Hardware Organization


My team is having problems with our hardware being organized. It’s getting mixed up and even though we have students organize every week or so and it still gets mixed up again and again. Right now we’re using stackable boxes to organize.

If there are any tips or ideas to help please tell!

Here’s what you get when you search CD for “organize hardware”. There’s a lot of good information there already. Read through some of those threads, then if you have a more specific question you can post back here.

I’m going to change my question, thank you for the info @AriMB

Is there a way to get students to organize better. Because we’ve had kids organize they aren’t good at it and don’t wanna do it.
Any tips?

Clear labels, easy to use, and a clear place for “I don’t know”. Our bolt organization, for example, utilizes SmartJars, which makes it extremely clear where everything goes!

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  1. Make it easy on them. Label where things go, either with numbers or colors.
  2. Make it everyone’s thing. Stop 15 minutes before the end to get cleaned up and put away.
  3. Standardize hardware. When you have only a couple types of hardware, they have a higher chance of finding where it belongs.
  4. Know when to admit defeat. Sometimes, no matter how you feel about wasting money, it’s simply better to toss a four-cent screw than to let the “LOL IDK SCREWS” pile grow.

Ok, old thread, but always relevant. My question for @Jon_Stratis is do you use these Smartjars at competitions too or only in your shop? I guess if that cabinet moves you take them with you!

Yup, they come with us to every competition.

Hardware as in screws and bolts and such?

(1) Limit what you have. There was a thread recently on this. You really only need a few sizes of screws in different lengths.

(2) get several of the Home Depot small parts organizer. (See below). We use these a lot. They store “hardware.” They store electrical stuff. They store pieces of versaplanetary gearboxes. They store bearings, shaft spacers and shaft collars.

(3) You don’t need very many different sizes of drill bits. Yeah, you should have one of the big harbor freight boxes with like 50 different sized bits. But, you should keep it somewhere out of the way, because you’re really only going to need a handful of different drill bit sizes. So, get a number of those drill bits.

(4) get a labeler

(5) The rule is “you don’t leave your area until you’ve cleaned it up.” Get some small bins with lids that people can put their partially-completed work into if they need a rapid clean-up.


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