You all have likely heard the oft-quoted research about how messy people are more creative or innovative or whatever. Those of us who are disorganized by nature [raises hand] like to pass such findings around Facebook and crow (I also just discovered that I’m smarter than you because I stay up until the wee hours of the morning), but we know there’s a limit to creative chaos (and to such dubious studies).

If you’ve ever tried to do a project in a seriously disorganized shop, you know how time-consuming, frustrating, and even dangerous it can be. At a certain point, you find yourself stopping to clean, organize, and make some sense of it all by clearing your workbench (and your head) before you can continue.

Here are just a few of the shop organizing pieces we’ve featured on Make:. If you have some free time over the holidays, consider implementing some of these ideas so you can head into the new year with a more organized workspace.

Adam Savage Geeks Out Over New Mobile Tool Caddy

adamCarts_2In this Tested video, Adam describes his new mobile tool cart and his concept of “First Order Retrieveabilty.”

How-To: Pegboard “Leaves” for Tool Organization

how_to_peg_board_leavesBuilding simple, browseable pegboard leaves, aka a “tool-zine,” is a great way to to able to display a large number of tools within a small space.

Ten Tips for Organizing and Optimizing Workshops

2042074600_462e2be392_b1In this piece, Michael Colombo share ten of his favorite simple shop organizing tips.

Workshop Organization Tips

firefly3Years ago, we asked Make: readers to share some of their favorite shop tips with us. Here’s is what they had to say.

Workshop Tricks: Tangle-Free Power Cords

cordmanagement-300x228YouTuber Dirt Farmer Jay shares this tried and true trick for stowing tangle-free power cords.

Organize Miscellaneous Cables with Toilet Paper Tubes

toilet-paper-roll-cord-organizerWe all know what a pain it can be to store all of the power and data cables in our lives. SO many. SO tangley. Here’s a simple storage approach using toilet paper tubes.

Copper Tube Mini-Tool Organizer

copper1I love these sorts of afternoon projects to create simple tools or jigs that you will then use and appreciate every day. In this Make: Project, Andrew Lewis shows you how to make a benchtop organizer for small tools.

Build Modular Workbench Storage with French Cleats

Finished-French-Cleat-System-620x349If I ever got around to renovating my basement workshop, I would seriously consider a French cleat system. It just seems it make so much sense and offers so much versatility.

Extremely Useful Notebook Organizing Hack

edgeTabHack_4-620x406Not so much a shop tip as an idea organizing hack, but I’ve been using this indexing method ever since I blogged about it here and I’ve found it a rather ingenious solution.

1 thought on “10 Tips for Organizing Your Workshop

  1. If anyone used Dirt Farmer Jay’s idea on my brothers cords he would trash the cord in front of whoever did it. He has been a licensed Electrician for almost 50 years

Comments are closed.


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn