Quit Losing Those Little Tools!

quit losing tools graphic

Where do tools usually live? In a tool box? Hopefully. But let’s face it, when tools aren’t a huge priority or a big part of your life in crafting or hobbying, they’re totally a second thought…until you NEED them.

I have a “beginners” tools set. It’s pink and black, y’know, real serious and tough looking. I only need it for those special occasion fix it emergencies so I’m cool with it being a bit Fisher-Price-y in my handywoman-ness.

But those aren’t the tools I planned to talk about today. The tool I chronically lose is an allen wrench (or “allen key”, “hex key”).  You know the ones; the little ones that are specifically designed for specific pieces of furniture. The kind where, if you lose it, you don’t have anything in your home that could possibly work to actually tighten or loosen the bolt (unless you happen to have a whole set of them). UGH!

allen ky

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost these little guys. They’re small and tricky so I blame it on their design…it’s certainly not MY fault!

So as I was rockin’ around in my dining room chair, which isn’t built to rock, I knew I had to tighten up one of the bolts in that chair.

Allen Key Storage (4)


Aaaaaand I spent about 30 minutes looking for that little allen key before I finally found it. It was accidentally sitting in a jar with a bunch of long screws – camouflage power!  >:|

I decided I had a way, that even I, couldn’t lose this again.  I got a wee bit creative with some tape…yeah, you know where I’m goin’ with this!

Here’s what I used, although you can use any kind of clear tape:

Allen Key storage

I chose moving tape because it’s tougher is a bit more durable than clear wrapping tape. Even though the allen keys are small, they’re metal and a bit heavier than regular tape might be able to handle.

I wrapped a small piece of tape around the key and taped it to itself so there was no sticky edge, creating a makeshift label. Then I just wrote on the tape “Dn. Rm. Chair” because that’s what this wrench is used for. Yes, you can definitely use a label maker, but mine was in the back of my vehicle and it was cold outside… what can I say?  Laziness breeds substitutions.

Allen Key Storage pen

Then, I taped the whole thing to the under side of the chair so that it would stay put. The truth is, my chairs take a beating but only seem to need to be tightened up about every few months. Once I remove it to use it, I’ll likely have to use a new piece of tape to stick it back up there again. But I’m fine with that because I’m only using a little and it’s not terribly inconvenient.

Allen Key Storage under chair

It’s taped along the bottom of the seat, against the wood. If I had it under the cushion, it wouldn’t stick because it’s fabric with a thick texture.  But you can’t see it unless you get down on the floor and look up.

Allen Key Storage under the seat

This method actually makes perfect sense for those little extra pieces you might get in a cabinet or bookshelf. If they don’t come pre-assembled, they’ll typically give you some extra pieces for additional posts or pegs for shelving options. I will lose those 10 out of 10 times, unless I put them in a snack size ziploc bag and tape them to the back of the piece of furniture. Or you could just tape them up without the bag. Either way, you’ll always know where they are and they’ll be exactly where you need them to be when the time comes!

So for me, this is the perfect fix because I know I can’t lose them now, and they seem to be the only tools that ever really go missing. *SIGH*

Until the next earth-shattering-problem-solving-episode HA! 😉

Cheers dears,

Sandra from TidyTime

8 thoughts on “Quit Losing Those Little Tools!

    • That’s the perfect time for it!! Don’t forget to use the same idea for moving your picture frames, bed rails + hardware, and curtain rods:) your husband will be singing your praises!

  1. “I spent about 30 minutes looking for that little allen key before I finally found it.”

    Dear Gawd, Sandra!!! This. Is. Me. A few chairs in our kitchen nook became wobbly this week after our man child of a son had been using them as springing boards, and, would you believe, that I had actually contemplated going out and buying all new chairs as opposed to rooting around in the drawer for minutes for the right key when I knew I’d come up empty? (Thank God The Hubs found the right tool and saved the day. :-/)

    Thank you for a most insightful (and entertaining) post. I LOVED this. 🙂

    • HA! For a minute there, after posting, I was thinking, “I wonder if I’m actually the only one who loses these things?…” Thank you for the confirmation. And your man child of a son and my linebacker daughter might be true siblings. She actually stood up on the back of one of those chairs when she was 3 and crashed it to the ground, breaking the backside almost in half and her head with a huge goose egg. I thought the couch might be more enticing as a gym toy; apparently I don’t know much.
      (also, I love when husbands save the day:) ) So glad you liked this one!!

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