Want to help maintain the space? Reorganise shelves, put things where they belong, generally clean up?

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Martin Dittus

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May 26, 2011, 7:01:59 PM5/26/11
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Hello,

I am wondering how we can keep the Hackspace in Cremer St in great shape as we grow up as an organisation.

We have established a great culture of making things, and have found many ways of channelling spontaneous enthusiasm and self-interest into constant small and big improvements to the space.

But what can we do to ensure that every tool remains in its right place? That half-finished projects aren't in anyone's way? How can we make time to reorganise all the little piles of random things that gradually grew as well-meaning people add one more thing, and then one more? How can we make sure that the space remains clean? When do we take the time to assess our stock of consumables? When can we teach new members all the many little things it takes to keep the space organised?


I'm now thinking this is a situation that isn't helped by building a "thing", but by changing an aspect of our culture. By introducing new rituals.

Would you be interested in a big maintenance day where we rally a handful, or a dozen, or more people and let them loose? Many people will immediately know what could be done to improve the space. And having a list of tasks could be useful for everyone else. We have an old list of "Chores" [1], which could be a starting point.

And would you be interested in using the Tuesday social nights to do the same, but smaller -- e.g. inviting everyone to help out with a space maintenance session at 10pm? Every Tuesday?


It's often easy to build things; it's usually harder to maintain them afterwards. There's probably now too much stuff here to simply leave it to the motivation of individuals. If however we gang up and do it as a group, in fairly frequent intervals, none of this will be too much work. And instead it will give you new chances to make deeper changes, because others are around and keen to help out.

In that respect Elliot's cleaning day before the expansion party was a great success. Not only was the space actually clean afterwards, the day lead to a number of improvements and appliances that are useful to this day [2]. It would be great if we could have more of these events.

martind

[1] http://wiki.hackspace.org.uk/wiki/Chores
[2] http://groups.google.com/group/london-hack-space/browse_thread/thread/12171422c98b8081

Sam Cook

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May 26, 2011, 8:57:59 PM5/26/11
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I've been thinking about this for a while and I have a couple of suggestions:

1) Unit 23: I think we need to sort it out and re-organise it. What has happened with it was never really planned and I think it might be useful to try and come up with a more sane division of space. Ffor example the area near the fire escape seems to be a wet area so let's make it one and move the tools away (and into a single location). The wood pile somewhat dominates the room so maybe swap it with where the 3-in-1 is at the moment making one end of the room storage/raw materials and the other tools and work area. 

There are also some minor improvements that may also help (like putting a hole in the back of the big workbench that goes straight into a bin so stuff can be cleaned easily). Phil has done an excellent job of giving us tons of storage space so we should organise it and use it so stuff can be found and easily put back. We have a huge array of tools now; far more than can sanely be fit on the two boards we have so I think it may make sense for some of the spare stuff to be sorted into boxes/drawers to reduce crowding and help prevent stuff getting lost when it falls of the over used racks.

2) This is more of an ethos thing (more in line with what you seem to be suggesting, martin) If you bring it to the space it is your problem. 

If it's a tool, that's excellent and either label it as a donation or a loan (although if you can please bring in tools we actually need).  

Everything else you stick a sticker on it with your name and if you're not hacking it you take it home or after 3 weeks it gets binned. Far too much stuff seems to come in on the premise of "I don't want it but I thought someone else might want to hack this". This is a lovely idea but we don't have the space and this stuff just get's left then forgotten about (like the 2 atari's in the throw out boxes). 

Raw materials are excellent but at the moment unless its something amazing (i.e. you've found some steel bar or ebony wood) we don't need it, if it's a cool toy keep it at home. 

I recently ditched a load of coat hangers that 'fell through the gaps' in this way; they were brought it, someone said they could use them and then they got left. No-one threw them out because no-one knew who's they were. And then they got buried. 

I don't know if anyone else agrees with this quiet totalitarian method but it seems to be the only one that makes sense. A large part of "the heap" between the 3-in-1 and the member's storage that I threw out on Sunday was crap that people had just forgotten about. I don't think I threw out anything important but I don't know. 

</rant> </bikeshedding>

S

Charles Yarnold

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May 26, 2011, 9:02:08 PM5/26/11
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Everything else you stick a sticker on it with your name and if you're not hacking it you take it home or after 3 weeks it gets binned. Far too much stuff seems to come in on the premise of "I don't want it but I thought someone else might want to hack this". This is a lovely idea but we don't have the space and this stuff just get's left then forgotten about (like the 2 atari's in the throw out boxes). 

Raw materials are excellent but at the moment unless its something amazing (i.e. you've found some steel bar or ebony wood) we don't need it, if it's a cool toy keep it at home. 

I recently ditched a load of coat hangers that 'fell through the gaps' in this way; they were brought it, someone said they could use them and then they got left. No-one threw them out because no-one knew who's they were. And then they got buried. 

