Why a Clean Workspace Prevents Project Disasters

I hate making projects and messing up. As a matter of fact, I hate any type of mess up in the blog kitchen because I feel like I should know better. Believe it or not, I recently messed up in the blog kitchen. Join me for a chuckle as I tell my tale! :oops:

Taylor was working on a project with White Melt & Pour soap and I decided that I would use some of the Transparent Melt & Pour soap to make samples for shipping. I pulled out Oatmeal, Milk & Honey Fragrance and the finely ground Oatmeal (Oat Flour) so I could make a Oatmeal, Milk & Honey soap. I melted two pounds of the Transparent Melt & Pour soap and then moved everything to the workspace Taylor has just vacated. (Can you see the problem yet?)

Using a brand new pipette, I opened the bottle of fragrance on my left and added 9 mL of fragrance to my melted soap. I stirred the soap and bent down to smell the soap. I couldn’t smell any Oatmeal, Milk & Honey! All I could smell was Taylor’s soap on the other side of the kitchen! I grabbed the bottle thinking that someone had played a trick on me and substituted the fragrance with plain oil. Once I read the label, I realized I had used Taylor’s bottle of Rosalie, instead of my bottle of Oatmeal, Milk & Honey. I looked around my workspace and saw to my growing horror, I had put my ingredients on the right side and moved Taylor’s ingredients to the left! Quickly, I walked over to our color drawer and grabbed the bottle of premixed Purple Raspberry dye. I took it back to the workspace and added a few drops of color to the soap. I now had a pink soap scented with Rosalie, when I didn’t want that at all! :mad:

I was ready to sweep the whole problem under a rug and forget about it. As I was grumbling about the my mistake, Taylor chuckled as she walked over to view my pretty pink soap. After looking at the soap and then back at me, she told me, “Wouldn’t that make a great blog? I mean, you made a mistake and you’re annoyed about it. You were able to fix it though! We both also learned that working in a messy workspace with multiple people will increase the chances for failure or messed up projects.” I had to take a mental step back and realize that Taylor was right. Even though I had made a mistake, I still was able to fix it. I also learned that sharing work space, either with another person or another project, is a bad idea. Now I can look at the situation and laugh because it is funny, even if I didn’t think so at the time.

As a result, I made a “Clean Workspace” checklist that I decided to share with you, so you don’t do what I did! While this list isn’t long, it gives me satisfaction to check off each line.

Andee’s Clean Workspace Checklist:
☐ Clean and put scale away.
☐ Put away all ingredients in their proper places.
☐ Take all dirtied containers and equipment to the sink. Wash by hand or place in dishwasher. Dishwasher must be started.
☐ Wipe off all countertops.
☐ Wash floor of any spills were made.

This check list has been helping me save my own sanity lately. Not that I have much sanity left anyway. My pharmacist tells me his last order for sanity was backordered with an unknown arrival date. What’s a gal to do without sanity?

I’m wondering if you have ever made a mistake by accidentally combining projects or forgetting ingredients? Have you been able to laugh at your mistakes later? I’d love to hear your stories.

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2 thoughts on “Why a Clean Workspace Prevents Project Disasters”

  1. years ago, living in new york, i got some time off from work while hurricane flloyd was making its way up the east coast. i decided to put that time to good use and render some tallow. had sent my hubby to the meat market at 5 am that morning to pick me up some 60 lbs of suet. i decided to consolidate and pour it all into a big plastic trash can so i wouldn’t have to deal with lots of little containers all over the place. the idea generally was good, since there was always a lot going on in our kitchen. kids going in and out, big family, etc. since my pot was only so big, i had to do it in batches and i had just strained and poured another batch into the plastic bin, getting ready to cook up the next batch in the pot. the kids were whining that the house smelled bad, hubby wanted something, the phone was ringing and with one hand by the stove and another one reaching for the phone, i saw the dog walking into the kitchen, his legs slipping out from under him and him sliding all the way across the kitchen in a huge puddle of liquid tallow, slamming into the wall on the other side. with all that was going on, i did not notice that my last strained and poured batch was a wee bit too hot and had melted a ring out of the plastic bin, pouring liquid grease all over the floor. needless to say, i spent the next two days i was supposed to be off from work scrubbing that floor. i pretty much got it all up, but it did give the floor a good waxing. weeks later, any liquid spills would bead off it. lesson learned? wait until the house quiets down before i get going with my projects. nowadays i get my best work done sometime between 11 pm and 2 am when everyone’s in bed and the phone doesn’t ring.

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  2. A few years back….. When the hubby decided he needed to put his input in on if I was stirring too long or not long enough….. I had just finished a citrus batch sugar scrubs, knowing full well that I needed to put away the EO blend, but did I? Nope. I needed to get to my other batch as it was “at the perfect temperature.” (These days I am a little more relaxed aobut temps and a few other things). He kept saying hurry up, it is getting too thick, you need to add it now….. so I dumped the Blend into the soap pot, I knew immediately it was not right. Why? Well because it was ORANGE! The blend I was suppose to grab was Lavender, Peppermint and rosemary. Now I had a very lovely purple and green swirled batch of soap, 12 pounds of it, with a very faint Orange scent. Knowing that citrus does not stick in CP soap very well. I sold it as a basically unscented, well more like gave it away as samples……. What did I learn, always check your bottles first, if multiples are sitting there. What did hubby learn? Stay out of my soaping kitchen unless input is asked.

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