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Turn your how-to dreams into can-do projects with a workshop kitted out for success
Turn your how-to dreams into can-do projects with a workshop kitted out for success


How to make a D.I.Y. space you will love

When you’re a lover of D.I.Y. , you know it’s important to create, repair and experiment at home. Whether it’s a bench in the garage or an entire shed, your personal workspace needs to encourage productivity and creativity. Mitchell Mclean is one of the experts guiding Bunnings Workshop community members with practical tips and information to help them achieve their D.I.Y. goals (workshop.net.nz). He says the key to a functional workshop lies in organisation. “Having the right tools at your fingertips saves time, while a well-ordered environment reduces the risk of hazards – no tripping over cords or sharp objects lying around,” he says. “Plus, it’s just much more pleasant to work in a clean, streamlined space.”

Organise your storage

If your space is big or small, it’s always important to create a workshop that is effective and safe. Ozito’s Bryan Jo says the way to achieve this is great storage. “By reducing clutter and debris you’ll reduce the risk of accidents,” he says. “Efficiency improves as tools and materials are easily accessible, minimising time spent searching for items. Organised storage also prevents damage to equipment.” Everything needs to have its place, which is why the mainstays of workshop organisation are pegboards, shelves, drawers and cabinets. “It’s important to arrange your tools according to their function and how often you use them,” says Mitchell.

“There’s no point having a tool close at hand that you use infrequently when one you use daily could take its place. Pegboards are essential for keeping your most-used tools within arm’s reach so you can readily access them, and cabinets are perfect for storing larger tools you use less often.” Tool holders are great for keeping screwdrivers, pliers and other hand tools sorted and reachable.

Make space for a workbench

A dedicated, solid and flat workbench is the foundation of your workspace. It’s where plans take shape and projects come to life. Whether portable or built-in, make sure your bench has a sturdy, durable surface. This is a place that will sustain hammering, sawing, painting, sanding and assembling. When creating a space for your workbench, ensure it fits comfortably without obstructing walkways or other work areas, and that it’s well lit. Include a powerstrip so portable lights and, of course, power tools can easily be plugged into an electrical source.

An open workbench drawer showing organised tools

Be creative with a small space

For many D.I.Yers, space is at a premium, so plan around what you have. Use foldaway benches and overhead and under-bench storage and hooks. Opt for multipurpose tools and declutter regularly. By using vertical spaces and choosing adaptable storage systems, even small workshop spaces can create big projects, says Rack It’s Lachlan King. “For example, the modularity of the Rack It 400kg and 1000kg systems allows D.I.Y enthusiasts to choose the width, height and depth of their storage, tailoring it to their requirements,” he says.

Create sections and zones

Creating work zones for different tasks can streamline your projects. Mitchell Mclean advises a section for woodworking, painting and assembly, and keeping tools and materials for each task at hand. “Work zones are as important in the workshop as they are in a kitchen. They’re a productivity driver, allowing you to divide and dedicate specific areas for different tasks,” he explains. “Having a designated spot for each job and being able to move fluidly between them helps you stay focused, minimises time wastage and keeps you on track.”

Keep on top of housekeeping

A clean and tidy workshop is crucial for making your D.I.Y. space a safe and enjoyable place to be, says Bryan Jo. “Ozito’s PXC Wet and Dry vacuum is the perfect tool to have in your workshop as it allows you to easily clean up both wet and dry debris,” he says.

6 quick workshop storage tips

  • Do you really need that many screwdrivers or three hammers? Apply the one in, one out rule and donate unwanted tools to charity.
  • Use a magnetic pick-up tool to gather those pesky dropped screws and nails. Cover the end with a plastic bag and seal for when you need a spare!
  • Pegboards need not be poky. Buy full sheets and use them to cover an entire wall.
  • Create pegboard cubby holes with cut PVC pipe to store pencils, cable ties, blades and more.
  • Use clear, stacked and labelled jars to store screws, nails, washers and other small loose items.
  • Get onto Pinterest! It has an array of storage ideas for every tool, paint, fastener and fixing.

Everything in its place

Set up your workshop for success with storage containers for every tool.


Photo Credits: James Moffatt, Alex Reinders.


Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.