I would say we need a version of the dont hack sticker for this, with instructions on it as how to prosess something that doesnt seem to have a use/is taking up too much space (i.e. email the list and throw it out if no objections after x weeks) this also means if the time has passed and your not there to throw it out, some one else can.

Sol

Sam Cook

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May 26, 2011, 9:12:29 PM5/26/11
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I would say we need a version of the dont hack sticker for this, with instructions on it as how to prosess something that doesnt seem to have a use/is taking up too much space (i.e. email the list and throw it out if no objections after x weeks) this also means if the time has passed and your not there to throw it out, some one else can.

I'm kind of inclined to have a really simple sticker with name, date brought in and "do/don't Hack". Then if it's not been touched in X weeks a shout out is put on the list and it can be binned the week after.

S

Martin Dittus

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May 26, 2011, 9:26:22 PM5/26/11
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From having talked to others it seems there already are quite a few good ideas around that haven't been discussed yet on the list; you name a few. Generally there's a lot of interest.

What's the best way to coordinate? Shall we pick a day and let things emerge naturally? Or is it worth to announce more specific intentions beforehand?

(Either will probably work fine.)

m.


On 27 May 2011, at 01:57, Sam Cook wrote:

> I've been thinking about this for a while and I have a couple of suggestions:

*snip* (great list of suggestions)

Sam Cook

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May 26, 2011, 9:56:52 PM5/26/11
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What's the best way to coordinate? Shall we pick a day and let things emerge naturally? Or is it worth to announce more specific intentions beforehand?

I think it depends on what we try to implement. I think that bouncing ideas around on the list is probably the best way as (hopefully) it'll allow the widest participation and if nothing else will raise people's awareness. 

Specific things like a big tidy/reoganise (install kitchen) day obviously will need a certain day & sorting out. 
 
> I've been thinking about this for a while and I have a couple of suggestions:

*snip* (great list of suggestions)

Thanks!

Sci

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May 26, 2011, 10:34:00 PM5/26/11
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How about getting ten of those heavy-duty plastic shopping/laundry bags?
They're about 2ft in each dimension. Dub them "Week Bags".
If your stuff is too big for your box, it goes in a bag. A bag MUST have
a sticker on it saying when it was filled. No sticker; it goes in the
disposal boxes. If the date on the bag hasn't been updated for a week
(IE it's sat there for a week and you haven't touched it); it goes in
the disposal boxes. Harsh, but it'd stop the area being used as a
dumping ground for eternal-hiatus projects.

Larger items; how about we just keep a clipboard listing what belongs to
who *with contact phone number/email*.

~ Sci
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Sci

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May 26, 2011, 10:39:01 PM5/26/11
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On 27/05/2011 00:01, Martin Dittus wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I am wondering how we can keep the Hackspace in Cremer St in great shape as we grow up as an organisation.
>
> We have established a great culture of making things, and have found many ways of channelling spontaneous enthusiasm and self-interest into constant small and big improvements to the space.
>
> But what can we do to ensure that every tool remains in its right place? That half-finished projects aren't in anyone's way? How can we make time to reorganise all the little piles of random things that gradually grew as well-meaning people add one more thing, and then one more? How can we make sure that the space remains clean? When do we take the time to assess our stock of consumables? When can we teach new members all the many little things it takes to keep the space organised?
>
>
> I'm now thinking this is a situation that isn't helped by building a "thing", but by changing an aspect of our culture. By introducing new rituals.
>
> Would you be interested in a big maintenance day where we rally a handful, or a dozen, or more people and let them loose? Many people will immediately know what could be done to improve the space. And having a list of tasks could be useful for everyone else. We have an old list of "Chores" [1], which could be a starting point.
>
> And would you be interested in using the Tuesday social nights to do the same, but smaller -- e.g. inviting everyone to help out with a space maintenance session at 10pm? Every Tuesday?

When I've been to the social it's usually still in good swing by 10pm.
Tidying up *during* a social event is a bad idea, and no one will want
to help while they're socialising. Likewise no one will want to move and
sort things at 10pm at night. And doing so while eating pizza and
drinking beer (mostly the beer) may lead to poor judgement over what and
how to dispose/keep/move.

How about Saturdays? Midday or so? The Junior Hackspace events happen on
the weekends and the space must already be made childsafe in advance of
them. It would seem a natural extension of this to do some additional
sorting at the same time.

~ Sci
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Robert Leverington

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May 27, 2011, 3:12:44 AM5/27/11
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I used to put a lot of effort in to keeping the space tidy and
organised, but since we expanded in to Unit 23 there is so much to do
that letting it happen organically doesn't really work.

