Nothing beats the satisfaction of a finished project, except maybe looking at your workspace and seeing it tidy and spotless, with everything in a clearly labeled, designated space. Keeping your workshop clean and organized isn’t just a nice thing to have, it’s a necessity for efficiency, security, and safety.
A Clean and Organized Shop Improves Efficiency
Be honest – when you’re working on a project, how much time is eaten up, searching for a tool or supply? Even spending five minutes here or there sifting through a cluttered workbench for a nail or searching through a bucket for just the right screw can add up to a lot of lost time. Organizing your shop and keeping it clean cuts down on lost and misplaced items. An uncluttered workshop improves your efficiency and allows you to get projects done quicker and with fewer frustrations.
Organization is Essential for Security
If your housekeeping style is best described as “there appears to have been a struggle,” or “I know where everything’s at, kind of,” then you might not have any clue if the security of your shop has been compromised.
Unfortunately, the world is full of unscrupulous individuals and there may come a time when one of those individuals decides to raid your workshop. Keeping a space clean allows you to visually scan the room and see if anything has been disturbed, even if nothing was taken. Organizing your shop allows you to create an inventory of what you have on hand, so you’ll know what’s gone if you’re the victim of a burglary.
Staying Tidy is Staying Safe
Safety first, safety second and safety third: that’s what should be in the background of your mind at all times when working in your woodshop. It’s hard to maintain an acceptable level of safety if your space is dirty, messy and disorganized. Stray wood-shavings can contribute to slips, cords running here and there can cause falls and tripping over a heavy tool is a good way to hurt yourself in any number of ways. And don’t expect your footwear to provide invincibility from stepping down, full force, on a sharp nail or screw.
Clean up your messes as you work, periodically throughout a long project or at the end of each day. Organize your tools and materials so they’re out of the way as you work in your shop to prevent injuries and minimize hazards.
Why a Clean and Organized Shop Matters
As a woodworker, no doubt, you take pride in what you do. Your finished work is neat and tidy, and your workshop should be, as well. While it can be easy to get carried away in your work, cleaning up and organizing is an essential part of the project, no less worthwhile to pursue than a mirror-smooth finish on your next fine project.
Keeping your woodworking space free from messes and neatly organized means you’ll be able to find what you need at a glance. You’ll also know exactly what you have on hand should your shop be robbed or broken into. Finally, you’ll provide yourself with a greater degree of safety if everything is cleaned and organized. There’s no downside to keeping your shop tidy, and the time you spend doing so is all part of the wonderful job of creating heirlooms, masterpieces, and everyday use objects.