If there’s one ironclad rule of gardening and homesteading, it’s this: As soon as you lay that tool down on the ground, it will disappear! 😉 So, whether I’m heading out to the orchard to prune or trekking to the back 40 for fence repairs, I use a very simple trick to keep track of all the tools I need for the job.
Watch this 2-minute edition of Homesteading Basics to learn more:
Then, I’d love to know your tricks for keeping those tools handy on the job … leave me a note in the comments section below!
Marjory Wildcraft is the founder of The Grow Network, which is a community of people focused on modern self-sufficient living. She has been featured by National Geographic as an expert in off-grid living, she hosted the Mother Earth News Online Homesteading Summit, and she is listed in Who’s Who in America for having inspired hundreds of thousands of backyard gardens. Marjory was the focus of an article that won Reuter’s Food Sustainability Media Award, and she recently authored The Grow System: The Essential Guide to Modern Self-Sufficient Living—From Growing Food to Making Medicine.
Sometimes tools have a little help disappearing. The kids want to be just like Daddy.
amen my children do the same thing
I agree completely with using buckets……BUT…….tools with sharp edges need protection for those edges to ward off dulling the tool from rattling around in the bucket……AND…….the other things in the bucket (including your fingers) need to be protected from those same sharp edges. The solution is to keep the edge guards they came with (if they’re reusable) or fabricate new edge guards or scabbards as needed to accomplish the task. They don’t need to be elaborate……I use cardboard and tape for some tools, but of course a tool you are going to be using a lot probably merits a sturdy enough edge guard so you don’t have to make a new one very often.
good call on the cardboard I store the tools that way so I just take it with me when I put stuff in the bucket or wheel barrel
Marjory, I definitely share your admiration of using buckets on the homestead, especially for tool storage! I even decided to get fancy and buy a “tool bucket organizer” which I found to be quite helpful especially when it comes to locating the tool I’m looking for (https://amzn.to/2IZ6sWs). For smaller garden tools, I have implemented John Dromgoole’s suggestion of a “tool mailbox” in the garden. Genius!
Hi Brian, good to see you online! I haven’t tried one of those organizers, although I’ve wished for one just a bit at seeing them in catalogs 🙂
Yes, John’s idea of a mailbox is awesome – I love that one and made of vid of it too.
I also have put the mail box in the garden but urge caution when opening it. Mine seems to attract wasp
Thanks for the tip. Will start implementing it immediately. I do not have a back 40, only a normal suburban house yard, but still misplace tools all the time.
Glad to see you online! Yes, even without a back 40 it’s still useful. Ha, ha, the other side of the yard…. Heck I’ve lost tools right where I stood 🙂
I am a big fan of my 5gal MultiPurposeTool to carry hand tools, but when I need a bunch of long tools everything goes in my garden trailer. I am not a big fan of wheelbarrels. I find them awkward and they get heavy quick. I am now a 70 year old geezer. I do what I can to save effort. Years back I bought a pull behind trailer for my riding lawn mower. The tow bar also folds underneath so it can be used as a wheel barrel. It has a part under the tow bar so the cart stays level when released. It hauls a huge load but because the wheels are centered in the middle I can easily manually pull a heavy load of dirt. So if I need to carry long handled tools, chain saw with parts bucket, tool bag to take things apart, empty bucket to hold loose parts, etc. they go in this cart with my hand tool 5galMPT. Everything stays above ground level for minimal bending over. If I need to saw boards, I lay them across the top like a saw horse. I can lay a board across the top as a mini work bench. I had to replace the original dry-rotted tires with no-flat tires long ago. This big 2 wheel balanced wheel barrow has been the best investment I ever made for my big urban orchard/garden.