Kid's woodworking area - how would you organize it?

This woodworking area needs some help and suggestions!
It is for kids age 5-14 to use manual tools, and is probably the third iteration since I first set it up a year and a half ago. Clearly, organization is not succeeding here - what would YOU do?
Pics, thoughts, and other ideas are most welcome. Thanks!
q how to organize a kid s woodworking area, craft rooms, organizing, storage ideas, woodworking projects, The woodworking area in need of help
The woodworking area - in need of help!
  12 answers
  • Nik Knacks Nik Knacks on Feb 01, 2015
    ...and after a couple hours of work, this is what it looks like...

  • Donna Wilkinson Donna Wilkinson on Feb 02, 2015
    I think you need to add some color to the area and some simple storage baskets would help a lot to keep everyone from just putting it all on the floor. Great idea for those kids though......I hope they appreciate it!

    • Nik Knacks Nik Knacks on Feb 02, 2015
      Donna - thanks! I appreciate your thoughts. We get donations on an irregular basis of wood bits and pieces, so the biggest part of that was my coming in to work to find that on the floor - but actually getting into the work area was still a matter of wading before that. Maybe clearly labeled bins. Hmm. Thanks!

  • Becky Becky on Feb 02, 2015
    I don't know if you can find an older step ladder or even a new one would work, but if you open it up and set it against the wall and then lay the boards across it according to length. It makes it easy to see and to get to without taking up much room. Any way you can add color will help too! Kids are naturally drawn to color.

    • Nik Knacks Nik Knacks on Feb 02, 2015
      Becky - thanks! I love the idea of stepladder storage or something along those lines - I'll let that percolate in my brain and see if something like that won't work for the space.

  • Ellen Day Ellen Day on Feb 02, 2015
    I was thinking on the lines of what Becky added about an old ladder but using it against a wall horizontally to stand the wood up in. But I do like the step ladder idea as it could be anywhere in the room.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 03, 2015
    You could get some sonotubes or similar and attach them to a base to hold the taller pieces of boards by length/type, etc. This could be placed along a wall.

    • Nik Knacks Nik Knacks on Feb 05, 2015
      I am really liking where folks seem to be going with this idea of upright storage - thank you for your thoughts on it, Marion! @

  • Kathy Kathy on Feb 05, 2015
    I like the ladder idea in certain applications, however for this room I think they would take up too much space,could be easily tipped over just removing wood for one project. If longer wood at bottom got used up that could make it top heavy. I used to make shipping skids/crates. That wall space in back need to be used. I suggest shelf brackets without shelves. Lay the boards on them across the wall. A spacer btwn wall and bracket on the bottom or spacer or washer on top at front as a block. I used to take 4x4s down out of a rack that way. Keep as much up as high as you can.

    • Nik Knacks Nik Knacks on Feb 05, 2015
      Kathy - thanks for your thoughts! I would have concerns about the ladder idea, too, though the aesthetic is great (and I do have desires to make a ladder bookshelf at home some day) - both as a weight consideration and what the fire marshal would say were he to come through and see it (!) The idea of creating slatted/open shelving is grand, though, and seems like a logical and space-wise storage idea. @

  • Kathy Kathy on Feb 05, 2015
    More ideas are standing boards in those buckets. Dairy Queen gets them full of strawberry topping. I get them free at 1, for $1 at another. They could hang on hooks below the horizontal long boards and or sit on floor. Haven't tried to make them taller,but maybe cutting off bottom then it would fit inside top of another for couple inches to make it taller. Anxious to see how it all turns out. BTW, I grow tomatoes in the buckets.

    • Nik Knacks Nik Knacks on Feb 05, 2015
      Thanks! I'm a fan of the 5 gallon buckets, too, and use them as planters and project holders - they have historically been used to hold the long boards, but I'm thinking maybe going with something more like a wood cradle is in its future... though I won't get to really spend much time on it for another couple of weeks as the kids are using it daily for end of term projects. I'll try and post something here when it's done! @

  • Cherie Cherie on Mar 05, 2015
    I don't see any shop or straw brooms in here! That would help give the kids the idea to at least sweep once in a while. As for upright storage, we use PVC drain pipes for a lot of it - easy to screw it to a large piece of wood and place others around it. Or use it horizontally stacked on top of one another - either glued together or tied. Doors off the cabinets might help also. One of my grandsons made a planter box for me when he was 4!! It's still together and I use it every summer! He's 16 now!

  • Nik Knacks Nik Knacks on Apr 06, 2015
    Here's an update on where the woodworking area is at - I have some serious organizing to do, but I built some upright storage and took the doors off the cupboards which made a huge difference. Thank you all for your input!

  • Donna Wilkinson Donna Wilkinson on Apr 07, 2015
    Nik Knacks this looks really good but I still think you need to add some color to add a new freshness to the area. It gives inspiration to those who are working in this room.

    • Nik Knacks Nik Knacks on Apr 07, 2015
      @Donna Wilkinson Thanks for the thoughts, Donna! The aesthetic of the place is very white and clean, hence nothing like primary colors in the overall design of the space. What is not really shown in this particular corner is the fact that student work is *everywhere* and that their art and creative ideas are the overall features of the space. The upper shelves of this corner do serve as display space as well, both for current and past classes and projects.

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Feb 09, 2016
    This pallet storage would be good for the longer wood pieces, tools and brooms and you can often get them for free.

  • Carole Alden Carole Alden on Sep 14, 2016
    Remember the saying, A place for everything and everything in its place. Piles of wood are useless unless you can see what you have without moving a ton. The mallet on the wall for standing up things will get that mess off the floor. Your table can't take pounding, put it in front of the window and make a large box with rollers to go under it for your smaller pieces of wood. I'd move your canning shelve so you have room for the mallet and make a home made workbench for in front with a peg board above. You have tones of shelves and drawers, use them. Where are your tools? Go garage saleing . You can hang your tools on the peg board or use your drawers and shelves. I like painting a line around my tools hanging on the peg board to show what shape belongs there. Instantly notice whats missing and neat to look at. I save my clear square macaroni salad ect dishes from the deli that stack up for storing small stuff like nail, screws ect. You can see what you have and doesn't use a lot of space. Lock up any tools that need adult supervision.