You spend countless hours at lab tables as a lab technician or scientist. As a result, it’s vital that you keep it as organized and uncluttered as possible, with easily accessible tools that will aid in increasing your lab efficiency.
Working in a lab can be both creatively inspiring and extremely constraining. Organizing lab furniture is always an issue, especially in small labs that use large equipment, so organizing your lab is essential for maintaining a productive work environment.
In this article, we will provide you with some helpful organizational tips that you can use and implement today to ensure that your laboratory continues to be an efficient and productive work environment for anyone who works in the lab space.
10 Organization Tips to Improve Your Lab Storage
When a lab is kept in order, efficiency improves, and the risk of costly accidents decreases. It is critical to prioritize organization in order to keep one’s lab running smoothly.
These ten effective tips for organizing your lab will assist you in running a more efficient and successful lab.
Use a Labeling System
Research should not be a guessing game, so it is critical to know exactly what each sample is when conducting an experiment. Labeling lab equipment and all samples, as well as the drawer or shelf where they are stored, is an easy way to keep track of them so you can easily find them without having to read every single label.
Labels help lab members communicate in a shared space and may need to be in service for months or years. Labels can be used to demarcate areas on a shelf or mark a container’s contents. Dates, initials, or any combination of these can be added.
Furthermore, when labeling your samples, use as much detail as possible. To ensure that you can easily read them, write them with a lab-grade marker or print them out.
Take Advantage of Vertical Space
Space is limited in almost every laboratory, especially in small labs that use large lab furniture. Counters can quickly become cluttered and disorganized in such situations. To minimize disorganization, it is critical to make use of all available space in one’s laboratory.
Utilizing vertical space is one way to improve your lab’s organization despite a limited amount of space.
Vertical space is often overlooked in laboratories. Shelving, stacking equipment when possible, and taking advantage of dead space under epoxy resin lab tables and lab furniture can all help free up valuable counter space and keep clutter at bay.
Designate Areas for Frequently Used Supplies
Designating areas for general supplies can save you time when searching for items you use on a regular basis.
Keep general supplies in designated areas of the lab, so you always know where to find items such as markers, wipes, a calculator, scissors, and other supplies. Keep racks and frequently used tubes easily accessible, either in the center or the back area of your lab benches directly in front of you.
Try to get into the habit of returning the item to its designated location as soon as you finish using it. As a result, you won’t have to waste time trying to remember where you put each item each day.
Organize Your Lab Space with Stations
Keep all of the supplies and tools for a process or protocol in one place. A weigh station near the chemical supply, for example, might include a balance, weighing dishes and boats, and lab scoops, ensuring that you have everything you need to measure out a number of chemicals in one location.
If the lab process has multiple steps, arrange the equipment in a logical order from left to right. You can even use label tape to demarcate the location of each step or sub-step on the lab bench surface so that everyone knows where all of the equipment is stored.
Clear bins are useful because they can maximize previous shelf real estate while holding items of various sizes and shapes. They’re also clear, so you can see what’s inside, and they’re simple to clean and reuse.
Organize Freezer Inventory
To keep a freezer inventory, there are both free and commercial solutions. A simple solution is to draw a diagram of each freestanding freezer’s shelves, as well as each box or container on those shelves. Then, assign a unique identifier to each box, such as a number or letter.
You can also use software to keep an accurate record of your freezer inventory. Compared to a more manual system, the advantage of software solutions is saving time and improving accuracy.
Embrace Flexible Systems
Laboratory requirements change over time as projects evolve, new equipment is purchased, or existing equipment is upgraded. Instead of built-in storage cabinets, consider using adjustable shelving.
Furthermore, as lab members come and go from the research group, the number of people requiring bench space may increase or decrease.
Designate a Space for Extra Supplies
Many laboratory supplies, such as pipette tips, cell culture flasks, and common buffers, deplete quickly and must be replenished on a regular basis.
Keep current supplies in an easy-to-access location near eye level, and designate a space to store extra and overflow supplies. When a new shipment of disposable supplies arrives, everyone knows where to go first.
Keeping frequently used supplies close to the eye level ensures that they are easy to see and reach. Keep items on the modular lab benches in the most convenient and comfortable location for you.
If you are right-handed, for example, it is much more convenient to use your benchtop biohazard bin on the right side of your ESD laminate lab workstations and epoxy resin lab tables. The same logic holds true for pipette tips, monitor arms, and leveling glides.
Keep an Archive
If your lab uses physical lab notebooks, you’ll need a system to archive full notebooks so lab members can find old data and protocols in the future. One solution is to organize all lab notebooks in a file cabinet or on a shelf by date or lab member.
Conduct Regular Audits
Conduct an audit of your phenolic resin lab bench, phenolic resin lab tables, and lab furniture every few months. Do you need to restock your supplies? Do you have any supplies that you haven’t used in more than six months?
Consider putting these supplies away or putting them on a higher shelf to make room for more frequently used materials.
LabTech Supply Company—The Preferred Choice for Lab Supplies
No matter what lab you work in, lab organization is always an issue. Even small pieces of equipment can take up a lot of space, making it difficult to work when others are trying to squeeze in. With the tips listed above, you can organize your lab much more efficiently, making it easier for your lab technicians to succeed every day.
Do you want to improve your laboratory benches but are unsure where to start? A trusted laboratory supplies company can assist you in creating the most effective laboratory possible at the most affordable price.
For over 30 years, LabTech Supply Company has been dedicated to providing customers with a broad selection of lab benches and laboratory furniture for all types of laboratory work environments.
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Find out more about the various lab equipment we have available and discover how our experienced and professional installation team can assist you with the installation process. Contact us at LabTech Supply Company today!