Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m a slob. SWMBO has pretty much given up on getting me to not leave random stuff on every horizontal surface in the house. But now, in the tiny shop, a turning point is reached. I simply don’t have room to be sloppy!
A few simple rules are helping a lot. They won’t be news to you non-slobs, but they’re almost a revelation to me:
1. “A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place”. I’ve always heard that, but … just never got it. Inspired by Chris Schwartz, I’ve put a tool rack across the window behind the bench. It started out as basically a chisel rack, but at the moment, it holds chisels, try square, 12” steel squat, sliding bevel, marking gauge, tenon saw, dovetail saw, coping saw, razor knife, spokeshave and mechanical pencil. I think I can cram a few more items on there before I have to start another one.
The real trick is getting in the habit of putting each tool back in the rack when I’m done with it rather than laying it on the bench top. Just doing that makes things a lot easier.
2. Tables Are Not Shelves. How many times have you seem somebody have to move a bushel of junk off of the table saw before they could make a cut? Ever since I set the bandsaw, I’ve made it a rule not to leave anything on the table. I might set something there momentarily, but nothing gets LEFT there.
I’m trying to do the same thing with the workbench, but old habits die hard.
3. Don’t be afraid to throw stuff away.
I wonder if there’s a 12-step program for slobs?