Monday, September 19, 2011
Creating products: Assembling your ingredients - preparing your space
The other shelves are really messy because I have a ton of Pyrex jugs and plastic jugs and wooden spoons and molds and other supplies I use for craft group, but otherwise everything has a home.
For cleaning, some people insist on an as-close-to-sterile as possible workspace. This means cleaning the counter and equipment with alcohol and ensuring all the utensils and containers are newly washed. For some people, using a finger to scrape things off a spoon into a tin can is adequate (click here for video - and no, I don't know what bee's oil might be! Whatever you see in this video, do the exact opposite in your own workshop and you'll be just fine!) Wearing plastic gloves is always a good idea and goggles can be very useful as well. A lovely apron or lab coat will protect your clothes, but I always make a point of wearing an old shirt and shorts as well as my apron because at some point, I will get greasy! (Yes, I buy Spray & Wash and OxyClean in bulk!)
I've put down some spare pieces of laminate flooring on my workbench to make it easier to clean, and I have a glass cutting board on top of that (easier to clean up!). I've got one of those anti-fatigue mats on the floor, so I can remove it and clean it off when it gets covered in those inevitable spills!
Cleanliness is essential, but tidiness isn't. I've found, though, that having your workspace organized and free of clutter is a good thing. You'll find fewer things are knocked over, and you'll have more space to do everything you want to do! I might be the Queen of Clutterdom, but I can't stand having my wonderful and useful counter space taken up with stuff!
My mom is laughing as I write this as I really am the reigning monarch of messiness. I'm a flat surface abuser who tends to be more floor-ganized than organized, and I'm telling you about the dangers of clutter! I think I might have to find her some kind of medication because she's rolling around the floor now, holding her sides, trying to breathe as she does that thing with her hands that women always do when we're laughing really hard saying, "Stop, stop. Too much!" Wow, I didn't think she'd find it THIS funny!
Prepare this space as well. Get your bottles ready with funnels or other filling things nearby, and make sure you have paper towels handy. Make sure the space is easy to wipe down if/when you spill.
Join me tomorrow for some helpful hints on the weighing and measuring of our ingredients!