I have to rearrange the contents every now and again whenever my collection drastically expands, but it keeps parts secure and organized.

I really only went that way because they're cheap and I was tired to rooting around for hose spring clamps. So I cleared out the local Ace's stock of clamps and i had to put them somewhere.

Next up is a nice set of bolt and nut identification placards to ID what's coming off the projects and organize things better. Like so:

Paints and lubricants have their own shelves in a metal cabinet that gets inventoried prior to ordering more or embarking on another phase of a project.

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 12:22 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Truthfully Tom, this is my setup I've dubbed the "Altar of Hardware". Ignore it's current disarrayed state...

Basically I have a bin I place any random/leftover/found hardware in, then I eventually get around to sorting it out. Though like Hess mentioned above, vehicle-specific parts stay in boxes/piles/shelves in my storeroom sorted by vehicle.

To build off this, I have a similar mess that I'll be cleaning up shortly.

Basically I'm going to pick two styles of bins that are easily bought/found so they are uniform in size and I can add more if necessary later.

Then I'm going to build pullout upright "drawers" that will fit into the bench so that all of the hardware is together.  Pretty simple to build, just some scrap plywood and drawer slides mounted top/bottom.

I have a label printer, so the bins and other storage parts will get labels

When I go to the hardware store to buy hardware for a project, I'll buy a box of the hardware (unless its expensive/specific to the project) and the box will get emptied into the appropriate bins.

Hardware for specific projects or vehicles will get bagged/labeled as such and kept with the labeled parts/vehicle bins on the shelves.

Writing lists for parts/hardware purchases helps keep things sorted and in mind.  A white board or a notepad helps.

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
5/17/20 12:40 p.m.

I set this up a while ago, its worked quite well. Basic shelf on one side of the garage to hold large-ish bins. Bins are tagged as stuff like small motor parts, 12v accessories, hardware, boat parts, car care, etc. its nice to need something and just go to 1 bin, quick sort and i have it, vs the old model of everything e36 m3 piled, cant find anything and i just give up and go inside. 

This also works well for further sorting. As i get more stuff, i have a place to put it, not just on top of a pile. If i have too much of something, its time to toss it or give it away. 

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 1:33 p.m.

In reply to TJL (Forum Supporter) :

I use those bins as well.


Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 1:47 p.m.
Stefan (Forum Supporter) said:
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Truthfully Tom, this is my setup I've dubbed the "Altar of Hardware". Ignore it's current disarrayed state...

Basically I have a bin I place any random/leftover/found hardware in, then I eventually get around to sorting it out. Though like Hess mentioned above, vehicle-specific parts stay in boxes/piles/shelves in my storeroom sorted by vehicle.

To build off this, I have a similar mess that I'll be cleaning up shortly.

Basically I'm going to pick two styles of bins that are easily bought/found so they are uniform in size and I can add more if necessary later.

Then I'm going to build pullout upright "drawers" that will fit into the bench so that all of the hardware is together.  Pretty simple to build, just some scrap plywood and drawer slides mounted top/bottom.

I have a label printer, so the bins and other storage parts will get labels

When I go to the hardware store to buy hardware for a project, I'll buy a box of the hardware (unless its expensive/specific to the project) and the box will get emptied into the appropriate bins.

Hardware for specific projects or vehicles will get bagged/labeled as such and kept with the labeled parts/vehicle bins on the shelves.

Writing lists for parts/hardware purchases helps keep things sorted and in mind.  A white board or a notepad helps.

I have some of those plastic bins that are both stackable and/or can hang from a cleat also. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of them. They eventually flex/deform and no longer stack very well, and it's way too easy to accidentally knock them off the wall. 
 

I do have several hung behind my grinder & drill press where they're pretty much out of the way, but they just hold drywall & sheet metal screws, as well as some nails.

I also have 4 of the wider bins that are about 18" long in my storeroom on a shelf. I keep rubber hoses/lines/caps/fittings in them. 

Kramer
Kramer Dork
5/17/20 2:27 p.m.

 

Small parts and hardware here.  Sorted by type, with some drawers dedicated to a particular project or vehicle.  Bigger items go on shelving, which you can't have too much of.  

Dr. Hess (Forum Supporter)
Dr. Hess (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 2:27 p.m.

