7 easy ways to create a clutter-free workshop

July 27, 2015

7 easy ways to create a clutter-free workshop

1. Create a string dispenser

  • Create a string dispenser by cutting off the bottom half of a two-litre (two-quart) plastic soft drink bottle.
  • Nail the inside of the top half upside down on a wall; place the string inside with the end dangling through the bottle neck.
  • Tie scissors to the dispenser with a length of string for handy cutting.

2. Round up rolls of tape

Round up rolls of tape by slipping them onto a toilet paper holder mounted on a wall or workbench.

3. Easily make holders for bolts, nails, screws

Holders for bolts, nails, screws, picture hooks and other small items can be made from small plastic containers.

  • Use transparent tape to attach a sample item to the outside of each container so you can find items at a glance.

4. Make nail holders

  • Make nail holders from four-litre (one-gallon) plastic bottles. Leave lids on and cut a section from the top of each one opposite the handle.
  • When the bottles are stored on their sides and filled with nails, the weight of the nails keeps them from rolling.
  • Off the shelves, the bottles can stand upright and their handles make them easy to carry to any household job site.

5. How to corral cords

  • Use clip-style clothespins to keep power cords up and out of the way in your workshop.
  • Screw or glue them to overhead joists or other out-of-the-action spots.
  • You can also create a hanger that lets a cord move by slitting a short length of old garden hose diagonally. Open the slit to tack the hanger in place and to insert or remove the cord.
  • Install a multi-outlet power strip under the front edge of your workbench to provide a handy place for plugging in power tools while keeping cords out of the way.
  • Use a UL-listed, GFI-protected power strip with a circuit breaker to prevent overloads, and make sure it's rated to handle the maximum amperage that you are likely to use on it.

6. Use the wall for more space

Wall organizers, available in hardware and home stores, offer a variety of interchangeable hooks and snap-on pieces to hold garden hoses, clippers, shovels, rakes, hoes and other tools.

  • Wall-mounted mop and broom holders can help organize cleaning tools. They contain hooks and holes that fit broom handles, dust pans and whisk brooms.

7. Find space between-stud shelves

Narrow 8.5-centimetre-wide (3 1⁄2-inch-wide) shelves installed between open studs will hold 500 millilitre (pint-sized) cans of paint, jars of fasteners, garden sprays and other supplies.

  • Using a 1 x 4, first make 1.5 centimetre (3⁄4 inch) blocks to support the shelves. Attach the blocks to both sides of the stud with glue and 3.5 centimetre (1 1⁄2 inch) screws.
  • Cut the shelves to fit between the studs, then place them securely on the blocks.
  • To make wider shelves for the space between studs, use pre-manufactured angle-brackets (available in several sizes). For a 25-centimetre-deep (10-inch-deep) shelf, for example, you need 15-centimetre-long (six-inch-long) brackets.
  • Cut the shelves from 1.5 centimetre (3⁄4 inch) plywood. Using 3.5-centimetre-long (1 1⁄2-inch-long) screws, mount a bracket on every other stud for a moderate load, or on every stud for heavier loads.
  • Notch the shelves to fit around the studs, and attach them to the brackets with one centimetre (1⁄2 inch) drywall screws.

Keep these tips in mind and create an organized workshop you'll look forward to working in!

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