[hackerspaces] Cleanliness in your Hackerspace?

Alexandre Girard hi at alexgirard.com
Fri Sep 23 19:38:09 CEST 2011


I'm Alex, from Tetalab, a hackerspace in Toulouse, France.

Here is our status on cleanliness:

* we meet every wednesday, it's more a social event than a 
"hacking-doing" event, so most people come to have a good time and to 
meet people. Some people are new, or only come on wednesday, so when 
they leave they let their drink everywhere, they're probably not aware 
that some are coming during the rest of the week.

* we have a big party once every few month (we're hosted by a artist 
collective, Mixart Myrys, organizing open event parties for outside 
people to discover the location), and for our Hackerspace party (last 
weekend of May, come next year!), the rule has been to empty our space 
(20 square-meters space in our container), clean the floor, send to the 
trash any stuff that doesn't belong to people/projet (last time we had 
4-5 cubic meters of trash) and refill the space with the same layout. 
This process is taking 2 days, once a year. That's kind of efficient, 
if you don't mind the space being dirty 10 months a year :)

Some solutions:

- have a trash for recurring events (we spoke about it few month ago, 
still nobody moved, me included...)
- emptying glass trash everytime someone open the space (this is 
working, when we have a trash)
- for project storage, all members have an ikea box, that's large 
enough for small projects. Project needing a bigger space are large 
enough to be noticed by anybody, so they can take care of it.

Have a nice weekend,


On Fri Sep 23 17:31:06 2011, Nathaniel Bezanson wrote:
>> We have member boxes/lockers/tables and I train each new member where the
>> cleaning supplies are, how to take out the trash, what happens when stuff
>> gets left out (lost n found, hacked apart, thrown away), and why futzing
>> with the lab equipment will earn shame. This has done wonders toward
>> getting everyone on the same page.
> This helps to a certain extent, but I think I'm seeing an effect where the
> new members are better versed in things than the old members, and it's
> hard to pull someone aside for "retraining".
> Our issues at i3detroit can be split into two categories: Daily mess, and
> long-term storage.
> Daily mess is basically "leave nothing on the tables", and I think the
> problem is that there are a few items (power strips, soldering irons) that
> can legitimately be left on the tables, and they serve as a "seed" to
> visually permit other clutter. Despite that, I'd say our record is "pretty
> good, but room for improvement". I think my next attempt will be to
> establish storage locations for those few items too, and try to make the
> tables completely clear at the end of every day.
> Long-term storage is a huge issue. A big project gets abandoned, and out
> of respect for someone's property, nobody else will throw it away. We've
> tried to combat this with praise, with scorn, with paperwork, and with
> marked spaces on the floor. Nothing has worked.
> On the bright side, trash cans are well taken care of. Seldom are they
> overflowing, and only occasionally does someone empty one and fail to
> replace a new bag.
> -Nate-
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