Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Workbench Inspiration

A few days ago, I impulsively decided to undertake a mass cleaning and reorganization of the workbench corner of my garage.

You know what that means. Assorted bins and baskets with castoff bits of heating ducts, caulking guns, filters, old switch plates, and PVC fittings. Untidy heaps of wire, hosing, chicken wire and vents. Shocking quantities of scrap lumber. Old toolboxes full of delicate measuring instruments that belonged to my father-in-law, a professional woodworker. Big machines like lawn mowers and rotary saws. An infinite number of tiny plastic sleeves containing nuts, bolts, nails and screws. And tools to beat the band - hammers of all shapes and sizes, socket wrenches, pliers, fancy cutters and screw drivers, just to name a few.

Sigh. An awful lot of stuff crammed into a fairly small space.

There is only one way to tackle a mess like this. Yes, every little bit of that mountain of stuff has been hauled out to the center of the garage.

Then I brought in the garden hose, and washed away a decade's worth of dirt and dead spiders.

Next, I painted the untreated plywood walls with two solid coats of bright white primer.

So far, so good.

Now comes the very challenging process of editing down the heap, organizing what is kept, and creating an orderly plan for putting things back.

While the paint was still drying on my hands (and arms and face and hair) this afternoon, I sat down at my computer to troll around the internet for some online organization inspiration.

Sure I found plenty of beautiful pictures of workbenches outfitted with never-been-used paintbrushes, beautiful glass jars full of matching hardware, and color-coordinated tools on spotlessly clean pegboards.

In other words, these photos were totally staged and while inspiring, not at all what a real workbench will look like.

Then I stumbled onto a blog called The Broken Plow, which chronicles the lives of a twenty-something couple living in Indiana and remodeling her parents' home which has now become their own. By gosh, these two know a thing or two about how to put together an organized, visually pleasing work space. Their straight-forward, hard-working design satisfies my OCD tendencies, but is still totally within the realm of reality.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from their post; if you like what you see, hop on over to their place for the full story. 

As for me, I"ll be out in the garage, sorting through my heap of workbench rubble and dreaming of a brighter day.

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