As professional organizers, we are often asked questions about our professional tips and techniques.
I’ve had several clients ask me recently about my organizing toolkit. What are the items we use most on the job? What can’t we live without? So in the spirit of providing organizing solutions and answers, I thought it would be fun to do a full breakdown of what’s in my toolkit, and show you how to set up your own organizer toolkit to use at home when you tackle any organizing project – large or small!
The Evolution of a Pro Organizer’s Toolkit
My organizing toolkit container has changed a lot over the years. I’ve used a garden caddy with side pockets, a large camera bag and a plastic Rubbermaid tote. All of these have worked just great for me, though I recently upgraded to a “handyman” style toolbox that I found for $20 at Costco, and I love it.
This toolkit is great because it features individualized compartments for smaller organizing items on top and a larger space below.
The pros of this toolkit are that the lid is clear, allowing me to see what I have on top quickly and easily. It’s got a rubber grip on the handle and closes tightly and easily. To access the bottom compartment, you lift the lid up and back, and it expands generously.
The only con is the weight once it’s full! It’s not as easy to tote around from room to room, but I don’t mind the extra arm workout.
What Should I Include in My Pro Organizer Toolkit?
There are lots of items you can include in your toolkit – some more often used than others. Here is a list of what I have in my toolkit to get you started. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a printable version of this list.
Plain paper for signs
Black permanent markers
White trash bags- strong
Black trash bags- strong
Assorted sizes of Ziplock baggies
Extra label tape
Windex or surface cleaner
White rags for wiping down
Plastic or rubber gloves
Colored permanent markers
White multi-use labels
Envelopes (Small and large)
How to Put your Organizing Toolkit Together
Once you’e purchased your toolkit items, it’s time to put everything together!
First, start with your smaller items. I keep small organizing supplies in the top compartment of my toolkit (If you don’t have one of these, use a tackle box like this one to keep them separate and organized). This area contains, pens, pencils, sharpies, highlighters, post-its, velcro, twist-ties, binder clips, paper clips, tape, glue and a boxcutter.
My lower compartment contains larger items like my label maker (plus extra cartridges and batteries), garbage bags, plastic gloves, tape measure, scissors, labels, file tabs, plus tools like my mallet, pliers, a hammer and a small bag of picture hanger nails.
I store my organizer kit in the garage near the tools, and keep it well stocked. Of course, I use my toolkit with clients, so it includes more items than you might need or require, depending on what sorts of projects you are working on. For instance, you may like to create a toolkit specifically for paper organizing. Have fun with it and remember: this toolkit is for YOU, so base it’s contents on your needs alone. You can always add to it as you go along.
This toolkit is great to have at home for everyday organizing projects. And since it’s totable, it is also a wonderful resource to have if you are helping friends or family to move, downsize, or organize, helping a child move to college, or relocating yourself.
If you want to find out what it’s like being a Professional Organizer, check out this post.