It’s never too late to organize your stuff. Last year I put my tools and machines in storage while remodeling my shop. When I brought them back, I reorganized the way they were stored. My only regret is that I didn’t consult John Sanders’ videos before organizing the contents of my mechanics tool box.
The video below is a shop tour that focused on storage. You don’t have to be a machinist to appreciate the level of organization in his shop; the principles he espouses can be applied to any craft or trade.
They include putting like items together and keeping things close to where they will be used. If at all possible, keep the most frequently used items out where you can see them—preferably in shadow boards (Sanders uses Kaizen Foam). If you store things in containers or drawers, be sure to label them so you know what’s inside. And get rid of the stuff you never use.
That last piece of advice is the hardest to follow. I found it difficult to get rid of things before remodeling my shop. But it felt good once I got going. I sold a machine and gave away a bunch of tools—it helped that a friend had retired and was taking up woodworking. Eight months on there have been only a handful of times when I wished I’d hung onto something I’d gotten rid of.
There’s a lot to be learned from watching the video tour of Sanders’ shop. Don’t be disheartened if your gear is nowhere as organized as his. Mine is not. But it will be better when I incorporate some of the things I’ve seen in this video.