Reduce Extra Motion, Reduce Extra Thinking

Updated: February 27, 2022

Reduce Extra Motion, Reduce Extra Thinking
Richard's Handyman Tool Trailer Richard has altered his tool trailer multiple times to make his one-man handyman business faster and more profitable. He has gone fully cordless, revamps his trailer as needed, and uses an organizer tower in the front for small parts inventory. Image from Peak Contracting LLC

Why organize?

If you don't know what you're trying to achieve when you organize your work van or tool trailer, you probably won't get it right on the first couple of tries.

But we've got two things you should think about when you're organizing, motion and thought.

There are two goals you always want to go for in work van and tool trailer organization:

  • Reduce your thinking.
  • Reduce your motion.

If you have to think about where a tool or part is, you have wasted brain power. If you use excessive motion to get a tool or part, you've wasted energy and put some wear on your body.


All of your tools and parts are piled in a heap in the back of your work van. For every job you do, you need to dig through the pile to find the parts and tools that you need. This would be, to say the least, frustrating and physically exhausting.

But most of us still do this, just on a smaller level. You might not have your tools in a heap. But you might be:

  • Untying tie-downs.
  • Grabbing a drill out of the factory case, just because it came with a case.
  • Using small labels that are hard to identify.
  • And more!

You don't think "Okay, righty-tighty, lefty-loosey" for every screw, bolt, and fitting that you turn. If you did, it would be mentally exhausting at the end of the day. You internalize how fasteners and fittings work and your hands just know what to do.

Save the thinking for figuring out the problems you solve on the job.

You don't use a screwdriver to turn all the screws you encounter during the day. That would be rough on your fingers, wrists, and shoulders. You bought a drill to do this work for you.

Save the motion, and your body, for executing the solutions to problems.

Most organization problems have simple solutions, like putting stuff you use a lot near the door, getting rid of stuff you don't use, and configuring your tool kits in the way you use them, not how the manufacturer thinks you should use them.

Apply these principles to your van and trailer organization and you'll be happier and less tired at the end of the day.

Reduce motion. Reduce thinking.

Get work trucks and tips in your mailbox.

Your time is precious. We write about organization, tools, and techniques that make tradespeople work faster and more efficiently. Subscribe to get our articles and tips in your inbox.

We will not spam you.