Last year, my wife went on a crusade against clutter in the kitchen, pantry and laundry room and in the process, we discovered The Container Store. (In all fairness to Susan, going there was actually my idea.)

Wandering through this temple of organization is enough to warm the heart of anyone who likes things neat and tidy. Truth be told I was overwhelmed at first, having no idea half of the stuff I saw even existed. Once I got my sea legs under me, I started looking at the potential of things for the shop and I spotted these tidy stackable boxes (below).


Made of bamboo and meant to bring order to kitchen or desk drawers, these little beauties are well built, come in a variety of sizes and are priced reasonably. In a covert operation a few months later, I snagged a few to use around the bench. With the addition of a framework to house them, a matching front and drawer pull, these boxes are an excellent solution for my small tool storage needs. In the previous post, I mentioned how the rubber drawer liner keeps things in place and with some future dividers; my hand tools will have a safe and comfortable home. Yes I could have built similar boxes and saved some money but I chose these because they are of better quality than I could make myself and the time saved will be used elsewhere. Like so many simple things, I wonder why I didn’t do this sooner.
I know that many modelers don’t care about the condition of their workbench. As long as they have the clichéd two square feet of work area and can lay their hands on the necessary tools and supplies, the rest of the bench can be as messy as it wants.

Not everyone wants to work in such chaos and I’m one of those people who prefer that the work area and surroundings be organized and clean. Of course when I’m in the thick of messy operations like milling, my bench turns into a disaster. However, I will take time to clean up shavings and other debris before returning to the more delicate work on a model. My ultimate plan is to have dedicated workstations for the major tools like the drill press, where I can store the related accessories and do such work away from the modeling bench.

I’ve been involved in a number of creative pursuits and have learned the hard way what a disorganized work flow costs in time spent looking for things. It’s a frustrating experience to constantly track down tools, or other supplies when you’re in the middle of work. Like many creative people my workspace is always evolving in terms of storage and design changes. While the main bench works fine, nearby areas like the wall to my left are not organized as well as they could be. The plan is to tackle them one by one, as time and resources allow. For now it’s great to have the needed tools organized and accessible. It’s one more item off my never-ending list.

On to the next wall.