When’s the last time you cleaned your shop?

If the answer is “a long time ago” or “I can’t remember when,” then this is a great time of year to get things tidied up!

Cleaning your shop regularly is important because:

  1. It’s safer. Oil-soaked rags, used floor-dry, and out-of-service fire extinguishers are a recipe for disaster! Keeping things tidy helps reduce your risk.
  2. It makes repairs easier. No more wasted time searching for things you’ve misplaced or pushing past piles of scrap metal. You’ll be far more efficient in a tidy shop.
  3. It makes working in the shop more pleasant. While no working shop will ever be spotless, a basic level of cleanliness makes any working environment more pleasant.

Have I convinced you yet? I hope so, because this is a great time of year to clean out and organize your shop! Here are a few items for the to-do list. The bigger your shop, the more work there might be to do – but tackling even just one or two items off of this list might make a big difference!

  1. Take a “before” picture.
  2. Check your light bulbs and replace as needed.
  3. Open every door and window and give the shop a good airing-out.
  4. Knock down cobwebs.
  5. Remove and safely dispose of any dirty rags and used floor-dry.
  6. Clear off your workbench and scrape up any caked-on grease and grime.
  7. Organize your tools. Get rid of any tools that are broken or unsafe.
  8. Clean your safety glasses. Smudged lenses are really annoying!
  9. Take inventory of your oil, gas, paint, etc. Safely dispose of anything that’s past its prime.
  10. Clear out scrap metal.
  11. If you have a sink, clean it out and refill your soap and paper towels.
  12. Sweep the floor.
  13. Take out the trash, and wipe down your trash cans.
  14. Make sure your fire extinguisher is accessible and in good working order.
  15. Take an “after” picture – if I’ve inspired you to do a good cleanup job, share your “before” and “after” pictures with us! It would be great to see what you’ve done!


We thoroughly cleaned our shop a couple months ago. We took all of the large tools outside and power washed them, and even power washed the floor once everything was removed.

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Here’s the before and after of our shop sink.

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