While the cleaning day Elliot organised was great, only a handful or so
of people turned up to help. I think one of the biggest problems is
motivating everyone to come along, so having it on a Tuesday would be a
great way of solving this as people are already in the space and peer
pressure might encourage people to get involved.

I am fairly sceptical of changing any of the systems we have for keeping
the space tidy and organised. The procedures we do have are very simple
and it seems to me that the reason they fail is because some individuals,
for whatever reason, don't follow the instructions. Maybe we need to do
a better job of awareness.

Before we do start a weekly session I think we really need to have a big
push to get the space to a state where it is possible to keep it nice.
One or two hours a week might be enough to maintain a decent standard,
but probably isn't enough to make any substantial changes.

Robert

Elliot West

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May 27, 2011, 4:18:06 AM5/27/11
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On 27 May 2011 00:01, Martin Dittus <dek...@gmail.com> wrote:
In that respect Elliot's cleaning day before the expansion party was a great success. Not only was the space actually clean afterwards...

A problem we experienced on 'cleaning-day' was the lack of guidelines on the disposal of large unmarked items. Especially those that appeared likely to have belonged to individuals but were stored in a way that contravened the rules of the space.

We wanted to stick to the guidance on the wiki to avoid upset and conflict but the rules only dealt with the disposal of items that would fit into the 3 week boxes.

Additionally, the guidelines for bringing stuff into the space were disproportionately liberal. One could argue that it'd be unfair to dispose of anything brought in on those terms because the possibility of disposal was never mentioned.

My response to these issues was to write this guide for bringing items to the space. It clearly mentions the possibility of disposal - we should probably link to it from the rules:


An unfortunate side effect of the guide is that people have started to label junk. This then becomes a legitimate, untouchable, stored item. To deal with this we should incorporate some of the other ideas mentioned in this thread - a temporal dimension would be good.

In summary: cleaning the space is simple so long as you're empowered to do so.

Cheers - Elliot.

Elliot West

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May 27, 2011, 5:08:30 AM5/27/11
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Also - Mark's 'London Junk Space' page was quite effective - perhaps update that regularly?:

Adrian Godwin

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May 27, 2011, 5:09:11 AM5/27/11
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I think a fair bit of stuff is donated with the idea that 'I hope
someone will use this but if not I'll have it back' rather than 'if
not just throw it away'.

Shouting on the list isn't really sufficient for this, so I'm going to
support solexious' suggestion - though a single checkbox 'return to
owner' might be enough.

-adrian

Charles Yarnold

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May 27, 2011, 8:58:12 AM5/27/11
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On 27 May 2011 02:12, Sam Cook <sam.lind...@gmail.com> wrote:
I would say we need a version of the dont hack sticker for this, with instructions on it as how to prosess something that doesnt seem to have a use/is taking up too much space (i.e. email the list and throw it out if no objections after x weeks) this also means if the time has passed and your not there to throw it out, some one else can.

I'm kind of inclined to have a really simple sticker with name, date brought in and "do/don't Hack". Then if it's not been touched in X weeks a shout out is put on the list and it can be binned the week after.

The only reason I was adding bits was to enable someone who finds stuff not labelled (and it not belonging to them) to bring it into the system, as 1/2 of the problem is people bringing in stuff and it not being labelled.

cepm...@yahoo.co.uk

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May 27, 2011, 1:49:23 PM5/27/11
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The rules of the space are clear. If an item is not labelled at all then
it is "fair game" for hacking or disposal. The onus is on the "owner" to
be explicit about what happens to their stuff or risk losing it.

The current "Do not hack" stickers (in a little holder on the end of the
library) address all the issues surrounding the accumulation of "reserved"
materials/junk and the disposal of it. The information thereon is as
follows....

The request that the Item be not hacked.
and
1/ The project that it belongs to.
2/ The person responsible for the item.
3/ Contact details for the "owner".
4/ Estimated date of completion.
5/ A short explanation of what the project is for.

The essential info is 3/ and 4/. This enables anyone who thinks that an
item has overstayed its welcome and should be disposed of to contact the
"owner" and come to some arrangement. It also lets members know what sort
of projects are in progress and a means of contacting the "owner" of a
project if they want to become involved or offer advice.

Crossing out the word "NOT" and adding a note that the item is a
donation/whatever and the date of leaving in the space along with any
special instructions regarding disposal will create a virtual three week
box around the item or ensure the "owner" is notified before disposal.

Long term loans of tools / books etc. should be marked "On loan from
(insert lender here)". I have done this with a few items that I would want
back if they become redundant.

So the mechanism is already there, all we have to do is use it! And if
you have no time to write out a sticker then be prepared to lose your
stuff....
And yes, if you want to throw out something that clearly belongs to
someone else you are going to have to "man up" and tell them about it. :-)

Lastly, If your large project is finished, after proudly displaying it to
your fellow members and receiving all the kudos that you deserve....

