As your woodworking shop grows over the years, so does your collection of tools, lumber, and accessories. And with that growth comes the challenge of keeping everything organized!
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the clutter or just looking for ways to optimize your space, you’re in the right place! Let’s dive into some tried-and-true woodworking shop storage ideas for your growing business.
If your shop is on the small side, taking full advantage of your vertical space can make all the difference.
Customize pegboards with hooks, shelves, and bins to hang tools, clamps, and other accessories. A dedicated tool wall for your most-used tools is attractive and functional!
By organizing your tools on the wall, you can quickly spot the tool you need without needing to dig through a drawer. Color code different tools or wall areas with tape or paint to make it even easier to find tools at a glance.
If you don’t have many free walls, another woodworking shop organization tip is turning the inside of cabinet doors into extra vertical space. Some low-profile items, such as circular saw blades, are perfect to mount on cabinet doors or inside vertically-oriented drawers.
Overhead racks or shelves are perfect for lightweight or infrequently used items. Ensure these are securely anchored to avoid accidents, and keep a comfortable clearance height in mind. Overhead racks in the center of the room or hanging too low can make it more difficult to comfortably maneuver and rotate long cuts of wood.
Some shops can also benefit from wall-mounted lumber racks, either vertically or horizontally. If you store wood horizontally on floating shelves, just be sure to limit how many pieces you stack on each shelf. A tall stack will make it difficult to reach the one on the bottom!
When it comes to woodworking shop storage ideas, rolling tool cabinets and work tables are lifesavers. Rather than walk back and forth across the shop, you can move them around as needed and enjoy the convenience of having your tools right where you need them. Plus, you can establish a “home” to tuck them out of the way when not in use.
When working with mobile stations, make sure the wheels can lock when needed. Build a habit of locking the wheels every time, then giving the station a firm shake to test its movement. Unexpected movement on a heavy tool cabinet or worktable with active machinery can easily lead to damage or injury.
Labels and Transparent Bins
When you spend so much time in your workspace, you likely know it like the back of your hand. Maybe you haven’t felt a need for labels since you already know where everything is.
However, labels and transparent bins can make it even faster to find the tools you need. The best part about this woodworking shop organization tip is that you only need to invest the time once and you’ll benefit from it forever.
Transparent bins and labels can be especially helpful for organizing screws, nails, and other small hardware that can be hard to distinguish at a glance. Simply include the size, material, or any other important details on the label and quickly grab the exact fastener you need!
Whenever you reorganize your shop, the labels will help you more quickly identify the new location and build up your memory quicker. If you ever pack up your shop and move into a new location, boxes and bins that are already labeled will be easier to sort through and set into their new home.
Labeling your tool locations can also help your shop scale up. As your woodworking shop grows, you may start hiring new team members who are not familiar with where you keep things. Labels will help them more quickly locate what they need in order to move around the shop efficiently.
Have a designated, dust-free storage area for safety gear such as goggles, aprons, and dust masks. The easier it is to access safety gear, the more likely you and your employees are to actually use them – every single time. This small step can make a big difference in ensuring you always have protection at hand.
Cord reels or velcro straps can also help with crucial cord management, keeping your shop safe and clutter-free. A tangle of cords isn’t just unsightly – it can also take up space and pose a safety hazard.
After implementing these woodworking shop storage ideas and organization strategies, you’ll want to keep it looking good! Build a habit of tidying up and returning tools to their proper places when not in use.
Leaving out tools occasionally might not seem like a problem, but it can quickly build up over time. Before you know it, the tools and materials scattered around your woodworking shop will make it difficult to find what you need. It may even become a safety hazard if you find yourself tripping over items that have fallen to the ground.
Depending on how you like to work, this doesn’t necessarily have to mean you must return tools immediately. Instead, you can simply tidy up once a day when you close up shop. Put away any tools or materials, throw away trash, sweep the floors, then lock up shop until tomorrow.
By tidying your space at least once a day, you can stay ahead of it and avoid the disorganized chaos that can build up over time. If your space gets out of hand, you may find it overwhelming – and as a result, you may procrastinate tidying until it becomes a serious time commitment to reorganize.
On a similar note, don’t forget about “spring cleaning”! Periodically reassess your overall tool and material collection. If you haven’t used something in over a year, consider selling, donating, or recycling it to free up space. By getting rid of tools, equipment, materials, and supplies you never use, you can more quickly access the items you do use regularly.
Your Partners in Woodworking
An organized shop is a happy shop – and an efficient, profitable shop. Even if you run a small woodworking shop with limited space, the right storage ideas and organization strategies can help you make the most of what you have.
At Dakota Premium Hardwoods, we’re more than just a hardwood lumber and plywood supplier. We’re your partner! We specialize in products for the woodworking, cabinetry, millwork, furniture making industries and carry a wide variety of hardwood lumber, plywood, tools, and supplies. Our team is fanatical about customer service, and we go the extra mile to help you pick out exactly what you need for your project.