Introduction: Organizing Your Woodshop
Pitiful! It's obvious that this wood shop needs Help big-time! No one could work in here! What with changing jobs, some hairy surgery, over a month of endless rain, and general family life crises, this poor sad shop converted itself into a House of Horrors!
Step 1: Recognize the Need
Every action, from brushing your teeth to going to the bathroom to cleaning a wood shop, begins with one thing: recognizing the need.
Step 2: Resolve: Get Started - the Sun Is Finally Out!
Everything had to come out! Fortunately, we have paved driveways (the only ones in our small subdivision). As I emptied the shed I designated separate piles for wood shop items, storage shed items, general discards, and things to donate. Save time and energy - handle everything as few times as possible! There's still plenty of work to come!
Step 3: Build in Breaks
Plan break times, snacks and meals, and self-rewards. Remember to stay hydrated! This particular job came with a built-in reward: in one box of scrap wood and tools I found a real dollar bill! I spent part of days 2 and 3 considering where all to spend it!
Step 4: Keep Going, Think How Happy You'll Be When You're Done!
Absolutely everything had to come out! I could not sweep the floor with things still piled or stacked in corners!
Step 5: Formulate Your Plan
The more things you have to discard or give away, the better off it feels!
I got two storage shelf units on a terrific sale at a big orange box store. You can build them, of course, and I would have - if I could have gotten to my tools!
Step 6: What Goes Where?
If you have a small shop and you need two sets of shelves, it's much easier to move the lightweight sets of empty shelves around to different positions before you begin loading them. You can try positioning your lumber, etc. so you can see how things fit. It turned out that the shelves would not work side-by-side against the back wall. I had too much lumber that could not be shelved that way, but could be shelved if the shelves were on adjacent walls.
Replace the largest or heaviest items first. When the biggest things are positioned first, it's much easier to figure out where you want the medium-sized, then the smallest items.
In the back right corner I have a couple of boxes of supplies for one of my other passions, bead-work. As soon as I finish building the shelves for a spare corner in the back of the house, those will come inside for the winter. One shelf on the right (west) wall houses supplies for building geocaches, of which I have hidden 117. (I've found 1,261 so far, caching as Alaskan Bev).
Step 7: Ah, Almost Done!
This much of the work took a full two days, every minute of it well worthwhile! The small stool was built as a student example a couple of years ago. It is not a tip-free design and is better for a corner stool for plants, stereos, a mug of coffee or tea, etc. Other Instructables from this excellent site gave my students additional fascinating projects; a favorite was the Floating Bottle, for which I wrote cross-curricular lesson plans incorporating math, reading, social skills, following directions, tool safety, etc. In many years of teaching special ed Art there was not a single tool use or operations accident requiring so much as a Band-Aid!
Step 8: Savor Your Great Accomplishment!
Room to work is its own reward! A beautiful ready-for-action shop is a most happy place!