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How to Organize Your Lab Bench Space

Lab bench organization

As a scientist, you spend hours at your lab bench everyday. Organizing your bench so that you have both an uncluttered workspace and easily accessible reagents and tools is a great way to increase your efficiency in the lab. Here are some tips:

  • Place pipets on the side of your dominant hand on a stand.
  • Place tip boxes within arm’s reach to the back of the bench on the side of your dominant hand. Only keep what you need on the working surface; store extra boxes elsewhere.
  • Place waste bins on the side of your dominant hand for easy tip ejection.
  • Put solutions that you use daily on your non-dominant side. Store less-frequently-used solutions and items on the upper shelves. Ensure that they are all labeled.
  • Keep lab notebooks away from your central workspace to avoid damage from spills.
  • Keep racks and commonly-used tubes easily accessible either at the center back area of your bench or on the shelf directly in front of you.
  • Confine miscellaneous items that you don’t use on a daily basis to the periphery of your central workspace or the shelves. Group these items by experiment type so that you can access them all at once when you need them.
  • Create designated spots for general supplies so that you always know where to find markers, wipes, calculator, scissors, etc.
  • Remove redundant or obsolete items that occupy your space.

Research lab templates, checklists and spreadsheets

Lab Organization Checklists and Templates

How you should organize your bench may depend on the type of assays you perform and the tools you use on a regular basis. A lab whose researchers share reagents and supplies may have different layout requirements compared to a lab where individual members keep their own materials. Our lab bench organization checklist and reagent label template will help you get started.