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bp122

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Having started my woodworking hobby journey just over a year ago, as many more before me, I started with a few bits and bobs, chisels, planes etc thinking I will learn the craft properly.

Had a go at it with unsharp tools and pathetic technique, wrongly assumed I couldn't learn it and started buying power tools to compensate for the lack of talent. But just before that phase, I went through another phase of buying rusty old tools thinking I'll restore them to useable condition.

Fast forward to today, there is so much stuff in the workshop that I can't walk around in it without hitting or stepping on something.

Not to mention bits of timber and scrap, thinking it will get used one day (and they have been used in odd jobs where I didn't want to cut a piece of something bigger)

I've been meaning to install shelves to store bits and bobs, but between work, baby, house, and other obligations, it just doesn't happen.

I ask all of you who have been doing this for years, do you have the same amount of clutter due to "acute hoarding syndrome" proportional to the length of time you have been doing it?
How does one discipline oneself against amassing things that will one day be needed, but is now on a good deal or offer?
What is the longest you have been away from your workshop because you just couldn't get 2 minutes spare?

I am aware of the "if you haven't used something in 6 months or a year, get rid of it" rule, but it doesn't work in situations where life gets in the way of what you wanted to or intended to learn or do.

I'd like to hear your thoughts.
 

craigs

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nope, as you see I pass it on to others :) I get a lot from the forum so i feel its nice to give something back :)
 

thetyreman

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I think to myself 'create more consume less' so that's what I've been trying to do, once you get certain tools it's very unlikely you'll need more than those tools, best to buy tools when you need them for certain jobs.

I've wanted some high end chisels for quite a long time but know it won't make me a better woodworker, I'll just keep using the ones I've got instead, same thing with hand planes e.t.c, it's all well having lie neilsen if you can afford it but the end result will be the same as a vintage bailey stanley or record plane.

p.s and I try to keep my space as tidy as possible even though it's hard, I force myself to clean up after every single session, that helps me with motivation.
 

bp122

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Thanks fellas, that helps.

Just looking at my stuff, most of it aren't even tools.
Yes I have three metal hand planes and there wooden. Two sets of chisels, one Old Marples for my definition of fine work and one Stanley set for rough work. All bought used or giveaways by generous people.

The stuff that gets me are thinks like foam padding, which I sometimes keep thinking I might need to package something in the future. Same with small annoying plastic bits, tiny boxes of old screws which I don't use as I switched to torx drive a while ago but still keep the old pozi drive ones when I find them.

Things like this, and there are too many to list all of them.

Through salvaging, losing and finding, and many other means, I have about 6 retractable craft knives. None of them are great that I pick a favourite and get rid of the rest. Some I use for wallpapering, some for workshop.

Old cases of drills etc have stuff in them like cable ties, IKEA screws and allen keys, wall plugs but I get so overwhelmed when I think I have to sort all if these.

I am on the cusp of a meltdown, I feel sometimes.
 

AJB Temple

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I sympathise with this. Over the years I have somewhat upgraded my tools, and meant to sell the old ones but never got round to it. I only really use the good stuff now so it makes sense to have a clear out. You may have inspired me.

As for wood offcuts they go in the off cuts bin. At the end of a project I will sort the offcuts into two sets: log burner (90%) and keep. I am much more inclined to get rid of stuff now than I used to be.
 

Tris

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We moved to our current home 8 years ago, to a new job and with a toddler, I have only just got to a point where I can find a tool straight away.
I'm one of life's wombles so it's rare that anything gets thrown away but I have sold some tools I bought years ago which helped fund things I will use now.
Be careful about what you use for storage, I have an old metal plan chest I thought would be ideal but the drawers are too shallow for half the things I want to put in there. Old kitchen cupboards are good for boxed tools.
Drill some holes in a piece of scrap and screw it to the wall, straight away you can find your chisels easily, another one with slots and you put your saws up safely. Small steps, 10 mins here and there, you'll get there.
 

