shop organization

Word to the Wise: Keeping a Neat Shop

Aaron is a screen printer, educator, and regional sales representative for T&J Printing Supply. Aaron uses his 10 plus years of experience in the industry as a printer and production manager to help his clients accelerate their companies growth by working with them to understand new products and best practices. His goal is to help them become the most efficient and quality-focused decorators they can be. Connect with Aaron at

Ink is what people probably think of the most when they think about the mess in their print shop, but in my experience, that is usually just the tip of the iceberg. Tape, shop rags, coffee cups, dirty squeegees, ink spatulas, and the list goes on of things that tend to pile up around our stations during a busy day.

Keeping organized and clean

It's important to take the time to clean as you go. This is the easiest way to keep everything running neatly and efficiently. I know it’s tempting to think “Oh, I’ll get to it at the end of the day,” but let’s be honest, the last 15 minutes of anyone’s workday is rarely a time when we feel the energy or desire to properly clean up the shop. In between each use, take the time to put the inks and other tools away. If your shop needs to keep presses spinning for maximum output, consider having a position that keeps these things organized and clean for your press operator. And remember, a clean shop is a happy shop.

Why it matters in every step of production

Organization is key to workflow and maximum efficiency in a shop. Everything in your shop should have a home. Tools, supplies, and paperwork should all have places where they live when not in use. This only makes everyone's job easier and less stressful. How many of us have wasted time looking for a roll of tape, spray tack, or work order? You should be able to find your needed tool or supply where it lives and either 1.) find it or 2.) tell if an order needs to be placed due to low inventory.