Ever since moving into a new house last October, I’ve learned how difficult it can be to efficiently organize a difficult space.  

My bedroom, in particular, is a bit unusual and requires a pretty unique layout. The room has a long, rectangular shape, a curved ceiling and small closets on each of the shorter walls. The door opens into the middle of the room, and there’s a large window directly across from it on the opposite wall.

I have a queen-size bed, and while unpacking and settling in, I quickly learned that this was an issue.

If the headboard of the bed was placed directly under the window, the foot of the bed collided with the door when it opened, making it difficult to enter and exit the room. If the bed was placed in a corner of the room, it blocked access to a closet.

While I did eventually figure out a good location for the bed (vertically placed, off-center from the window), I spent several hours trying to figure out new configurations. I considered swapping out my queen bed for a smaller size or placing my dresser in a separate room to provide more space. However, I realized the problem wasn’t any of my furniture or even the shape of the room — it was the way I was approaching the layout.  

I probably would have saved a lot of time if I would have just used a measuring tape or mapped out placement possibilities before I moved in. Or, if I would have teamed up with someone who was more knowledgeable on layout, I would have saved time and also learned something too.

Good layout can mean a lot of things, but generally it’s efficient and solves a problem. It sounds simple enough. However, I’ve learned firsthand that that’s far from the truth.

Just like you wouldn’t place your bed in front of a door or closet, you don’t just place an important piece of sheet metal machinery or a set of tools in a location that doesn’t benefit your sheet metal shop. It doesn’t make sense and it’s counterproductive.

Luckily, while I may still struggle to find the balance of good layout in my home, sheet metal shop owners can take advantage of SNIPS free, educational webinar next week on “How to Design Your Sheet Metal Shop for Success” to achieve the best layout for their facilities.

Hosted by SNIPS editor Michael McConnell, and featuring Mike Bailey, vice president of sales and new-product development at Mestek Machinery, the webinar will cover: why it’s important to know where your shop’s production “bottlenecks” are; why a new piece of machinery may not solve your efficiency problems; when to consider new equipment as a way to boost business; and how the type of work performed – residential or commercial – can impact shop design.

The webinar takes place at 2 p.m. Tuesday A live question-and-answer portion will follow the presentation. To learn more and register, click here.