Sandyn

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I have acute hoarding syndrome. I see it as a great benefit. In the past, I have suffered from 'stuff everywhere', but gradually I have organised things. A place for everything really helps. Every spare inch of my walls are covered with shelves, plastic bins or tool boards, where I hang tools and draw the outline to show which tool goes there. It really helps. I have plastic bins labelled, shelves for hand tools. Having this actually motivates me to put tools away after use and no more hunting around the floor to find clamps and things. Space is always the issue.I have my own version of Moore's Law. Workshop space needs to double every 3 years!
As I get older, I find it more important to try to organise things. I used to have the ability to remember where I stored some obscure part, 20 years before, but now I can't remember where I left my face mask 10 seconds after taking it off, so I'm much more disciplined about putting things away. Finding time to do things is also a huge problem these days, but I'm retired now (busier than ever!), so I did spend ages organising things. I think you are at the point where you see it as a problem, so it might be time to start doing improvements, a little at a time. One easy way to start is tool boards. I use chipboard mounted on the walls and just wood screws to hang tools. Paint it white, then draw outlines. Some of my tool boards are edge mounted on the wall, so I can use both sides and have a couple of them close together. The end result: you will enjoy your hobby more and become more productive with the limited time you have. Having said all that, I'm still a messy b***er, lol
 

Jelly

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I have a 21ft long by 2ft wide run of industrial racking I bought for £80 from a rally spares company who were modernising their warehouse.

With 3 layers of shelving on it, that's given me so much space back, when I first moved in I could barely move for boxes in the workshop, but as soon as I put that up, the floor magically re-appeared.

I find storage solutions are like clamps:

You always need more than you expect for a given situation, and if you don't have enough you'll never manage to get [at] a flat surface.​
Hence the (arguably OTT until I did it) choice to get serious amounts of racking which will hold more than a 20yd Roll on-off skip would.
 

bp122

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Once again, thanks fellas.

I did do a bit before the baby came, it was reaching a good level of organisation as well.
I screwed some screws on to the face of the wall cabinets in the workshop to mount my chisels and marking tools. But then it stopped and baby clutter started filling the garage as well as other clutter.

I even boarded up my loft to transfer as many non workshop items up there as possible. But as my wife points out that the reason I feel anxious is that I'm just exhausted and don't realise that the stuff I need to do around the baby takes so much energy that I feel like everything is too much.

Like all of you have said, I'll start to deal with it one bite size at a time.

This is great, feels like free therapy!
 

Tris

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Someone once said you don't know how tired you can be till you've got a baby in the house, back then I laughed:oops:
Wait till they can stretch Dad into three syllables, "Daaad, can you make me a....."
By that time the school will be asking for stuff for junk modelling and all the foam you saved will find it's purpose :ROFLMAO:
 

Jameshow

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I find it's the left over IKEA bits and bobs that accumulates as well as the electrical and plumbing spares stuff.

I take the opinion that if it's less than a foot it goes on the fire!!

Cheers James
 

Doug B

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I built my workshop 16 years ago & filled it up straight away, I probably have twice the amount of gear now than I had then but I seem to have more room :oops:
Organisation is the key plus working out a good workflow through your workshop, for me this came from actually using the workshop rather than designing on paper. In the last 16 years I’ve altered layouts quite a few times, now these days thankfully its just small tweaks but only through using a space can you really realise it’s potential.
 

clogs

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grab some old kitchen cupboards.....then u have High and low storage plus a bench top....just fit them down one side of ur work space for a start.....
make it so u keep the doors closed, that way uve already started to get tidy.....then dont be afraid to re organise as nec.....
Baby stuff always is a prob.....but I was lucky enough to have a house big enough.....
as for a garage, can't remember ever putting my car in there.....motorcycles YES....
Not being mean, try to get mum and baby off for the weekend......then u can be selfish and do ur thing.....
but she also needs her space.....
this should get tongues wagging.....
I quite like the Victorian idea of child care......
when baby is born get a nurse/nanny, then when about 10 send off to boarding school.....hahaha....
I never wanted kids, those I got were inherited/came as a package....now they are in their late 20's and I really enjoy them.....
both girls are Bilingual have good jobs...paramedic / translater....
I feel ur pain.....
 

