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NotEnoughStorage – organising your workbench

I know it's a matter of time before my space becomes messy again.

A maker’s desk is a messy desk, most of the time! Mine is no different. It got to the point where I would move the stuff from one side of the desk to another just to make space for a new component. It was time to expand a little!

Organising your workbench

While the initial expansion was fairly simple and consisted of an organised storage container, I spent a little extra time to manage the space better and make it a tad smarter. After all, I’m kinda self-proclaimed home automation guru, and the title requires me to act like one!

The cabinet

Adding an extra organiser doubled the capacity for small items like ESPs, modules or servos but also introduced the problem of actually finding all of this. With a help of a Brother label printer, and a couple of cartridges each used drawer got labelled.

I was fortunate enough to get two cabinets from the same source. Both sport the hanging holes at the back and the mounting holes at the top and the bottom of each cabinet. With a couple of zip ties, I stacked them together to avoid taking up extra space on my desk.

Magnetic storage

I also took advantage of the metal sides.  The frame is a perfect space to attached the more commonly used screw drives, pliers and other tools.  A couple of previously ordered neodymium magnets holds it all in place.

The smart lights

In one of my Tesco trips, I picked up two battery-powered torches, which have a magnetic base and a side lamp which can be rotated and tilted. There is no point in using batteries with these, so I hooked up a DC charger and increased the voltage slightly to run the lamps little brighter. After blinding myself several times (the torches have one switch to toggle the modes) I decided to hook it up to a smart switch. Now the torches turn on to the correct mode and can be activated with a voice command or an Amazon Dash button.

The whole space looks neater, feels more organised. I’m sure I will run out of space eventually, but until then my workbench might be just a little bit tidier. I hope this short write-up inspires you to look at your workspace and look for space saving solutions. If you are interested in items used by me – here are a couple of links to check out.

Organising your workspace can be a fun and productive task, especially if you can add a bit of home automation to it.  I’m sure I will be adding more features as I go. I already have a powered breadboard in plans. If you like my custom breadboard prototyping space with a Raspberry Pi hooked up to it – you can read more about it here.

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