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Lior

Organizing work space

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I hope I am not making a double thread. I looked to see if one already existed and saw all of Kerry's beautiful photos of her basement workshop. I am trying to get back into things slowly and need to do a lot of organizing and re organizing of my basement workshop. It has sat virtually untouched for two years. I am washing molds right now.  I am desperately hoping that things will be positive around here and am even considering, after a while of being back into "it", of opening a proper little store. But that is not the NOW. I am insisting my hubby remove all the things he put in my workspace, as he has this gigantic fish hobby and about 20 aquariums on our back patio and in the house. He has all sorts of tools, stones, and I dont know what on my tables. He is being very cooperative, I must say. 

I am looking for tips. How do you store things? Organize? I dont want to spend a whole lot on shelving and cupboards etc.  My space is about the size of a medium sized bedroom. I have stainless steel tables all around the walls and a stainless stell sink, 2 wooden chests of drawers under on table, a rack with trays and a bunch of storage plastic bins, a plastic chest of drawers.

Anyone talented at organizing? Thanks in advance.




 

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I wish I could help - I've never been good at organizing.  Right now my chocolate room has a bunch of chocolate stuff in it, some other interests stuff in it and when it gets overfilled the extra stuff gets moved here and there - wherever there is a spare inch.  Doesn't work well!

 

The living room looks like a tip, there is a stainless cart just outside my chocolate room piled high to the ceiling with overflow...

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that sounds so much like me. I am so bad at being organized. :)
At least I feel less down on myself!

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I have a colleague who's husband loves to organize.  I used to pay him to come over and help me get the rug rat's (and some of my) stuff in order - I'd come home to 3 piles - 'these we can put back', 'these we can negotiate' and 'these you are to pitch'!  Painful but very useful.  

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oooh!! Can he come here? I horde...

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oooh!! Can he come here? I horde...

I have first dibs

Seriously. I think we all need a little more information before we can even begin to help you. For instance, a medium-size bedroom probably mean something different to you then it does to me. What are the dimensions? Is there a sink and if so where is it? Appliances? Doors? Windows? A hand-drawn floor plan perhaps help you as well as us. We have a number of members who have space dedicated to making chocolate. I bet they can help if only they had a little more to go on.

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you are right, I apologize. Medium here is probably small for you North American folks also. I will post some pictures of it but it is at a messy stage in the photos ;).  It is about 24 square meters. There is a sink, a door and windows which are always closed. I have air cond, and a dehumidifier, 2 tabletop chocovision x3210 or whatever they are and two 6 kg melters.

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oh and a tall rack thing and fridge. And here you can see the window open-LOL, but now it cannot stay open. Hope this hels somewhat.

sink:

chocolate kitchen sink.jpg


messy kitchen3.jpg


chocolate kitchen rack.jpg


messy kitchen1.jpg
 

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I don't work with chocolate so I can't speak to the specific tools and equipment you might have. I'm no expert on organizing either, but I like the challenge of creating good work space so I'll throw out a couple of general ideas. 

 

Your tables take up most of the lower wall space and it looks like have you already have filled most of the space below those tables. However, there are inexpensive plastic units with sliding drawers (in various sizes)if you wanted to put some smaller items together and still keep it below the tables. That might help organize a few things. 

 

It looks like you have used lower wall and floor space around the edge of the room. That leaves upper walls (where there are no windows), the ceiling and the middle of the room on the floor. 

 

If your space allows it, you could have some kind of central island (making use of the middle of the room/floor) - can't tell if the room is large enough for this, though. 

 

You could use the ceiling to suspend something like a pot rack or baskets. 

 

You have some single shelves above the tables - it looks as though those shelves would fit below the windows and you could then use this space for cabinets which could hold more than a single shelf. This does mean buying some cabinets but home stores usually have less expensive ones for storage. 

 

But as I said, I don't know your working materials and tools very well, so these types of storage may not suit your needs! 

