During this week’s cold snap, I took time to clean out my toolbox. In a former life, I was a tool junkie. But when I traded tool for pen, I began to horde my favorite tools rather than toss them as they became obsolete. But I bet I'm not the only one who’s been hording old junk.

When was the last time you looked in your storage shed, or worse, your foreman's truckbed? What obsolete treasures will you find? There are probably pallets of bagged products and brick from past projects. And everyone has their special collection of 5-gallon pails, pieces of forming wood, along with hangers, nails and flashing. You even find some non-traditional stuff like paver edging, sacks of concrete repair mix, or even a bucket of stucco.

Before things get busy again, and from all indications better times are just ahead, now is good time to regroup. Clearing out the old is a great way to prepare for the upcoming construction season. And if you are not into cleanliness, there’s another reason for to dump the junk – job site efficiency.

In the last five years, your business has experienced a significant change. Traditional ways of doing things are a way of the past. To survive, you’d adopted very labor-saving tool, product and material just to lower your costs.

Our customers are also dumping the old ways. Designers have adopted new construction features that encourage fast-track construction. Few projects are similar as to allow reuse of too many materials. And whose balance sheet can afford a large inventory of items that might be used?

To be on the edge of new, you need to keep up with the information explosion. In a few weeks, you can regroup your thoughts by attending World of Concrete's World of Masonry. This annual gathering is the only place, mason contractors can learn and witness everything they need to know.

We are committed to the masonry industry. As you look through the World of Concrete Preshow Planner, you’ll find that we have created a world for you. Masonry Veneer Live, Stucco Live, and SAIA Scaffolding Bootcamp hands-on learning areas, designed to demonstrate real life problems and solutions.

Partnering with the MCAA, we have developed educational tracks for your entire management team. Owners, foremen, and estimators can all take the best classes offered in masonry industry. As far as product information goes, where else will you find more than 300 manufacturers who develop new masonry products and materials for your success.

And if you want to see the best of the best in action, find a ringside seat in the SPEC MIX Competition in the Gold Lot to root for the nation’s best brick and block layers.

But perhaps the most important reason to attend is for your own piece of mind. By interacting with the excitement, knowledge, and support present at WOC, you receive the encouragement to continue making our industry the best there is in all of construction. Hope to see you there.