With an organized, clean jobsite, you'll work to the plan with less frustration. Each job has its own considerations, but here are the basic issues to address as you organize your space.

Materials: Establish logical, accessible areas for materials, and post signs indicating what goes where. Before placing orders for large items, use checklists to anticipate small items you may also need: saw blades, caulk, screws, drill bits, etc. Order by load rather than by piece, and have the lumberyard stack items in the order in which you'll need them. Store materials neatly and covered with protective tarps, for easy returns. Anticipate finishing touches — kick plates, door stops, A/C registers, etc. — and order in advance.

Messes: Clean as you go. Isolate dust from the rest of the house using dust barriers. Have at least one plastic garbage can on site —and use it! If you recycle or mulch trim pieces, designate a chop box for trim and another can for general waste. Post signs so that everybody — subs included — cleans up their messes. Sweep daily.

Tools: Carry in all tools each morning to prevent frequent runs to the truck or trailer. Keep tools in good shape — change blades when needed and restock as necessary. When you're done with a tool, return it to its proper place.

Paperwork: Designate a quiet corner of the jobsite as an area where you can do paperwork and make phone calls. Isolate the space using a dust barrier, black sheeting, or plywood.

In this space, post your planning forms and checklists, and update them daily. Create a logical system for filing paperwork, using color-coded binder tabs or folders to separate invoices, order forms, drawings, checklists, inventories, time sheets, client notes, etc. — Tim Faller, Field Training Services, www.leadcarpenter.com.