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Tag Archive Workspace Organization

Hobby Advice: Organizing Your Workspace

Keeping a clean and tidy workspace might seem like a chore, but it does not have to be so. In this article I will share with you some tips on organizing your hobby workspace, based on my own experience. I will also let you in on what benefits are there from working in a well organized environment.

Before we start, it is worth noting that I am a full time, professional commission painter. For years now I have been testing different solutions to try and improve my personal workspace. Moving from town to town required me to build my workbench from the ground up multiple times and provided a lot of insight into what to aim for. You might not necessarily have space, funds or need to achieve a similar setup, but if my adventure has taught me anything, it’s that there is always the space for improvement. Here’s the best proof of that – some previous iterations of my trusty workspace:

Benefits of Tidy Workspace:

Regardless of you being a weekend hobbyist or a professional, a workspace’s main purpose is to provide comfort of your painting process. This includes the ease with which you access tools, manage projects and even how you feel when painting miniatures. A tidy, clean workspace translates directly into your work and motivation. It is far easier to take on a new project when you don’t have to take care of the mess first. Less time spent in search of tools or bitz means more time spent on the actual thing you want to do. Most importantly keeping things in established spaces allows to train muscle memory, thus increasing productivity. 

Workspace Organization Tips:

For the purpose of this article I have narrowed down the list of useful advice to a few tips that greatly improve the quality of life while not being too hard or expensive to implement. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Brush & Tools Holders:

With how popular the hobby has become, a variety of innovative brush storage utensils are being introduced to the market every year. Still when it comes to it, there’s nothing better than a good old mug. Well… not entirely. Toothbrush cups come in a variety of shapes and styles, bringing all the best that mugs have to offer, but without cons. Bathroom cups are usually plain, without handles, occupying less space and being easier to store around the workspace. Plus, depending on your tastes, they might up the visual style of your hobby area.


Trays ain’t on a list of your typical miniatures painter must-haves, but they definitely should! One of the things that used to frustrate me the most was having to switch projects or move stuff around in order to dig for a tool. It became a none-issue once I introduced trays into my hobby. Nowadays groups of hobby tools, paints and even entire projects can be moved around freely, saving me a lot of time. More so, on top of clean and friendly work conditions, setting up ongoing projects on trays defines particular stages of the work, helps me to define goals and keep the motivation up.

Cable Organizers:

Self adhesive, rubber cable organizers are a useful tool to help keep all those nasty air hoses and cables in check. More so, with a bit of a lifehack’ish mindset, they can be used as a fantastic mid-work brush holders.

Sailing Blocks:

And while we’re at it, airbrush air hoses are usually very difficult to tame. They’re rather stiff and tend to curl. Fortunately, it’s nothing that a sailing block can’t handle! These puppies will keep the air hose where you want it and allow for rapid airbrush deployment when the time comes!

Desk & Edge Covers:

It is easier to switch a cover than an entire desk. Respect your desk and it will serve you longer, plus there’s probably nothing worse than dusted, grainy, irregular, dried paint surface irritating your skin when painting. Don’t even get me started on a sharp desk edge cutting a side of a wrist (shivers internally). Personally I use a thick cutting mat and a self adhesive PVC corner cover, but anything will do as long as it’s water resistant, easy to clean and stiff enough. 

Pull-out Shelf:

‘Enlarge your p’ …ainting space with a single pull. This simple solution expands your working area when needed, but does not take up much space when not being used. I sometimes find my desk overwhelmed with miniatures and instead of transferring a part of work to secondary space, I just extend a shelf from underneath and continue working. It’s especially useful when I have something messy to do, like applying static grass or pouring resin, but don’t want to risk the entire project getting dirty. 

Large Organizers:

These can be found in almost every house & decor store. Plastic baskets, food containers, tool organizers, clothes storage boxes. Instead of keeping all the boxes, packaged miniatures, spare paints and other stuff stacked on shelves and one another – why not keep it more accessible? Pulling a box from a shelf is much faster and more comfortable than ‘excavation’.

Hanging Tool Racks:

Some stuff is not very comfortable to stack around the workspace. This is especially true for large tools and packages of hobby tufts. There are of course some workarounds. Here’s a pretty simple way to store these items. These self-made tool racks are thin bamboo planks with small hooks and handles, screwed to the ceiling. For tufts I used a metal rod mounted on a piece of plastic on one side and inserted into a hole in a wall at the other. Tuft packages have then been cut on one side, as seen in the picture below, to allow them to be taken off and put back on the rack individually. This made an otherwise unused space into a nice storage area. 

Water Bowl With a Lid:

I think I should dedicate an entire article to the water bowl and how superior it is compared to a cup. Maybe even a book! But in all seriousness, the more water there is, the longer it will last. It is easier to clean an airbrush, or a regular brush in a larger area of water. Cups and mugs are prompt to topple and need to be cleaned and refilled more often. Plus there’s the lid. This magnificent contraption protects your desk from water when put on, allows for safe transportation to and from the sink and allows to use the space otherwise occupied by the bowl. Just epic!

Zip Bags and Storage Boxes:

When it comes to bitz, they tend to take up a lot of space. A good way of dealing with that is cutting all the separate parts from the sprues and zipping them in a thematic zip bag. These can then be stored in translucent plastic boxes to allow faster bag identification. Bitz of particular type in a single bag and a tray should let you fish out any bitz you need much faster, than searching through a room full of mixed, half emptied sprues. 

Food Containers:

At this point you might see a certain pattern so there’s no need for me to hide it anymore. I admit I might have a little fetish. I tend to bring home a fancy looking food container, a bamboo tray, or some sort of other cool looking stuff whenever I go shopping. If only you saw my kitchen… Anyhow, stylish food containers combine fine looks and functionality. They can be stacked on top of one another and tend to take up less space than standard, flatter boxes. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, made of either wood, plastic, metal or glass. There’s something to fit any workspace and they have a wide range of storage uses.  

Tiny Drawers and Paint Racks:

This is a well known classic, so I decided to throw it in. There is a variety of paint racks, tiny drawers and even entire Modular Workshop Systems in the market, such as the popular HobbyZone. Although dedicated painting racks can only be obtained through hobby related companies, tiny drawers and wooden organizers can be found at house & decor stores. In my experience these are similarly priced so there’s not much difference, other than looks, style and in compatibility with other Modular Workshop System.

Old Paint Last Chance Rack:

Have you ever found yourself reluctant to throw out an almost empty drop bottle paint, because ‘there is still some left!’ ? Personally I dislike keeping two paints of the same type on a hanger rack, but am also not keen on wasting paint. To avoid diving into backup paint box mid-work, I ‘retire’ old paints to a special self made rack (a box with a few holes drilled in the underside). I keep them close, ready to use at all times. Took a while to make a habit of prioritizing old paints over the new ones on the hanging rack, but once it kicked in I started to save a lot of time. 

I’ve been using the above solutions for some time now. They’ve been my allies in a fight against workspace entropy. Now it’s your turn to put them to a test. Let me know if any of these spiked your interest. Are any of the above completely new to you? Which, if any, do you plan to implement in the nearby future? I am eager to read your feedback in the comments below. I’m also available at Facebook and Instagram if you’d rather prefer reach me there. Finally I would appreciate if you shared this article with your hobby buddies. 

If you are looking for a professional Warhammer miniatures painting service, be sure to contact me via this contact form. I always reply within 24 hours. If you don’t see anything from me by then, please check your spam folder.