We decided to do some winter cleaning today, and only after we got started did we realize how abysmal we let our working conditions become. So, we took a break from the agonizing process to share a few quick tips that we should have been following all along, and will try to adhere to for next time.
1. Do not let clutter and debris accumulate! Putting things away and cleaning up as you go along requires far less effort than having to clean the entire shop at once.
2. Have a designated location for as many tools, accessories, and raw materials as possible, and try to keep things consolidated. Do as we suggest, not as we do, since we have drill bits in four different locations, three stockpiles of lumber, and are missing an acrylic sheet that is apparently not where we typically store our plastic supplies. A good secondary point to remember is to put tools back where you took them from!
3. Try to keep tools and supplies in drawers, cabinets, or boxes. Do you know how frustrating it is to grab a tool for sensitive electronics work only to find that it is covered in sawdust and aluminum shavings? Well, let’s just say that such an occurance is sure to bring out a few colorful words. Keeping like-items together and contained reduces the changes of misplacing them, and helps protect them from debris and clutter.
I once read an article by a guy who was building an airplane. His rule to reduce shop clutter was that he had to put 10 things away every time he walked into the shop. Could be 10 drill bits, or ten boxes of oil, just get in the habit of 10 things. That way you’re not overwhelmed.
Of course, if you could see my shop you’d howl with laughter…