The other day, we got a new lamp (such a nice, refreshing change for our side table). WHY we got the new lamp is another story, but it involves two boys swinging a sleeping bag around and, well, now we have a new lamp.
But as I was cleaning up the packaging and tools after putting the lamp together, I realized it might be worth writing a little bit about how to manage and store all the little tools and extra pieces that come with lamps, tables, chairs, electronics… pretty much anything you purchase these days!
You know what I’m talking about, right? The extra screws, the plastic molly bolts, the mini allen wrenches – all the little pieces that are needed for that particular item.
The first, and probably the most important thing I do (after assembling), is to look at what tools/items came with the piece of furniture and get rid of what I don’t need. Many items come with small metal screw drivers or allen wrenches. I have tools in my garage, and 99% of the time, I could use those tools to assemble (and, in fact, make it much easier to do the assembly). Obviously, always check to make sure your tools fit the screws/bolts/etc, but as long as they do, you can toss the little tool the furniture came with. If my lamp became wobbly and needed tightening, I’d go to my tool bench in the garage first, anyway, so why keep extra disposable tools? It’s one less item to keep and therefore less clutter.
The other items that need to be kept for the furniture item (extra screws, bolts, patches, swatches, etc) can be put together in a ziplock bag. And here’s the key…. Label that bag! For example, my extra parts are in a sandwich size ziplock baggie, and I’ve used a sharpie to write “family room side table lamp, Target” on the outside. This way, if I have 15 baggies with parts, I know exactly which parts go to what furniture item.
Lastly, I usually staple the baggie to the instruction manual or care instructions. So everything I need for that piece of furniture is all together. This little “package” is put in my bin for keeping instruction manuals (more on this in another blog!), so I can always locate it in the future, should I need it.
I hope this gives you some helpful ideas for containing all those little pieces and keeping them organized and available for those times when you need them. It’s items like this that can quickly become a cluttered mess, so it’s good to have a system in place to use so your space remains functional and clutter free.
Emily & Jen