Organizing a workshop

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Blog entry by Cher posted 01-17-2010 10:24 PM 3917 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Can anyone please help me to organize my workshop, I feel embarrassed to put up photos of what it currently looks like. Almost every time I go in there to get something (salt for the pool) it is like an obstacle course, my husband uses it for a dumping ground and lately I have found I am leaving the place untidy, so it is making me feel I dont want to go in there very often. There was a time that I could walk in there with my eyes closed and find almost anything. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

-- When you know better you do better.

16 comments so far

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4730 days

#1 posted 01-17-2010 10:31 PM

!. First get the old man to get his act together
2. remove every thing thats not workshop related… salt for the pool ? that should do the trick.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Cher's profile


965 posts in 4110 days

#2 posted 01-17-2010 10:38 PM

I tried approaching the old man about the stuff that we have had in there for the last nine years, his response was ‘we might need it some day’. The stuff is almost packed to the rafters. That old man still managers to make me quiver in my boots when he gets angry.

-- When you know better you do better.

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 4342 days

#3 posted 01-17-2010 10:40 PM

Do you have a shed where you can keep that “might need it some day” stuff? Or can you build one?

View HallTree's profile


5666 posts in 4784 days

#4 posted 01-17-2010 10:49 PM

You said “my workshop”. Sorry old man, but it sounds like it is time to move your stuf out, along with the salt.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 5102 days

#5 posted 01-17-2010 10:53 PM

Think ‘up’, as in, what space do you have in the rafters? You could place shelf boards across the rafters to store little used items. Clear space from one wall and build vertical shelves, even if you only use aluminum Z-brackets, you’ll be surprised how much clutter you can reorganize with tall vertical shelving. But most importantly, Carve Out Your Own Space, even if it’s only one quarter of the garage, and make it Off Limits to anyone but yourself (If you reorganize, you are Entitled to some space). And one other idea..if he hasn’t seen it in years, there are surely things in there he’d never miss if they were surreptitiously trashed. Be bold. Carve out your own space!


View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 4251 days

#6 posted 01-17-2010 11:05 PM

Garage sale or Ebay, he’ll be happy when the cash comes in. I had to build a shed to clear out all the garage stuff and bikes in order to have the room to work. Sometimes things mysteriously disappear, things that haven’t been used in a while, like barbs said, cut out your own space and shelve the rest on one side, keep it off limits to storage. Good luck I feel for you.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View Dez's profile


1172 posts in 5094 days

#7 posted 01-17-2010 11:53 PM

Sounds like some good advice, get rid of stuff, pack it away – out of the way, etc.
Sounds like you will have to do it all by yourself though! lol
Good luck!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4132 days

#8 posted 01-18-2010 12:01 AM

I´m with barbs reclaim the space totely so he can understand that a worhshop is a workshop
and not a dumster and build a real dumster :—) to his maybee someday stoff and see if he can understand a
hint with a flagpole

go for it Cher said this old collecter of maybee some day stof

how is it going with Honey


View rustfever's profile


799 posts in 4327 days

#9 posted 01-18-2010 12:15 AM

WOW, sounds like me and my space. But I get to blame only one person, Myself. Every day in the shop, I force myself to set aside time returning everything to the space I have established. But I don’t have the wild card of sharing this space. Even my employees know thier job is on the line if the as much as touch my tools.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View David Murray's profile

David Murray

187 posts in 4131 days

#10 posted 01-18-2010 12:40 AM

I got tired of moving stuff around in garage to do any woodworking, I solved the problem, I built my own space for woodworking. My wife is not allowed to store anything in it. Problem sloved!