TAKE IT HOME!!!!!


Phil


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Tweaker

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May 28, 2011, 8:01:25 AM5/28/11
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Ok Ppl,
I took the liberty to check the best before dates on milk cartons in
the fridge,as I subjectively detected some odour in it.
It turns out one soyamilk was from 4th of April,another goatsmilk from
the 2nd of May and one wholemilk the 15th of May.The content of them
has now gone to the lower world of milks,and may they there stay.
Unfortunately,the wholemilk had another beverage than milk in it,but
too late its gone.I think it was beer of some description.
A label of its true content on it may have stopped the spillage.If
someone is grumpy about the(minimal) loss,I may be glad to recompense
the stuff.
In best of intent
T

Jasper Wallace

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Jun 12, 2011, 8:52:35 PM6/12/11
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On Fri, 27 May 2011, Martin Dittus wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I am wondering how we can keep the Hackspace in Cremer St in great shape as we grow up as an organisation.

> In that respect Elliot's cleaning day before the expansion party was a
> great success. Not only was the space actually clean afterwards, the day
> lead to a number of improvements and appliances that are useful to this
> day [2]. It would be great if we could have more of these events.
>
> martind
>
> [1] http://wiki.hackspace.org.uk/wiki/Chores
> [2] http://groups.google.com/group/london-hack-space/browse_thread/thread/12171422c98b8081

[apologies for the thread necromancy]

I've had two ideas that might be useful:

Firstly:

An alarm that goes off at random once a week, if your in the space when it
goes off you drop everything and tidy up for 15 mins.

Advantages: people who are more frequently in the space tidy up more
frequently, it avoids problems with a fixed tidying up time (i.e. no-one
turns up for it).

We'd probably want to tweak it so it only went off if there's > 4 people
in the space and it's between 9am and 11pm, and there isn't a workshop
going on.

We might also want to switch off internet access for the 15mins as an
incentive to tidy.

Secondly:

Create your character and fight evil monsters in the dungeons of Hoxton!

Explore perilous places and find fantastic findables!

http://www.chorewars.com/party.php?name=Hackspace+Tidy+Team


--
[http://pointless.net/] [0x2ECA0975]

Jasper Wallace

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Jun 12, 2011, 9:25:13 PM6/12/11
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On Mon, 13 Jun 2011, Jasper Wallace wrote:

>
> http://www.chorewars.com/party.php?name=Hackspace+Tidy+Team

This is supposedly the better invite code:

http://www.chorewars.com/invite.php?id=131e0fe08f01d

--
[http://pointless.net/] [0x2ECA0975]

Martin Dittus

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Jun 13, 2011, 4:07:16 AM6/13/11
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Yes. I love this idea. Pls to implement.

In related news, since there's been a proposal to have another open day at the end of July we can now start making plans for a cleanup/space organising schedule. I suggest the following.

Based on the suggestion in the open day thread:
- start with a reminder (email & tweet): make sure to label & store your stuff properly, cleanup session coming up. This will give everyone a chance to rescue their crap beforehand.
- discuss proposals for any bigger infrastructure changes on the infrastructure list (new shelving, new workspace layout, etc.) This ensures that we are well-prepared, and avoids surprises.
- early July: send out invitation to cleanup & space organising day (via email, IRC, tweet, Fax etc)

And then:
- mid-July: cleanup & space organising day on a suitable weekend or two (best a Saturday in case we need to buy stuff)
- 31 July: partay

m.

Martin Dittus

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Jun 28, 2011, 7:06:33 PM6/28/11
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> Would you be interested in a big maintenance day where we rally a handful, or a dozen, or more people and let them loose? Many people will immediately know what could be done to improve the space. And having a list of tasks could be useful for everyone else. We have an old list of "Chores" [1], which could be a starting point.
>
> And would you be interested in using the Tuesday social nights to do the same, but smaller -- e.g. inviting everyone to help out with a space maintenance session at 10pm? Every Tuesday?


We just had the first Tuesday "10pm cleaning ritual", it was brilliant. 10-15 people let loose in the dirty room, under the guidance of quite a few long-time members. Once you get momentum it's hard to stop; after less than an hour the room was in a better state than it had been in weeks, and people kept going after that and rearranged some freestanding shelves, labelling unused objects with a "time to live", etc. An impressive accomplishment for such a small time investment, I think you'll all like it.

Since everyone's now making sure to label their possessions (right?) I'm sure nothing got lost; but let us know if you're missing anything, there's a chance it just got put somewhere else.

Looking forward to the next Tuesday. Maybe do the social room next?

m.

Robert Leverington

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Jun 28, 2011, 7:47:12 PM6/28/11
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On 2011-06-29, Martin Dittus wrote:
> Looking forward to the next Tuesday. Maybe do the social room next?

Can't wait. Well done everyone.

Robert

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