ACKspace defrag

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Project: ACKspace defrag
Featured: No
State Active
Members Prodigity
GitHub No GitHub project defined. Add your project here.
Description A collection of projects and events that help keep the space tidy.
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What is the purpose of this project?

One of the missions of a hackerspace is to provide the right environment for you to work on your projects.
A messy hackerspace is not the right environment;
Having to look for tools and materials is time consuming, not having any space to work on your project because of junk lying around is demotivating and a mess just isn't nice to look at.

This project is an analysis of how the clutter appears in the first place and the strategies that have been implemented to fix it.

Why does the space become messy?

Well... when observing hackers in their natural habitat, a few behaviours become apparent that seem to contribute:

Clutter furniture

Participants typically only clean up the mess they recognize as their own.
While cleaning up their own mess, participants will sometimes forget an item.
When the participant visits the next time they are blissfully unaware of the item.
As participants will only clean mess they recognize as their own this item has now become furniture.

9001 screwdrivers

Participant wants to build stuff.
Participant needs tools / materials to build stuff.
Participant can't find tool / materials in storage location X due to clutter.
Participant buys tool / materials and stores them in location X.
Location X is now even more cluttered.
Positive feedback loop shows unbound growth consuming the hackerspace and eventually earth itself.

For the hoard!

Participant acquires stuff:

  • "We definitely need 100 DB27 cables, I mean what if we need them all at once? And you want to throw them away... for shame!"
  • "I don't need it but somebody will definitely use this so I will add it to the similar pile of stuff that nobody has touched in 8 years."
  • "We should keep it, you can't acquire this stuff anymore." / "We should keep it, it's still relevant."
  • "This might come in handy one day, should we ever need to interface with other old stuff that I will acquire for hacking purposes under the same pretence."

What measures have been taken to keep the space clean?

New rules:

  • Clean desk policy; no mess is allowed on the tables resulting in a drastic reduction of clutter buildup.
  • Permission is required to dump stuff in storage.
  • Participants are allowed max 2 crates but can store whatever they want in these crates. This shifts the responsibility of keeping / discarding stuff from nobody / everybody to one specific person.


  • A Tool wall has been set up to keep the tools better organised.
  • A new cable rack has been set up in the storage specifically built to sort wires and reduce cable entangling. [TODO: link]


  • The storage has been cleaned up;
    • An entire rack of shelves has been cleared and dedicated to participant crates
    • Another rack of shelves has been cleared and now houses the new cable rack system
    • All drinking crates are now stacked up against the wall
  • The soldering corner has been tidied up
    • Collection of random crap has been discarded as it only invited to add to the pile of mess
    • The drawers have been sorted
  • Tools have been sorted according to the frequency of their usage and their quality
    • Unused and bad tools are now in 'cold storage'

What still needs to happen:

  • Raw material such as wood needs to be stored in a better fashion
  • The slACKspace needs an overhaul (Couch has been cleaned, I am uninspired to tackle the rest of the slACKspace for now)
  • Two junk corners in the hACKspace need to be sorted and tidied up.
  • Materials in the 'consumables' drawer needs to relocate; preferably to a cupboard.
  • ... ?