I have been at my new job for about two weeks now and I'm still enjoying it, getting my feet under me, and spending far too much of my time cleaning the shop space. This is my shop:
In that picture I've already picked up and swept and shop-vac-ed the floor for the most part. It started out looking like this:
The floor surface is 4 x 8 sheets of homasote laid down over the concrete floor and just gaff taped at the seams. While the stuff does start out a shade of grey, the color of that floor is actually just tons and tons of overspray from the gray and silver paints that are the main colors used in that part of the shop. The roll of paper standing up in the back of the room in that first photo was the very first thing I purchased at this job in order to cover the floor so in the future it will be much easier to just replace the paper rather than try to clean off the flooring material ever again. (the big white cabinet is actually a safe that we use as a storage cabinet for spray paints... it is rated to be explosion proof so it certainly qualifies for use as a flammables cabinet)
On the right hand side of the shop is our air handler. I don't even want to know how long it had been since someone had changed the filters on it, and I was so grossed out when I took them out to replace that I went a little cleaning-frenzy crazy on the thing...
That's one half of the machine scraped clean (my hands have the scrapes to show for it too) and the inside walls & floor vacuumed out. Here's a closeup so you can see a little more of just how much grime was there. It was quite literally up to a half-inch build up of paint that had settled in some places.
But all that work was totally worth it to me. Because I now have a happy spray room with a clean filter system keeping the air moving. Not only will my lungs thank me later, I just work so much better in a clean space. I'm chalking it up to time well spent in a shop that is slowly but surely starting to feel like it's really mine.