Many people have their own workshops. It may be that you want to convert your garage space into a workshop or you may happen to be employed in a commercial one.
If you have any interest in workshops at all though, you will understand the benefits of keeping it tidy. With all the tools and materials taking up space plus waste it can sometimes become messy and untidy without any intention.
If you are looking for some ways to keep your workspace tidier then continue reading below.
Installing proper ventilation and heating
Before you look at ways to keep your workshop tidy it is important to consider how comfortable it is too.
Working in an environment that is too hot or cold can be unhealthy and also very unproductive. If you have converted your garage into a workshop then you can probably enjoy leaving the main door open to bring in some much-needed air. However, not all workshops have this benefit so you will have to improve the airflow and temperature control.
To keep the workshop warm look at using weather stripping around the windows and doors to reduce the chances of any drafts. An electric portable heater can help you to work away while it is chilly outside and by adding a fan you can introduce some ventilation to the room.
Of course, putting in a fan can cause dust to circulate in the air so adequate dust extraction will be necessary. This will help to keep your workshop clean and it will also help keep you safe.
Breathing in wood dust can cause lung diseases according to the United States Department of Labor and any airborne contaminants in the workshop could be harmful when breathed in.
What is the importance of a tidy workshop?
If you have a workshop then it is likely you are a bit of a DIY enthusiast or some other type of hobbyist. That means you will spend a not inconsiderable length of time in your workshop. Therefore it is only natural you want a tidy, safe environment to work in.
There can be many hazards in a workshop so it is essential to keep it clean and tidy. This will not only lower the chances of having an accident but help to boost productivity and enjoyment.
Have you ever known the frustration of wasting time searching for a tool that you know to be in the workshop but you just can’t find it among all the clutter? Then you already know why you should look at organizing your area better.
Of course, if you are working in a commercial environment or if you own a business then you should make sure your workshop follows safety regulations.
If it is a commercial workshop then the benefits of keeping it tidy are not limited to productivity and safety but also to impressing customers and maintaining a more enjoyable ambiance for the employees.
How can you keep a workshop tidy?
There are some tips for tidying up a workshop and there are also some tools to help you keep it that way.
First, look at what you should do to organize your workshop and tidy it up.
Remove all the clutter
Your first task is to lose anything you don’t require. Are there any broken, underused, or duplicate tools in your workshop? If so, remove them. This doesn’t mean you need to throw them out – you can sell them, give them to friends, or store them elsewhere for another time.
Clean the workshop
Once you have a workshop cleared of junk and unnecessary tools give it a proper sweep and vacuum. This should be done regularly as a habit anyway. As you have read above, dust can cause lung problems and occupational asthma is a real problem for people using workshops regularly.
Clean your tools
Your tools need to be looked after to reduce the chance of them becoming grimy or rusting. Give them a clean using hot water and commercial cleaner or use mineral spirits to remove grease and other dirt.
Make an inventory
Now you have removed unwanted tools and cleaned the rest. Make an inventory so you know precisely what you have. Over time you will collect a number of different tools and probably lend some to neighbors and borrow others. Making an inventory will let you see exactly what you have.
Go through other materials and items such as bolts and screws and record these too. It will make it much easier when working if you know what you have. A good workshop can help you to take on big projects such as making rustic, solid wood countertops for the kitchen, and knowing exactly what you have to hand will make life easier.
Use shelving for storage
Having open shelves will make it easier to reach for the tools you need. Be aware that some tools are better off being stored away though. If any tools are more prone to rusting when exposed to the air you can use bins or boxes that fit on the shelf.
Cable management for tidiness and safety
A busy workshop can easily have many cables running off of electrical equipment and computers or other tools. Where possible employ cable management to keep the workshop tidy and safe from tripping and other hazards.
What tools should you buy for a clean and tidy workshop?
Here is a quick list of items you can use for keeping your workshop spick and span plus one big item that might change the way you work:
- Vacuum – preferably with HEPA filtration
- Reusable spray bottle
- Dustpan and brush
- Towels, cleaning cloths, or rags
- And a downdraft table
What is a downdraft table?
All the above tools and items can aid you in keeping your work area clean. You will obviously know what a broom is for and why you will want a mop in the workshop, but you may not know what a downdraft table is or why you should have one though.
A downdraft table is a workbench that will be well known to professionals and can play a major part in your workshop. Among other uses, they are used for woodworking, metalworking with end mills, grinding, and welding.
They are popular because they have built-in ventilation and filtration that removes any by-product from your activities. What this means is if you were woodworking then the dust from sanding and wood particles or chippings will pass through the table’s dust extraction and filter unit.
If you were using the table for metal work then any shavings from grinding will be removed along with any fumes. This is especially important when welding as these fumes are known to be carcinogenic.
Having something of a declutter and clean to start with plus making a workshop inventory will give you the base to work from. Once you have done this, organize your shelves, storage, and tools according to their uses. Tidying up cables and using shelves to keep items off the floor will not only look tidier but reduce the chances of an accident.
Once this is all done you can consider whether there is one special purchase that might make a big difference. A downdraft table might be an investment that you use for years to come that also helps keep harmful particles and fumes away from you and stops debris from landing on the workshop floor.