Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Studio Tour; or how to conquer a massive mess (new & improved - more pics added!!!)

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Well, the Great Basement Cleanup is just about complete now. It's truly been the Labors of Hercules! You wouldn't have believed the sheer massiveness of the mess here - I almost wish I had taken Before pics, but it was too ugly. Now that I've tamed the beast, I decided to get some pics because you know what - it'll probably never look this good again!!! First here's the good old Camerajack moved into place in front of the new animation table - every bit as heavy too! None of those unwanted earthquake effects, but if I kick this puppy it'll leave a mean welt on the ol shinbone!

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Incredible.... I'm still stunned that all of it managed to fit! If only you had seen this area a while back.... I shudder to remember! But along the way I did dig up lots of long lost favorite tools and forgotten drawings etc. I went with clear boxes for stowage..... it all used to be in cardboard shipping boxes from Amazon, Micromark or Smallparts (yeah, lots of jokes there..... not a great idea to have boxes sitting around that all say "Micromark - the Small Tool Specialist" right next to ones that say "Smallparts"!)

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And look..... I can actually see everything now!!! When it's in cardboard it's amazing how you forget what's in the boxes. Spend days looking for something and it was right under your nose! But no more!!!! Now I've achieved Clarity!!!!

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A big part of my strategy was to whittle down space by tossing most of the boxes for my DVDs and putting them into this massive 300+ disc binder. It's really kind of bizarre how much wasted space there in in a DVD box - a wafer-thin disc and an inch of empty air! And we don't want to part with it because of the pretty packaging! Yep, us wasteful Americans.... hypnotized by glossy printed paper with colorful pictures on it and advertising blurbs for all the special features etc. So hard to part with it!!! And it's worthless really, except in the case of certain box sets or if the disc itself is a plain silver one with no markings (that you won't be able to recognize in the binder).

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The binder I got has these nifty pockets up front for holding those booklets you just can't bring yourself to part with.

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Size reference - yep, 300 some DVDs - enough to fill several cubic yards if left in the wasteful packages - enough to fill like 4 of the boxes pictured below!!!! And talk about weight!!! All those plastic boxes..... you're talking 40 or 50 pounds for a few hundred of them!!! (just a wild guess, could be way off)

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I found these nifty boxes at Bags Unlimited. They have them for books and for video tapes/DVDs. The cheapest decent storage solution for a good low price I've found (short of stuffing them into those old Amazon boxes!). Two levels, with internal support pieces to facilitate stacking 3 boxes high.

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Here's what it looks like closed.

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I found it necessary to strategically apply some clear packing tape in two places to secure the boxes properly.

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Here are the DVD's & tapes I didn't want tucked away inside dark boxes, alongside my mediacenter stack, topped off by the mighty Locustman resin kit.

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A tabouret is incredibly handy!

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And so is a cheap sheet metal toolchest made in China!


Brian said...

Did you have a plan before you started or did it just all fall into place?

Darkstrider said...

MMmmmmmmm...... Well, I'd have to say I had a semi-plan. I decided on buying the clear boxes as well as some nifty cardboard boxes made for storing video tapes/DVDs and also for paperback books (videos and books comprised a huge part of the mess). Then when the boxes came in I started packing stuff in them and then thngs started falling in place. I didn't know beforehand for instance that I'd end up with a box for sculpting supplies, one for molding/casting supplies, one for brazing stuff, etc, but it ended up working that way, which was really nice. And I must say, I thought at the outset that I was gonna need a couple more shelves and lots more boxes, but it turned out once I got things organized (and tossed loads of empty cardboard boxes that I had kept thinking would be useful for something "one day") that it all ended up fitting in a smaller space than I had dared to dream. Had to get pretty crazy with some decisions though, like nesting a coffee table UNDER a taller kitchen table so they'd both fit into the severely limited space. I need to post a pic of that weird arangement...... in fact there's a few more things I want to add to the above post. Thanks for getting me going on this! (with just a few words.....)

Anonymous said...

It's great to see your progress. Organization (atleast to some degree) is everyting.
Packing away the DVD's is soo smart. I'm waiting for large SATA hard drives to take another price dip, and then I'm gonna just rip em all to a cheapo external raid. I recently did this with my entire CD music collection and it saves soo much space, almost a necessity for an apartment dweller trying to clear out space to shoot a film in.


jriggity said...

cool beans man!! It feels good when your stuff all in line.

a calm feeling and open for a fresh dirtifying.

I didnt know they had mad monster party on dvd??

Ive never seen that. howd you get it?


Darkstrider said...

Hey Kel! Good to hear from ya in here.

Justin - the Almighty Amazon! A while back I decided to get all the old Rankin-Bass specials, and was surprized how many there are (some I've never heard of before, like Pinnoccio's Christmas). And sure enough, Mad Monster Par-tay too. Something really weird about that movie, but it's a lot of fun.

mefull said...

Wow, looks like a lot of work, you have to feel great about the new organized workspace, even if it does get messed up again. Thanks for the tour.

I agree with you about how much space all those DVD and CD cases take up. I wonder how many years until we can store all those DVD's on a single ipod sized hard drive?

Clear storage boxes - great idea.

Darkstrider said...

Thanks Mark! Yeah, it feels pretty good in here now. I could hardly get anything accomplished before. And the freedom my puppets will have now..... bwefore they just had a narrow pice of wood to parade back and froth on clamped to the front of the table. Can't believe I made them walk the plank!!!!

Shelley Noble said...

Fantastic, Mike! Things is looking so great in the basecamp now! Rock and roll.

Love the solutions, the binder, the boxes, all of it.

yay, make stuff!

Risk said...

I was wandering on google about czech animation and found your blog!
I just wanted to say that I'll keep an eye to your blog cos I found it interesting. And to ask you if you don't mind if I make a link from my blog to yours and your website.
Take care,


Darkstrider said...

Hey Risk! Sure, not a problem, link away! Let's keep spreading the Czech-love!!!