Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to “File” tools in discarded cabinets

Thanks to the “paperless” society we’re developing into, the office filing cabinet is going by the wayside in numbers as just another obsolete item. But here’s how to recycle them into useful storage.

Do some dumpster diving: If you visit a few office parks, you will undoubtedly find cabinets tossed into the dumpster, especially around the end of the fiscal year when companies purge inventory to avoid paying taxes on stuff they’d rather not have to, that is too old to take a depreciation on with a straight face. If you see new computer boxes, indicating they’ve gone digital, it’s a good tip off that there might be file cabinets. Use a ladder if you can’t see. Get the best ones, with thumb latches and legal size, if possible. I know it’s hard to believe that perfectly good stuff like this winds up in the trash, but it happens daily, trust me.

Lighten your prize by removing the drawers: You need to be sure that no vermin is taking refuge in them anyway before you load them on your truck/trailer. Nobody likes a surprise rat “hat” when a drawer slides open accidentally while you are struggling to move the cabinet. Get a nice assortment of colors for an interesting mix, or go for all beige if you like. Your tools won’t care. Likewise, you may find some with cartoons taped to them or hardened cookie icing from last years office Christmas party, and these flaws only give them more character. Finding perfect cabinets is about as likely as Rush Limbaugh’s voice giving out. Count your blessings and think positive.

Lug the cabinets into your disorganized, cluttered, and embarrassingly disemboweled work area or garage and dig in. Trim business cards from your failed Real Estate Investment business to fit the label slots on the cabinets, and write what’s in each drawer on the back. For example, you might put all your hand saws in one drawer, your electric saws in another drawer, and the ones that used to be battery powered that are now hand saws in another drawer, marked “Pure Crap.” Velcro Quick Wrap that sticks to itself is great for wrangling tie down straps, rolled power cords and that frayed bicycle cable you keep poking yourself with.

Keep putting stuff away until the shop is as uncluttered as Senator Craig’s brain, or you run out of drawers. Keep several trash cans handy during the process to impress your spouse just how brutally you can purge when you need to. (You can pull some good stuff back out when she leaves.) Enjoy your clutter free work space, and remember: They were FREE..FREE…FREE! You liberated them from their undignified and odorous repose and gave them new life.

Overall Tips & Warnings
•    You might want to lock the shop from now on, since thieves can find your tools easily now that they are organized and LABELED.
•    Avoid cabinets marked, “U.S. Postal Service” with a white powdery residue.

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