Tips For Making Your Lab More Organized
If you work in a lab, it has its positives as well as negatives. It’s a place where you can bring out your creativity, use your planning skills, and keep testing your theories. On the other hand, labs are sensitive places and you need to be extra careful and restricted when working there.
Managing a lab space isn’t easy, and if you have a small lab that has much equipment, you will have to put in place a sound strategy to organize and clean up the place.
We have shed light on some very useful tips you can follow to organize your labs:
1. Start By Organizing Your Bench Space
Scientists and lab workers spend most of their time on benches and so, they are most likely to be messy and cluttered. Bottles, pipettes and so many other lab equipment and containers are used at all times, coupled with food items and papers, that make the sitting area look very disorganized. To arrange your lab, start by organizing your bench. You can make use of hooks and shelves to place the pipettes so that they’re off the bench and easy to reach. In addition to this, you can label all your bottles and beakers to keep your bench clean and make your work convenient. Having large readable fonts on the labels will allow you to sort and group the bottles easily and you’ll be able to pick the right one when the need arises. Bear in mind that different bottles will need different labels – for instance, the solution bottles should have thermoplastic labels because other paper labels will get wet and come off. For beakers that store strong acids and alkalis, you should use the chemical resistant labels.
Make sure you clean and organize your bench after every experiment so that you have space available for any other work that comes up.
2. Use Software To Manage The Inventory
Regardless of the size of your laboratory, a system managing the inventory makes your work overall more efficient and organized. Systems like the Laboratory information management system (LIMS) are best suited to manage lab inventories. This system is a cloud-based enterprise and it supervises the workflow of your lab and inventory at the same time. LIMS will have records of everything placed in the lab, and as you work and consume things, the system will automatically keep updating and notify you when shelves need to be refilled.
After you have installed the LIMS software, make sure you place RFID labels on all your items. These labels will help the system to continuously monitor the quantities in each container, glassware, or bottles.
3. Bring Common-Use Equipment In Your Lab
As mentioned above, space is always a prime issue no matter the size of the lab. There will be some benches in the lab that hold specialized machinery that takes a lot of space. This is why it’s recommended to make the most of the space that is left. To optimize your space, you should bring equipment that takes up less space and brings more value. Common-use equipment is the best solution to this problem. Nano drops, graduated cylinders, beakers, beaker tongs, Florence flasks, and spectrophotometers are the best things to reduce the need for large spaces.
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