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How to make a lab space less cramped

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Clutter is something we all deal with at some point, if not daily. If you have a small office space, the problem can become even more frustrating. As a lab technician in health care you need a lot of space to work, for your machines and to store samples. The crowded lab isn’t fun for anyone and can be a big hindrance in some cases. Luckily, there are ways you can organise your work space to have the room you need to breathe.

Modern technology

Almost all companies today are using modern technology in the work space. Lists that were once used to keep track of what should be accomplished for the day are now directly accessible through a cell phone or computer calendar. Aside from basic apps and downloadable technology, investing in better technology and equipment you use will help mitigate space in the lab and keep things in order. Your old equipment might work fine, but the benefits of automated colony picking processors as well as added space from a more streamlined design will give your table tops more room. Lab robotics from companies like Hudson Robotics give you the best and newest designs and most are small and lightweight, requiring little space for use and storage.

Other forms of organising

One way to organise more compactly is use wall space. Hang not only coats, but lab charts, equipment and computer wires from the wall so the floor can become more manoeuvrable. For your file cabinets and storage containers, try and think outside the box. Movable and wheeled carts can make your space customisable to the job at hand and make your equipment easier to access. Label each so that you know what you are getting when you grab it. Inside your containers, be sure to organise things by height and fragility. Test tubes and sample storage should be kept separate from your other supplies.


Create a system for every part of your daily tasks. Have a section for incoming mail and one for outgoing. Create clipboards with yesterday’s samples and today’s and be sure to switch over as you go. When you get it, or when you have a moment, go through it and decide if it should be thrown away, immediately taken care of, or filed away. This way you don’t have paperwork piling up and flooding the office. If your records can be downloaded or put online, be sure to choose a time of day you can do that. Place items that are of the same category together. Organise books you have on the shelf in a way such as by size or colour. You can also get coloured files so that you know exactly what goes in each with just a glance.

Regardless of how small your clinic is, it can be organised as an efficient work environment with the right tricks. Get creative. Things that can be stored in cabinets or drawers can create more space. Use different size storage containers and move the furniture so everything you need is in close proximity. Finally, do away with extra furniture or things you don’t need. Keeping clear of clutter will keep you stress free and happy.

How would you make a lab space less cramped? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo: Eelke / Flickr

Brooke ChaplanHow to make a lab space less cramped

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