It is a new year and we all know that productivity stems from organization. This is the reason our focus for this week is on lab organization. There is almost nothing more frustrating than trying to complete a task at hand and not being able to find integral components. This applies to most situations but trying to run or work in an efficient lab, this is especially applicable. Quick and easy identification of supplies is imperative to maintaining organization. The quickest way to achieve optimal organization is through clearly labeling the items in your lab.
Knowing you need to implement a system in your lab for ease of use and function is one thing, making it happen can unfortunately be another. Arm yourself with the knowledge of some lab organization basics to get you well on your way to efficiency and saving money.
Each lab is as individual as the people who work there, and maintaining your new itemization will take cooperation from everyone within the lab. The best way to bring order to chaos is to start over. Whether you are looking to structure your refrigerators or shelves, it’s best to clear everything out first. Once you know exactly what you are working with, you can decide if it’s in your best interest to group your supplies in alphabetical order or by type of product; next, label accordingly.
A Step Ahead
Instead of facing the frustration of running out of supplies you need, stay on top of your supply list by keeping a spreadsheet. Sometimes you don’t realize what items you may be running low on until you need them and don’t have enough. You can stay ahead of the game and avoid wasting your time, money and energy by keeping on top of knowing at any given moment what your inventory is.
Scheduling routine cleaning and inventory checks for all who work in the lab is a good way to notably make sure your lab is in top working order but that everyone is doing their fair share to keep their area maintained. This is also a great way to clean and be aware of the condition of the instruments you use. It’s always best to keep tabs, notably on supply levels but also the state of your tools of the trade.
Tips For Organizing
To save yourself from throwing away unknown solutions or samples, because they aren’t clearly labeled or even labeled at all, make sure you have all of your items clearly identified. Not only is it a waste of money and resources to have to throw it away, but it’s an easily avoidable stumbling block.
In most labs, space is a premium and has to be wisely utilized. That being said, make sure you also make use of the vertical space that is available to you. To keep work surfaces clear of clutter, use stackable storage and shelves and don’t overlook voided space beneath the tables. You can maximize your storage by being smart about using all available space that keeps counters free to use for work instead of having to work around supplies that could’ve been otherwise stowed out of the way.
For items you use regularly, identify a particular space to keep general supplies. Not only will you know exactly where things are when you need them, but it will keep valuable space free for other items that can be kept out of reach and/or sight.
Organizing your lab will save you time and money in the long run. With a few straightforward guidelines to keep everything in place, your lab will run more smoothly.
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