Yeah, write on the box what's in it.  I write it on two sides so it can be seen from any angle likely to be encountered.  "3SGTE", "20 valve", "Corolla injector rail", etc.

oldopelguy (Forum Supporter)
oldopelguy (Forum Supporter) UberDork
5/17/20 2:31 p.m.

Plus 

Plus these:

 

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
5/17/20 2:32 p.m.

For small parts, be it screws, washers, AN fittings, electrical terminals, etc., I am a huge fan of the Plano 3600 utility box.  https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/plano-prolatch-stowaway-utility-box-3600  Theoretically they're for fishing.  But they are great for this stuff - they latch, you can arrange the dividers however you want, and they're reasonably cheap.  I have like 20 of them, and could use a few more.  I built a rack to hold them, and I just write in Sharpie what's in it.  So I have an M6 box for M6 hardware, an M8, M10, 1/4", and so on.  The rack is just a bunch of angle iron spaced out, so if I need an M8, I pull the M8 box out and take it to wherever I'm working and have everything I need.  Apparently I have no pics, will have to take one.

Trent (Generally supportive dude)
Trent (Generally supportive dude) PowerDork
5/17/20 3:48 p.m.

The sheer unadulterated pleasure of using a well sorted bolt bin never goes away. 

 

 

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 4:50 p.m.

My bolt bin is about 20% the size of trent's and is awesome.  It holds all the SAE stuff.  Metric just goes in LS or non LS can because I don't have much.  
 

each car has one or two plastic bins, the big projects have their own shelf. 

Trent (Generally supportive dude)
Trent (Generally supportive dude) PowerDork
5/17/20 5:11 p.m.

Those aren't mine, just the first pic on google. 

 

 

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 6:15 p.m.

In reply to Trent (Generally supportive dude) :

Ah.  They're awesome.  My uncle's buddy make me take his, full of bolts, from a hardware store that closed.  He didn't have to twist my arm to make it go away.  

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 7:50 p.m.

I have a couple drawer racks for tools and electrical stuff. The bins are as bad as they look. I need to reorganize and sort hardware and clean out the random stuff that has accumulated.

Rons
Rons Reader
5/17/20 10:05 p.m.

sadI thought there was going to be talk of bar codes, work orders and inventory control apps.

I've got a dresser full of distributors, coffee cans full of m6s and m8s, and buckets for everything else. All of them get dumped on the floor and rooted through periodically. 

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports HalfDork
5/18/20 2:09 a.m.

I organize things by project.  So a box has the unfinished project in it.   So if I need something that I know I used for that project I will find it there, and then put it in the box with the new project that goes unfinished.   Then when I need something and don't find it where I left it last, I go searching through all my boxes, and after I have done this about 20-30-50 times I have memorized what is in each box since I've looked through them all 50 times.   I have found you always find it in the last place you look.

Now this worked when I was younger, but today I can't remember even after 50 times where something is.   I found my RJ45 crimper tool today.  What joy, because I moved it from the box with RJ45 things because I knew I'd need it soon, so moved somewhere easier to find.  But could not remember where that was.  But I find it looking for something else today!   Saved me $32 buying a new one.      

It would take me 6 months to go through all my stuff.  I don't have 6 months getting nothing done but organization to make a project take 1 day less, I'd need to do that 160 times to make up the time it took getting organized.    :)

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/18/20 7:14 a.m.

What I have definitely needs work. I have parts everywhere in my house/garage/shed.  I have wire shelves in my basement & garage, metal shelves in the shed, and cabinets in the garage. But there is not enough consistency to where stuff is kept, which can make it hard to find something.

For nuts, bolts and small parts, Northern Tool sells a number of really nice bin racks/cabinets, but being really designed for industrial use they have prices to match.  This one is a dream, although at 6' tall, 3' wide and 2' deep, I have no idea where I could put it:

My ex's garage has a really big attic, so we spent a week or so inventorying all of the parts we had collected for her Spitfire, Volvo 1800ES and 2003 MCS and organized them into numbered bins which she then entered into some type of database.  But a database is only as good as accessibility and updating, which we didn't do so well. This might be something I'd consider hosting on a "cloud" or something so I could access the database from my phone with minimal hassle. I doubt anyone is going to care which bin I keep spare brake pads in, so I'm not that concerned about the security issues. 

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
B7NmAQunvJ0YYDrHZJJqsQYcuD3kQmTWWdvXPJVrU4zLIyJKVoxkU5gPAJicxUpa