My minimalist toolbox

When I was going through my things in the basement to prepare for my upcoming move, I realized that I had a lot of tools and hardware. When I owned my own home, it was comforting to have these things because I was potentially ready to fix anything that could break down in the house.

When I moved to the rental townhouse in Orleans, Ontario, in 2013, I didn’t question bringing over any of these things. Even though if anything was to go wrong with the townhouse I’d have to let my landlord know and he’d be responsible for fixing it. Also, minimalism wasn’t really a concept for me yet.
For me, this was probably the ultimate "just-in-case" category. Let's face it, things don't break down that often. And I'm handy, but I'm not always building or fixing things. I probably could've borrowed whatever I've ever needed to use from my family or friends. But I like being independent, and I kind of like tools and hardware. Maybe it's the possibility of it all...
Anyway, now that I’m moving into a downtown condo rental, there’s even less need for me to have all of these things. I applied the KonMari method and instead of deciding what to get rid of, I sprawled out all of my tools and hardware on a table and a few things underneath and picked what I wanted to bring with me.
Here’s what I started out with:

Maybe it doesn't seem like much to some people (the photo doesn't really do it justice), but it felt like quite a lot to me.
I recently read a post from Joel Zaslofsky's website where he talks about how he has everything in his life on spreadsheets. I've also read other minimalism blogs where people talk about making an inventory of what they own. Writing everything down can be quite the eye-opener. So I decided I wanted to do it and started off with my tools. Here’s what I ended up with:

  1. Measuring tape
  2. Flathead screwdriver
  3. Phillips screwdriver
  4. Phillips screwdriver
  5. Small double tip screwdriver
  6. Stud finder
  7. Padlock
  8. Square head screwdriver small
  9. 5-piece combination wrench set
  10. Hex key set – SAE
  11. Hex key set – metric
  12. X-Acto knife
  13. 4-piece plier set
  14. Teflon tape
  15. Electrical tape
  16. Metal spatula
  17. Carpenter glue
  18. Multi-tip screwdriver
  19. Drill bits
  20. Screw head set for the drill
  21. Detail sander
  22. Hammer
  23. Rubber mallet
  24. Furniture stripper
  25. Rubber gloves
  26. Sending paper
  27. Drill set
  28. Paintbrush - small
  29. Paintbrush - medium
  30. Paintbrush - large
  31. 4-inch roller
  32. WD-40
  33. Level
  34. Tape gun
  35. Can of spray paint
  36. Plastic putty knife
  37. Foam brush
  38. Wood stain
  39. Plastic container for paint
  40. Disposable gloves
  41. Drop cloths
  42. Paint can opener
  43. Lighter fluid
These may not be the best things to have in a minimalist toolbox. And 43 items is not that many. But as I was looking at it all, I thought that I'll eventually pare things down more. The wood stain I'll be using before I move on a wall decoration that my daughter made in shop class. I'll probably also rid myself of the painting accessories once I'm done painting a few pieces of furniture. I don't expect that I'll be painting anything else for a long while.

Even though I have the interchangeable multi-tip screwdriver, I kept a few single screwdrivers - the ones I usually end up using the most. For example, this flathead screwdriver has paint on it because I've used it to open paint cans, and to bang the lid shut on paint cans.

It's been with me for years and I like it. It might be my favourite tool in the toolbox.

A while ago I also went through other things that could've qualified as hardware. I got rid of my extra A/V cables and accessories and some orphaned plugs and adaptors for electronics I didn't even own anymore. Now really, what was the point in keeping those?!

So what about you? Do you think maybe you're holding on to too many things in this category? If so, KonMari it!


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