Tips for Cleaning the Work Area
My back is killing me from spending almost an entire Sunday running errands, doing laundry and cleaning my work area. I wish I had thought to take a “before” picture but trust me when I say that this is a massive improvement from how it was before. I know this because right now I wish I was down there working on something instead of up here writing my blog. What better testimony than to say that. I was even able to clear a space for my daughter to paint.
When cleaning up it’s always entertaining to find the bits and bobs I’ve kept for no reason. When I find stuff that I haven’t used in years I don’t automatically pack it away like some treasure. I still have trouble disposing of useless things though it seems that every time I clean up I’m finding it easier and easier. I am a recovering pack-rat so that is a good win for me. Personally I would be happier if my tools and supplies took up less room and gave me more room for displaying painting miniatures.
Based on my experiences today I thought I’d share some practices I either employ or would like to start employing to keep my work area clean.
When I’m working I like to be able to work on multiple projects at once. For example, I’ve decided I’m not putting another lick of paint on my Knight Models Leia “Boushh” figure until I’ve replaced my terrible Raphael brushes with something decent. Also, my primer coat on my 1/48 Airfix Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX went on poorly and I need to make sure it’s fully cured so I can sand off the problem areas. While I wait for both of these I’ve been puttering around with an old Marvel Ghost Rider figure kit to keep myself busy.
I don’t have the workspace to have all these projects and their associated tools laid out. Trying to do so is one of the reasons my area got so messy. Walking into my basement and seeing those bare tabletops makes me want to pull something out and get to work. I like this feeling and would like to feel it more often. This means I want it to be easy to take out and put away tools.
For example I had stored my sandpaper in a paper box from Ikea. It fits letter sized paper and is a couple of inches deep. I was able to bring the entire box over to where I was working and sand my parts. When I was finished I tossed the paper back in the box and put it back on the shelf. I worked without having to get up to look for a different grit of paper and when I was finished I put all the sandpaper back in the box and it went neatly back on my shelf. The quicker you can pack things away the more likely you’ll do so when you’re done.
Another large movable storage is my set of drawers. I have an Alex from Ikea which is on wheels. The thicker drawers perfectly hold my Vallejo paint and the thinner drawers are great for tools. Since it’s on wheels I can move it where I want it and I keep the top clean so that I can either stow my painting tray on it or use it as an extra surface as I already described. In fact, the top of these drawers being untidy was a huge part of making the rest of my work area a mess. Because it was untidy I could stow my paint tray which made it harder to clean the rest.
Next we come to the largest storage solution in the room.