Let’s get organized!
Whenever I decide I want to rearrange the shop, I tend to just dive in with no clear plan and only a vague idea of how I want to improve the work space. As a result, I end up pulling things off the walls or out of cabinets and piling them on my workbench. Maybe this is my strategy: once I have doubled the clutter, it becomes imperative that I take action.
I am never satisfied with the way my shop is organized, but it’s the only “room” in my house where I can rearrange the furniture and not confuse the cat. The biggest problem I’ve been experiencing for a long time is the size of the island workbench in the middle of the shop. It just makes the space more cramped than I would like, especially when moving around camera equipment and lights.
A 4′ x 8′ workbench made sense 14 years ago when I built it: It would allow plenty of room for assembling large projects, and I could access all four sides. As it turns out, I rarely require that much work surface and and extra horizontal space usually becomes a clutter magnet.
The second change I’ve been wanting to make is to thin out my tool collection hanging on my tool hutch and eliminate that hutch altogether. I have a lot of tools I hardly ever touch. They can be kept in drawers. Duplicate tools I can give away.
In order to build a new storage system I figured I would need that huge workbench for piling up all the stuff I remove from the wall. So the monster bench gets one last use! I’ll build a new one next week.
I liked the cubby hole storage in the old tool hutch. It was a great system for storing screws and other hardware. As a side note, if I need screws for a project, I always buy a whole box so I will have a stock on hand of many sizes. Unlike lumber or tools, screws are the few items I recommend buying extra.
I designed the new cubby-hole cabinets to be smallish and modular. If you are going to make one, it’s just as easy to make two or three at the same time. The small size lets me arrange them vertically or horizontal and the french cleat mounting system makes it easy to move them anywhere in the shop. The shelves are removable and adjustable. For me, that means adjusting them once and never changing them again!
- WWMM Wall mounted hardware cabinet (pdf)
- WWMM Wall mounted hardware cabinet -METRIC (pdf)
- Sketchup File
- Sketchup file -METRIC