EVERY shop struggles with organization and cleanliness. Here is a motivational story on how I cleaned my DIY Metal Fab shop up and got organized so I can rock some projects in 2019!
The end of a year is a great time to sit back and reflect on what you have accomplished and set yourself up for success in the next year. I got a lot done in 2018, but it seems with every project finished my shop progressively got a little bit messier.
Why waste time cleaning?
You may feel that cleaning and organizing the shop is a waste of time when you could be working, but I beg to differ. I spend extra time to organize, label, and categorize my tools and supplies so not only I can find them quickly, but in the rare case that I have somebody helping me I can either tell them where it is or they can find it on their own by looking at the labels on my toolbox drawers and tubs.
Not to mention, clean shops generally have less safety hazards. Less cords on the floor, objects to trip on, things to hit your head on, etc.
I have a 3 car garage for my ‘shop’ which is mostly a tease. The 3rd car bay isn’t full depth and by the time the mower + strollers + bikes get put over there it is pretty much full. Therefore I have to be super efficient about how I store stuff. Lately I had gotten lazy and wasn’t putting stuff away like I should have and it was getting out of control.
I had an idea for storing my big ladder above the garage door so I bought some cool hooks for mounting in there but the ladder ended up being too wide to fit in that spot. I might use them for something else down the road, for now I think I will just toss the ladder in the basement or under the deck. Below is a link, maybe they would be helpful for you.
In place of the ladder, I was able to hang my bolt bin that was taking up real estate on my workbench. There was no reason for it to take up space on my workbench other than I couldn’t figure out a better place to mount it (until now).
If you ever need motivation for getting organized and setting up a sweet shop, be sure to check out the ‘Garage Gallery’ section over at www.GarageJournal.com/forum
Installing Retractable Electric Cord Reels
While I was going about cleaning, I realized I had two electric cord reels. One was mounted in a somewhat awkward space below my workbench on the shelf (above the blue generator) and the other one was not installed laying smack in the middle of my welding workbench (total waste of space).
Late at night in the garage I was pondering possible solutions while enjoying a winter adult beverage (white Russian) when I came upon a gem of an idea. Why don’t I mount them to the cieling and use the garage door opener plugs for power! The beauty here is that I figured out these plugs are on a different circuit than the wall outlets (less tripping of breakers).
If you were looking closely above, you would notice the yellow reel I looped a knot in the cord so the plug end would hang low enough for me to grab it. The red reel was a little bit fancier with a moveable plastic stopper ball that I was able to push up the cord so the plug would hang lower.
In my opinion, cieling mounted retractable cord reels also increase safety. When mounted in proximity of the workstation they can keep wires off the floor where they can get tangled or even worse, become a trip hazard. One of my biggest annoyances is when I get multiple cords strung out during a project and have to constantly untangle them and trip over them.
These Brother label printers are great for getting organized:
Not one of my most exciting posts, but I hope it is inspirational. I have lived in this house for over a year now and it didn’t occur to me to hang those two cord reels until this project. So I hope it drums up some ideas for you and your shop.
Now YOU, go out there and work on something!
Thoughts, comments, additional ideas? Post below!