-- Dave from "The Sawdust Shed"

View Joe Kimmell's profile

Joe Kimmell

32 posts in 4171 days

#11 posted 01-18-2010 01:23 AM

I feel your pain. My shop is a 1940’s single-stall garage, measuring 14×22 feet….In this space, I had a Shopsmith, a full-size table saw, bandsaw, jointer, 12” planer, all kinds of stationary sanders, drill press and all my good lumber. Not to mention all the handheld power tools, and hand tools. You get the picture!....I had to move everything to do anything.
Then last spring, my loving wife saw an ad from our local farm store for a “Garage-in-a-Box”. It’s basically a tent on a very sturdy pipe frame with zippered doors on both ends… measures 12×24 feet, and now houses the table saw, planer, most all my precious lumber, and still with enough room for a 4×8 bench & a few pieces of our lawn/garden equipment.
It seemed like a lot of hassle to put together, because the instructions were innacurate. I was also skeptical of how durable the “skin” would be, and whether the door zippers would hold up….I’m happy to report that we’ve had very low temps with 60mph winds a time or two, and the thing has stood strong!!! The kit also comes with ample auger-type ground anchors…..We are very pleased with this $400 investment.
It has opened up the shop space, helps keep much of the sawdust and shavings out of the shop, and is a good alternative to a building since we rent, and we’ll be able to take it with us when we someday have to move. Most importantly, it has made it easier to keep things organised. Now I don’t have to spend half my time clearing the mess from the last project before I start the next!
Cher, at some point we just had to face the fact that we needed more space, “dumping grounds” or not…...We all need spaces to “dump”, too! Best wishes…..Joe

-- Beer and Bandsaws just don't mix. Take my word for it!

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1524 posts in 5142 days

#12 posted 01-18-2010 06:45 AM

The thing that convinced me to clean up was figuring out how much it was costing me to store stuff. In my case (Northern California, the south end of Wine Country) we figured out that we were paying $500/square.foot. If you include interest on the mortgage, that’s, what, roughly $30/square foot/year? If that stuff ends up in storage for 5 years, suddenly replacing it looks cheap.

Another way to approach this is to look at renting a storage unit: Is that load of stuff worth the $150/month (or whatever) the unit will cost?

Something that helped me get over the “but that’s too good to throw out!” feeling was my local Freecycle. Stuff goes to people who’ll use it, I get some of the benefits back, so it’s kind of a communal “that’ll be useful some day” where it’s useful now.

After that, it’s a matter of making sure that everything has a place it goes. I’m particularly bad at this, so I make it my practice when I can’t find something to organize and clean the shop. It’s a good discipline to make sure that things get put away and that things have a place.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4081 days

#13 posted 01-18-2010 12:19 PM

I like the idea of slowy getting rid of stuff. Thats what ai did when my wife and I git married. I had the house already, her apartment was cramed full, just a path to walk thru. I did get into my house, I first convinced her that her furniture needed to be givin away to someone that needed it more than we did. (that worked)..
Next we combined things together in rubermade totes. I then slowy started getting rid of things that had never been opened. SHE HAS NEVER MISSED IT !!!!

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 4285 days

#14 posted 01-18-2010 12:47 PM

A good simple rule has helped us over the years… If I haven’t seen or touched this item in a full year then out it goes.

On a more serious note… We found one aspect of holding on to too much questionable stuff was that it was actually weighing us down and holding us back.


View Cher's profile


965 posts in 4110 days

#15 posted 01-18-2010 08:36 PM

Thank you to all, I read the comments and couldnt help laughing, firstly my husband might not have seen something for the last nine years but he knows it is there. Maybe us women forget what we have (my son ordered a DVD for me from Amazon when I packed it away low and behold I already had it). Maybe I got toooo much stuff. Did I mention that I share MY space with my car as well…...
Barbs, Im glad I’ve got a ceiling in my workshop, the floor is enough to contend with at this time.
I appreciate every bodies suggestions and I am going to takle that workshop once and for all. This is what I am going to do, firstly I am going to take photos, load them up and then photoshop them, lol.
Seriously I think it is about time I sort out all that stuff believe this, there are four tool boxes in there and they all got the same stuff in them. Garage sale for sure, hubby just has to see reason having four spanners the same size just isnt making any sense.
Once again thank you

-- When you know better you do better.

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