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I have never organized a chocolate space specifically, but I think FauxPas hit on a good point - you need to know what you are organizing before you can really come up with a good system for it. (And even then, what makes a good system can be quite personal, so be prepared to tweak things after you've worked in the space for a while. That isn't a sign of failure, it is part of the process of getting it perfect. :) )

So the way I would start is to sit down and make a list of the kinds of things I want to store, what sort of storage they need (large shelf, small bin, box that is easy to take out and move around the room, etc.) and any other key things that influence storage. (Is something best kept far away from something else in the room, for example, due to heat or flavor contamination or some such concern.) Then go through your list and note which things you use most often together, which things you don't use often at all, and so on. From three, you can usually come up with the start of a system. As you put things away then you might tweak it, and you will likely find things you'd forgotten, so make sure to leave room in your plan for some flexibility. (Plus you end up buying new toys and so on, and you want to have room for your system of organization to include new items, or it will start falling apart the first time you bring home a new mold or pot.)

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wow, I so appreciate these responses. I have two plastic chest of drawers opposite the tables shown in the last picture. You can see them a bit in picture two. I think a shelf or two even above the window is excellent and now it seems rather obvious. Some sort of cupboard above the tables also seems excellent. I absolutely agree that using plastic drawers or bins under the tables is much better than the mess and cleaner. Those are all changes that are definately easy to do! YEs, I will make a list of what storage I need, For one I know I need a good place for all the chocolate molds. Thanks so very much. About an island, I dont think so, it would be crowded to work around-I think. I will check by putting something there and see. HAnging things off the ceiling is also nice- Ikea has that sort of stuff. Thanks!!!! :)

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Is there a picture of the mold shelf that my hubby put up for me near the ceiling of my room?  It's a great thing to put a single layer of molds.  If we can't find a picture - I'll get another one today.

 

post-34671-127552097021.jpg

 

Up on the top right is the shelf - shall try to post the detail shots later.

 

 


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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I think I see it above the window?

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Lior, do you have room to slide one if your work tables into the middle of the room? If so, you could get a Metro (wire) rack to put in place of the table against the wall.

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sorry for the question, but what is a metro wire rack? I can slide a table to the middle and see how it works out. I just googled it but there are so many types. So I guess I should add, what would you suggest using it for?


Edited by Lior (log)

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It is a cheap shelving unit that can be configured to different heights. Even has casters, if you want. They are great for storage. I have two in my chocolate room. I even put the microwave on one of the shelves. Over here, you can get them at Costco for about $100. They are also NSF so inspectors like them.

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Would it be okay to ask for a photo of it? I assume here it would cost at least doubel, but you never know. I am not sure what casters are, but will look it up. I can also look up the Costco store and see if I find the shelving unit there. Thanks.

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okay so casters are wheels ;) and is it the Restaurant cart? WOW, so many options...We definitely need a Costco!!!

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aaah, so it is not the restaurant cart. It is quite big- wow. It is nice, yes. Thank you.

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Very pathetic pictures - but illustrate the point of how they are held up. 

 

IMG_1264.jpg

 

IMG_1268.jpg

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Lior, I don't do chocolate but let me weigh in on the shelving being talked about. Without casters it is 72" high. it is 48" wide and 18" deep. It has 6 shelves and the shelf heights are adjustable (when you assemble it) in 1" increments. In a volunteer cooking setting I use one of these for my pantry shelving and another one holds the prepared food prior to sending the meal out(think catering). I can not recommend these enough.

 

As I look at the sheer quantities of supplies under your table I think, unless you are desperate for every last bit of table space you have, that you would benefit greatly from having one less table and the shelving I and other are speaking of.

 

Best of Luck.

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YEs, I agree that I need storage space-absolutely. I don't know if I can get such a piece here, but I will def look into it. We don't have stores like Costco. But perhaps a restaurant suppy store or something may have. Thank you so much. I realize now I must have storage space. Kerry, your molds are so organized, with lables even!! I could use my shelves also and do that. 
Thanks so much again! 

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