If you're not into shooting and reloading, you might not understand this.
I'm a fairly serious shooter, or rather I have been. Life has significantly intervened, and I haven't been able to go shooting for a while. Since my funds are somewhat limited, and I need to do SOMETHING shooting related, I am going to get back into reloading.
I had been reloading for a few years. I was introduced by my uncle, but I think I kind of upset him. What took him about 20 years of work to grasp, I understood in a day or so. That particular uncle isn't particularly bright.
Anyway. I had been reloading rather avidly, then something important happened. I fell in love and got married. I moved, then I moved again. I left my reloading setup in my parents' house, but I didn't really have time or energy to devote to it. It kind of got buried, when my wife and I stored some of our stuff in the same room. When my job went away, we had to move back in, and even more stuff went wherever I could put it.
Now I'm needing to get back into it, even if I don't have the time to go shooting now, or the money to get a range membership. I can at least do something shooting related.
Since I left my reloading table as it was the last time I finished using it, I thought I would share some insights. Finish whatever you were doing before you stop, and put it away with understandable labels.
Let me share with you how I found my reloading table when I unburied it:
I found a powder trickeler full of an unidentified powder. I don't remember what I was reloading last, so that powder is basically useless. I'm pretty sure it's IMR 4732, but that is only based on its look, and where my powder measure was set. I'm not willing to bet my life on it. That means over 300 grains of powder just went down the drain. On the plus side, I hear it's good fertilizer.
I found 2 #10 cans partially full of brass. I'm pretty sure I was doing some sort of process on a batch of brass, but I can't remember the process, or which can was the ones I was finished with vs. the ones I wss going to work on. I had various tools everywhere. It was a mess.
While I don't really need to buy anything new, I might as well be starting over. I have to take all of my brass and separate it out. I have to get a bunch of new containers to store it in, and make sure everything is labeled.
I can only be thankful that nothing was rusty, or degraded in any other way. Even my scale was still pretty close to being zeroed.
The moral of this story? Even though most reloading equipment is of extremely good quality compared to most consumer goods, that can't keep you from all of your problems. Keep your reloading area clean and organized. ALWAYS put your powder away, and if you can't finish a batch of something, label it. Say what you were doing, and which stack was done and which one was not. Even masking tape and sharpie will work for that. Finally if you can, clean up and store your supplies BEFORE you stop using them for an extended period of time.