Once again, we were working on the house our son and daughter-in-law are building and must have ready in two weeks for inspections. We are not skilled construction workers. We are not even semi-skilled. We are below low-skill and just above no-skill but are welcome on the crew as our rates are reasonable. Free. 

I looked up from a doorknob I had finished installing perfectly – perfectly backward – and saw our daughter-in-law’s father pass by wearing a fully loaded tool belt. It had three tiers to it, countless pockets, assorted clips and buckles. The man was a walking hardware store with hammers, drills, a crowbar, assorted screwdrivers, wrenches, ropes, squares, measuring tapes and a jigsaw tucked in pockets and swinging from hooks. He could go anywhere on the site and have whatever tool he needed within seconds.

Running from room to room looking for where I may have left the level, I was struck by how my efficiency could be improved by a tool belt. In some ways a tool belt is like a woman’s purse, but a tool belt makes no pretense of fashion; it is completely utilitarian, existing for the sole purpose of getting the job done.

Plus, you don’t set a tool belt down and walk away or leave it in the car because it is attached to you.

A domestic tool belt could be an incredible step-saving, time-saving asset in the home.

The first tier of pockets in my domestic tool belt would hold the ever-essential cell phone, charging cord, reading glasses, backup pair of reading glasses for when I lose my primary pair, and ugly shoes with orthotic inserts for when my cute shoes hurt. You don’t want shoes near other things so I would probably bag them and let them swing from a clip-on hook.

Note to self: Don’t speed walk like you usually do or the swinging shoes on a hook will gain momentum and whack your backside.

The next tier would be kitchen utensils: large whisk, small whisk, spatula, wooden spoons, measuring spoons, measuring cups, hot pads, dish towels, micro grater, vegetable peeler, paring knife and kitchen scissors.

Note to self: Be careful about bending over with sharp points nestled next to your stomach.

Because cleaning causes me thousands of extra steps, I would also strap on a collapsible broom, dustpan, small wet mop, furniture polish, dust mitt, window cleaner and roll of paper towels.

Naturally, implements that collect dirt and dust should be kept separately, so they’ll be clipped to hooks on the back of my tool belt.

Note to self: Be wary of overstretching to reach cleaning supplies behind you.

The more I think about this, the more I like it. As long as I don’t bruise my backside with swinging shoes, bend over and puncture vital organs or dislocate my shoulders, it’s going to be a great system.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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