[hackerspaces] Members storing their personal stuff...

Arclight arclight at gmail.com
Fri Nov 22 05:09:54 CET 2013

We have ;lockers and a certain amount of shelf space dedicated to personal
stuff. Things that look like junk or out of place either get stuffed in the
appropriate locker or tossed into the "purgatory bin." Purgatory stuff can
be reclaimed and stored or taken home by the appropriate people for about a
month. Then the purg bin gets emptied at the next pot luck, where
everything in it is up for grabs, before being left by the dumpsters for
the scrappers to enjoy.

Another policy is that locker contents can get tossed at any time if the
owner doesn't show up for 30 days and is not a rent payer. We make this
clear up front. Also, we will not accept long term loans of stuff or
donations with strings attached. We tell people considering giving us
something that they shouldn't donate it if they're uncomfortable with it
getting tossed out, sold, etc. two days it shows up. That has helped
eliminate a lot of headaches.

Anyone who has ever had family or a roommate that wanted you to be the
permanent guardian of the stuff they don't personally want it in their
house knows why this is important.

The worst problems have been with vehicles - people who don't have a place
to put their broken hot rod, jeep, etc. usually get super upset when you
try to tell them, tactfully, that the landlord wants it gone and we're
thinking about towing if it won't move. We've basically got a ban on car
projects over 3 days at this point, as a bad landlord relationship is one
of the few existential threats the space has.

Another thing is that the old 80/20 rule seems to come into effect on this
sort of thing. Like 20% of the people cause 80% of the problems with space
use. Also, I've noticed that people have wildly different ideas about stuff
in general. Some people really don't care when other people move/re-factor
stuff they use, while a few get extremely upset if the large object they
left out in front isn't in the exact same spot 2 weeks later when they
return.  Setting expectations up front and clamping down immediately on
folks when they abuse the rules of hospitality seems to help a lot.

23b Shop

On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 6:44 PM, Nathaniel Bezanson <myself at telcodata.us>wrote:

> Hi folks,
> At i3detroit, one issue we continually struggle with is storage. Not of
> stuff the space owns (that's an issue too but not a huge problem), but of
> members' personal property. With several members commuting by bicycle, and
> plenty of others working on long-term projects, it's seen as important. But
> it's also imperfect.
> We currently have some large shelves, where any member can reserve a spot
> and keep some stuff there. It works fine until it fills up, and then it's
> very difficult to clear space again. New members don't get space because
> it's all occupied by long-term members, and sometimes when people quit,
> they forget their stuff.
> I'm curious how other spaces handle this. I'm aware of a few examples and
> anecdotes here and there, but I'm hoping to understand a few specific
> points from as many spaces as possible:
> 0. Is there a collection of wisdom on this topic somewhere already? I have
> this feeling that Gui is going to respond with a doc-dump and I'll look
> silly, but I can't find anything already in a few minutes of searching...
> :)
> 1. Do you allow members to keep their own stuff at the space, at all? If
> not, why not, and what happens to stuff that gets left behind accidentally,
> or deliberately abandoned/donated?
> 2. How much storage space does a member get? Is it variable? Based on what
> criteria?
> 3. For how long can a member leave stuff in the space? Once they start, is
> it safe to assume that their stuff can remain as long as they remain a
> member?
> 4. If there's some sort of inactivity or timeout clause, how does that
> work, and who enforces it?
> 5. Assuming you require labels on storage spots or labels on stored items,
> how are unlabeled items handled when they turn up in storage? Or items left
> in unlabeled spots?
> 6. Have you ever had anyone try to actively subvert the limits?
> 7. Are "group projects" by a handful of members given special
> accommodation, beyond what an individual member would get?
> 8. Assuming you have some mechanism to throw out stuff that everyone
> agrees is abandoned, has anyone come back later and whined that their
> precious shit wasn't yours to throw out? How do you handle that?
> 9. Is your system so drastically different from what I'm describing that
> the questions don't even apply? Do tell!
> 10. Whatever storage system you have right now, is it working? What do you
> see as its main strengths, and main weaknesses? If you could start from a
> clean slate, what would you change?
> Also for context, it might be helpful to understand how large your space
> is and how many members you have (I could just look this up in the wiki but
> it'll be easier to have it in your response!).
> I'll stick our data in a reply so as not to clutter this first message.
> Thanks a bunch,
> -Nate B-
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.hackerspaces.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20131121/fe51b63f/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Discuss mailing list