What I do to keep my tool shop tidy

Now that I have my workshop in Illinois built and ready for action, there’s much I need to do to make the tasks I intend to complete there easy and less stressful. This includes ensuring that my workplace is always tidy, sì?


To do this, I have installed an inexpensive anti-fatigue mat right on the spots where I will be using my power tools and workbenches. This is through a double layer of foam carpet pad that I bought from the hardware store. I used a utility knife to cut the pad to size, but you can use a pair of scissors or tin snips if you like.

I made the mat so I can avoid tripping on my feet and with a tool in hand, that prospect indeed conjures plenty of scary scenarios. After all, shop safety is always of primary importance to someone like me who has decided to make something out of my real passion: woodworking.


As for my tools, I shall make sure they are all nicely organized while being easily accessible. In organizing my shop tools, I seriously considered their various uses or purposes most carefully so there wouldn’t be any spare or duplicate tools that all look alike and provide the same function while eating up considerable space.


It is best to organize tools efficiently by categorizing them. Cutting tools go with cutting tools, metal working devices should be near each other, and woodworking ones should be grouped together. Make sure to do this categorization with time enough to think about how to organize everything correctly.


We have a saying in my native Italy that goes like this, “La gatta frettolosa ha fatto i gattini ciechi”. Literally translated this means “The hasty cat gave birth to blind kittens”. Metaphorically, it means that anything done in haste will present a tendency to produce bad results. Keep that in mind during the shop organization process and you should be good to go, si?


Observe a balance of accessibility and functionality to keep working efficiently and safely. This ensures your shop remains free from tool clutter. I mounted my primary power tools such as my drill press, miter saw, and others on caster wheels so I can simply wheel them into and out of a corner. The wheels are, of course, lockable for safety.

I freed up floor space by using wall space storage options. I have mounted metal tool cabinets high on my shop walls so they aren’t simply left lying around. I also suggest having overhead racks with pulleys for easy access and lowering, as well as freer floor space if you have a high-ceilinged workshop.


Most importantly, I clean my workshop personally to ensure it is the best looking one in Illinois. Forgive me for bragging about my shop, but as any native American will say, “ A ogni uccello il suo nido è bello.” which is an Italian’s poetic way of saying that every bird considers its own nest beautiful. You will agree, si?