10 Tips for Organizing Your Workshop



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. Randy Freeman says:

    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

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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. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

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