A workspace that’s not properly organised is unlikely to be a productive one. You’ll spend more time looking for tools than you do using them – and you’ll be at greater risk of accidents if there are loose spanners, saw-blades and chisels lying around all over the place.
Organising your workshop
Getting your workshop into order is something that you’ll do once, before developing the habits that will keep it that way. Let’s run through the process.
You’ll need a place to put all of your tools so that they can be kept secure against theft and accidental damage, and so that they can be reached for when the need arises. If you leave your tools hanging up, then you’ll be able to reach for them without thinking. Your tool storage solutions should be easy to find, and available at a moment’s notice.
If you’re looking to take maximum advantage of the available space, then you might look into bespoke storage furniture. If security and portability is your priority, then toolboxes that are robust, and from a reputable manufacturer, are indispensable.
Cleaning is an ongoing task that should be budgeted into the time you spend on every given project. So, if you’re going to spend four hours on a Sunday afternoon getting your workspace into order, you should ensure that at least half an hour of that time is spent cleaning. As well as getting the workspace tidy, you might also devote time to the care and maintenance of the tools themselves. Sharper tools tend to be more effective than blunt ones. You might schedule this at regular intervals – that way, you can be sure that the task is never going to run away from you.
If you’re storing your stuff into toolboxes, then make sure that you categorise your tools properly as you’re stowing them. A label-maker comes in very handy, here. The same goes especially for your small-parts cabinet. If you’re working with other people, then you need to be sure that everyone follows the same rules, to keep everything consistent.
Getting a workspace tidy is one thing. Keeping a workspace tidy is another. The former takes a lot of effort, but you can just power through. The latter requires consistent effort, which in turn requires the formation of a habit.
Devise the practices and procedures that everyone who uses the workshop will need to abide by. Putting a tool away after you’ve used it, sweeping away any mess you’ve made, and logging accidents – these are all worthwhile measures. You should regularly review your progress, too, since this will help you to determine whether the things that you’re doing actually contribute to the creation of a tidier workspace.