The Junk Parlor

Work Smarter Not Harder Series

Now that I have the main part of the barn organized and a good system in place, it’s time to tweak the process even more. In this series I am sharing how I try to work smarter, not harder. This is a process that has changed over the years and will continue to change. The next step is adding workshop.


Developing a System

I feel like I have a really good system in place. Simply having less inventory, everything having a (moveable) home and the use of Tupperware for small things has been really good for organization. My system for purchasing has gotten more efficient too. I bring a trailer home, unload it, and within a few days, clean it. After that everything gets taken to a new home. That could be to a shelf on one of my rolling carts. Or, if an item needs to go to my carpenter for repairs, I will get that delivered. When arranging furniture, I take into consideration if it will need to be painted.


Assembly Line Style

I always have two or three pieces of furniture ready to go for the next month stored in my barn. This system works wonderfully when it’s warm out. But, in the winter I needed another place to prep pieces. A 15′ x 20′ space is not large enough to work on multiple pieces. I like doing things in an assembly-line process.


Working in an assembly line style goes so much faster. I feel like with my current workshop space, I wasn’t able to do that due to space. Let’s say I have three pieces of furniture to paint. For the assembly line style, I would pick one color of paint to paint all three pieces. Then you can just move from one piece to another without added prep or clean up work. While those pieces are drying, I may have another piece of furniture that I need to sand the top of. Well now I can’t sand it, so I’m kind of at a standstill because I don’t want sawdust flying around while I’m waiting for the paint to dry. I can’t go do these things out in the barn because it’s 0° out. I just don’t want to be cold and the furniture doesn’t like fluctuating temperatures either. 


Two Work Rooms

So what I decided was I needed another workshop, with temperature control so I could use it year round. My dad and I are sectioning off the other corner on the east end of the barn and are going to add insulation to heat and cool it. Then, one workshop will be used for prepping, cleaning, sanding, a dirty side. While in the other workshop I will keep stuff that I am painting or sealing, pieces that I don’t want to get dirt on.


I’m excited because I’ll have another section in the barn heated and cooled and I think it’s going to help with organization. Not only a new space for cleaning furniture, but for cleaning my small items that are super dusty. The dust flying around is not going to get into the polyurethane or the paint that I’m working on. I think this will improve my efficiency!

Excuse the video, it’s a bunch of my Instagram stories put together, but it gives you a glimpse into the new space.

Want to read another post from the Work Smarter, Not Harder Series? Click HERE.

Check out my Organization List on Amazon.

This post may contain affiliate links for the products I use and recommend. I am not paid to promote these products. If you purchase using my affiliate links, I could make a small commission at no charge to you.

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Hi, I’m Brooke. Welcome to The Junk Parlor.

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