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Top 5 Tips for Workshop Organization

Updated: Apr 11

Top 5 Tips for Workshop Organization

Mike Poorman

This video is sponsored by Klingspor’s Woodworking Shop.

Workshops are dynamic spaces where creativity meets productivity. Whether you're crafting art, building custom furniture, or running a production shop, an organized workshop is essential for optimizing workflow. The layout, tools, and processes all play vital roles in ensuring smooth operations and maximizing productivity. In this video, Mike Poorman will share strategies and tips to help you organize your workshop effectively with hopes of improving your workflow.

Mobile Tool Base

Make It Mobile: 

Whether you have a big shop or a small shop, being able to easily move around tools, work benches, and even your projects will be something you realize you can't live without. Tools with mobile bases like this one made by Bora are helpful for repositioning your tools if you need to use them in a way outside your normal workflow, like milling especially long pieces of stock.  Alternatively, mobile tools give you the opportunity to tuck them away if you don’t use them in your typical daily operations.

Another thing to consider making mobile is your work bench. The Universal Kreg benches are a great solution for a mobile work surface.  When shopping for them, know that you’ll be shopping for the parts as separate pieces.  This is what allows you to have 30 different options for bench sizes.  Mike uses these mobile benches regularly to save his back and roll projects or lumber through the shop.  They don’t come with the casters but you can purchase them separately and they are very high quality. You can make your own top for them so it’s truly customized to your liking.  A sheet of white melamine is a nice option or you could go butcher block top if that’s more your style.

Kreg Table

Purpose Built Organization:

Tool boxes and pegboards are a great solution if you need an easy solution to store common tools, but since every shop is unique, these options may not be the perfect fit.  If you run into that issue, try to design something that solves the problem and takes up as little extra space as possible. A cluttered workshop hampers productivity and creativity. 

A messy miter saw bench littered with drills and batteries was the catalyst for Mike to build his own drill charging station.  By making this cabinet, Mike was able to organize all of his drills and accessories and it tidied up the shop. 

Coming up with an effective way to store things like hand tools and other common use items like sandpaper are just a few other ways you can improve your shop's organization with purpose built storage. 

Clean Up:

Not to sound like your mother or father but honestly guys, just take the time to actually put your tools away at the end of the day and clean up!  If you can regularly declutter and dispose of items that are no longer needed, you’ll have an easier time maintaining an efficient workspace. Besides, you’ll have a much easier time finding what you need if you make sure to put it where it belongs after each use.

Even if you claim to be one of those organized chaos folks you'll be more productive when you’re in the shop and feel less anxious or scatterbrained simply because you have a clean space to work in.  

Negative Space: 

When it comes to interior design it's important to have some negative space. If your shop space has funny coves or bump outs, take advantage of them and build some shelves or use the walls for vertical storage. You should take advantage of empty spaces and build out storage wherever it makes sense. The Kreg Multi-Purpose Shop Stand from Klingspor’s Woodworking Shop is a sturdy option that can be customized to your liking by using plywood to make it into a cabinet.  For Mike, he used it to build out a router table complete with built-in storage.

On the flipside, sometimes negative space needs to remain negative space. It can be strategically used to delineate different zones or areas within the workshop. For example, you can create clear boundaries between workstations, assembly areas, and storage zones by leaving empty space between them. This spatial separation helps maintain organization and prevents cross-contamination of tools, materials, and activities, leading to a more efficient workflow.

Fix the Small Annoyances:

Sometimes the smallest problems to fix are the ones we avoid for the longest time, and end up making a big impact when we DO finally get around to improving them. We all have those things in our shop that just grate on our nerves. These small annoyances may not seem like a big deal, but they can be a barrier that keeps you from working on a project or even wanting to get started on something. Find the small annoyances in your shop or process and address them.  It can be anything from small parts storage or the nuisance of extension cords to how to keep your scrap lumber organized or even figuring out a better storage solution for all of your clamps.

Take the time to do it.  You think it will set you back but the truth is, it will feel like a weight is being lifted when you finally buy that lumber storage rack and don’t have to dig through piles of wood anymore.  You’ll be so much less annoyed when you finally just buy that nice cord or hose reel and don’t have to fuss with wrapping those things up anymore.  Buy the good lighting! Find a way to hang up clamps so you stop knocking them all over! THIS IS YOUR SIGN!

What’s your best organization hack?  Leave it in the comments section below!  Who knows, you just might have the solution that someone else has been trying to figure out!

If you want to learn more about how to grow your creative abilities, market yourself, or to start making more money, consider joining TMCU today.  Check out our enroll page and invest in yourself… besides, it’s a write-off! We’ll be here to help you create, learn, & connect.


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