Think about how many hours you waste per month, over even per year, by having to look for the right tool in the back of your van or by needing to unload and load equipment because you can’t reach the kit you need.
A lot of time, frustration and sweat (from digging around in a hot van) can be avoided if you have a proper system in place. Here are some tips to keep the back of your van organised.
1. Give everything a set place
The most time-consuming part of looking for a tool in a messy van is that you often don’t know where you left it last and you don’t know where to start your search. Have a think about what tool or equipment should go where and give everything a fixed location in the van.
You can group tools and equipment by their use, by how often you need them or by their size. This way you not only optimise the use of your space but also dramatically reduce the time it takes to get everything you need for the job.
2. Use labels
Once everything has a fixed place, add labels to the racks/boxes but also to the individual tools. This way you don’t have to remember why you grouped certain items and it will be easier to see when something is out of place. You can, for instance, give all the items within a certain drawer the same colour. If you see a green-labelled screwdriver in your blue drawer, you’ll immediately see it’s been displaced.
You can also number your tools and store them away in that order. You can then put a numbered list of the items on the outside of the box or drawer so that you can easily check where you’ve left it.
3. Keep space for moving around
Whether you know where a tool is stored or you’re still searching, it can be immensely frustrating to have to move many heavy items to reach your equipment. Allow for enough space between boxes and drawers so that you can easily access all items.
If space is limited in your vehicle, think about what equipment you use the least and put that in the back. You can also put the equipment that is the easiest to move in the middle so you don’t have to work up a sweat every time you need a screwdriver.
4. Get in the habit of counting and replacing
Either because you’re tired or rushed after you’ve finished a job, it can be very tempting to just chuck everything in the back of your van, thinking you’ll sort it out later. You won’t. Make it a habit to return everything to its set place and to make sure you haven’t forgotten to take anything with you.
This will require a little effort but will save you a lot more time in the end. Not having to buy a new tool you can’t find can also save you a lot of money.
5. Use racks and drawers
This is the tip that can perhaps have the most impact on your van’s tidiness. If you don’t have appropriate storage, it is almost impossible to keep everything in the right place. Even if you put things in the same spot when you leave, they might have shifted by the time you arrive.
To make full use of your space and have the ability to store all sizes of tools and equipment, think about having racks, shelves, cupboards and drawers – both on the side and alongside the bulkhead.
Gearmate has some fantastic options if you drive a Ford Custom or Volkswagen T6/T5. Made in the UK from high-grade materials, their offering is absolutely perfect if you’re looking for storage that is sturdy, highly customisable, lockable and practical for both large and small items.
With repositionable shelves, accessory holders, heavy-duty drawers and access from both the back and side doors, Gearmate allows you to maximise your storage efficiency.
No more sweating and swearing over a messy pile of tools!