If you have a workbench, then you’re probably familiar with the way it can go from being a usable space to a cluttered mess in a short amount of time. Most of us have had a similar experience. We clean and organize, only to find that tools don’t get put away immediately, and over time, we have a mess we have to clean up on a regular basis.
So, here’s a solution that will whip your workbench back into shape, and keep it that way.
It starts with a commitment
If it’s just you using the bench, make a commitment to yourself to keep it clean, by putting all tools back into their place. The few extra seconds of putting your tools back in their rightful places can save you minutes as well as a lot of frustration when you need a certain tool quickly. If a number of people will be using the workbench, take a moment to discuss how it’s going to be organized and most importantly, stress the need for all tools to be returned to their proper place when the jobs are done. With out this step, we know what the end result will be.
Make a workable space
Remove all clutter from the surface of the bench, and assess how much space you have to work with. The goal here is to survey your wall space and the back of the bench, to get an idea where storage solutions can be placed in order to keep as much of your workbench as free as possible. Peg board and hooks are great for available wall space, because you can easily hang wrenches, saws, and hammers on them. This will keep these tools organized and at arm’s length.
Screws, nails, nuts, bolts, and other small hardware can be organized into plastic stacking bins. These can be placed at the back of the bench against the wall. If you have a lot of small hardware to keep separate, consider a storage cabinet that’s about a foot tall, and has tons of clear plastic drawers. All these go best at the back of the workbench.
A good socket organizer for your toolchest is a fantastic investment. Hunting for the correct size sockets is something almost every DIYer with an unorganized garage deals with regularly. It’s cheap, easy to setup a system, and will same you a ton of time.
One of the best things you can do is to mount a multiple outlet surge protector to the side of your workbench. This is especially helpful in garages where outlets are at a premium, which is most.
Power tools can be neatly laid out on a multiple shelve, metal baker’s rack. You’ll be able to spot the right tool quickly.You can also put a bin next to each tool, so all the important bits, chucks and blades are in one spot.
What to do with liquids
Paints,and other liquid chemicals, should be stored on the bottom shelf of your workbench. A large plastic drip pan should be used to contain any possible spills from sitting cans. Underneath your workbench is also an excellent spot to store all those half-empty cans of paint or wood stain. It’s a good idea to mark on each can where that paint color has been used (ie: kitchen, upstairs bathroom, exterior trim, etc.).
That’s all there is to it
With your hard work and ingenuity, you can turn your workbench into a space to be proud of. The amount of time you’ll save by organizing now, will pay off on what really matters — your projects!