Got a Cramped Workspace? Here’s 4 Tips to Make the Most of It

drawers on an organizing bin

Have you got a tiny little workshop? Have your building projects been relegated to a closet-sized area in the home? Do you feel like you are trying to fit a massive holiday family dinner for the whole clan onto a quaint little table for two?

It is crucial for you to find the best way to use the space you have. Doing so will allow you to set your table with the necessary standards to feast upon the sublime gratification that is building your cigar box guitar.

Follow my four tips to overcome the obstacle of space limitation and enjoy the time you have in your own little workshop

 

fisheye view of my cramped workspace

Organize Your Space

This may seem basic or obvious but is also easy to overlook or simply not practice. Every item you have needs its own home. Keep your screws, nails, and glue together. If you have clamps, keep them all in one area that is within convenient reach. Your hammer, saw, drill and bits all should have their own place in the workspace. With as little room as you have to work with, it is essential that when you think to reach for something, you know exactly where it is. Rummaging through bins, boxes, and bags of assorted items severely decreases the time you have to work and makes for a frustrating experience.

Plan Ahead

If you are going to enlist the help of a video like those I have posted here, watch it a few times before you set out to build. Gather the necessary tools. Become familiar with what the process is going to require of you. Mentally walk through the game plan, seeing yourself perform the actions that you are watching in the tutorial. Trying to start a new project with little to no insight in a cramped space will derail your efforts and make the space seem even smaller.

Be Resourceful

Make the most of what you have. Don’t worry about what you don’t have or what someone says you need to have to build. Learning to be resourceful and practicing it with intent will make you an efficient builder. A power miter saw would be great. So would a table saw, a belt sander and a host of other tools. Tools take up space, add clutter, cost big money, and require maintenance and care.

Only the most basic of tools are required to make a sweet, 100% playable cigar box guitar

Being resourceful is also learning to use your space efficiently. Go to a site such as Pinterest.com for organizing ideas in tiny spaces. If you think Pinterest doesn’t apply to you or has nothing to offer a woodworker or hobbiest, think again. The site is filled with a ridiculous amount of helpful ideas and links.

Clean up

Put everything back where it belongs when you are finished working for the day. Don’t be building until the last available minute. Leave some time to clean up after yourself. Don’t leave a mess that you will have to face the next time you can set aside to build. Starting a building session with a messy, cramped space is like setting your tiny dinner table with unwashed ware from the previous nights meal. It’s entirely unappealing and kills the buzz to build.

tools on a pegboard

Cramped spaces make for challenging workshops

Give yourself the opportunity to learn and to grow without creating obstacles for yourself. Limit the number obstacles you will face by being deliberate in managing your workspace.

Your success in building will be the direct result of your choices and actions. Choose to feast like a king upon the fruits of your labor. Choose to make the most of your cramped workspace and get building.

The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less. -Socrates

What one thing can you do today that will optimize your workspace?

Glenn Watt is a maker of things. Join him in celebrating the cigar box guitar at glennwatt.com
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