AndyT

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Anyone who has ever followed one of my build threads in the projects section will know that there is only just enough space in my workshop for me and the job I am working on - the rest is filled with tools and bits and pieces. I know it's not how some people work but it suits me.

In the current conditions I have been enjoying making things designed around the bits of wood that I have salvaged or saved, which is a good thing when it's not possible to go to the timber yard and buy what I want.

As the months wear on I may be down to making wooden beads and earrings, but that's some way off yet.
 

bp122

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I have the stuff for the shelves, just need to do them. What didn't help is that over the summer, I painted ask the rooms upstairs with the downstairs still to do. So an awful lot of painting supplies are also occupying the much needed space.
 

Stanleymonkey

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Once again, thanks fellas.

I did do a bit before the baby came, it was reaching a good level of organisation as well.
I screwed some screws on to the face of the wall cabinets in the workshop to mount my chisels and marking tools. But then it stopped and baby clutter started filling the garage as well as other clutter.

I even boarded up my loft to transfer as many non workshop items up there as possible. But as my wife points out that the reason I feel anxious is that I'm just exhausted and don't realise that the stuff I need to do around the baby takes so much energy that I feel like everything is too much.

Like all of you have said, I'll start to deal with it one bite size at a time.

This is great, feels like free therapy!

If you haven't used it in a while throw it - like you say that doesn't always work.

I prefer a 'brutal box' type approach. Have a box of things you might throw - no committment just might throw. You'll soon fill it up. You'll probably pile up stuff around it as well when you realise you've cleared your bench or emptied a cupboard. When you see how much space you've freed up you'll have the motivation to walk to the pin and tip it all in.

As for keeping packaging. Do you need to keep all that stuff for the one day you'll pay £6.50 in postage to send something worth £15 back? Especially if it ends up cluttering up your life - is it worth it?

Final useless piece of advice. When my kids were little, I would head down to the shed of an evening. Put a film on a battered old laptop. (Lord of the Rings something backgroundy) and just sit and sort stuff out with a mug of coffee and some biccies. Didn't make any noise to upset the neighbours, just condensed things down. Bought some plastic drawer sets and filled those and wrote what it was on the front. You soon empty out all those little pots and make some space.

Anyway - all the best hope you get things sorted out.
 

bp122

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If you haven't used it in a while throw it - like you say that doesn't always work.

I prefer a 'brutal box' type approach. Have a box of things you might throw - no committment just might throw. You'll soon fill it up. You'll probably pile up stuff around it as well when you realise you've cleared your bench or emptied a cupboard. When you see how much space you've freed up you'll have the motivation to walk to the pin and tip it all in.

As for keeping packaging. Do you need to keep all that stuff for the one day you'll pay £6.50 in postage to send something worth £15 back? Especially if it ends up cluttering up your life - is it worth it?

Final useless piece of advice. When my kids were little, I would head down to the shed of an evening. Put a film on a battered old laptop. (Lord of the Rings something backgroundy) and just sit and sort stuff out with a mug of coffee and some biccies. Didn't make any noise to upset the neighbours, just condensed things down. Bought some plastic drawer sets and filled those and wrote what it was on the front. You soon empty out all those little pots and make some space.

Anyway - all the best hope you get things sorted out.
Great tips, thanks.

That was the plan anyway. But we have moved in with the in-laws for the duration of the lockdown. So I only get to go back home once or twice a week to collect mail or just to do a general check. Once I go back, I may just follow your advice about the quiet sorting in the evenings after the little one falls asleep.
 
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