Tidy Space Policy

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Non-policy Notes

Tidy Space Policy last updated on 5/7/19 via a vote of the membership found here.

2021. Procedure to implement updated. Physical red tickets are now paired with tickets issued in Discourse as our official communications tool and slack as our popular discussion venu. Gn.


Deputies are selected and trained by Area Hosts. They serve at the discretion of that Area Host. Deputies can be found here.

Computer Disposal

Chicago Recycling & Waste Management accepts computers on Tuesdays, Thursday, and the first Saturday of every month.

Being Excellent

Be respectful of our communal space by not leaving your belongings out and potentially hindering others from making. Start from a place of good faith that your fellow PS1 members do not intend to leave messes intentionally and are doing their best to help maintain PS1. (That is not always the case, but it often is.) Also be respectful of the property of others and be gentle when moving what is not yours. Please don't strip parts from things that might be useful. If you want to strip a thing, please make sure to properly dispose of the rest.

Storage Locations

Here are the Areas that currently have the spaces mentioned below. We will continue to update this page with changes made in accordance to the new Tidy Space Policy.

Area Types of Organization
Electronics TBD
Arts & Graphic Textiles TBD
General Area Temporary Storage; Salvage
Small Metals TBD
Cold Metals Salvage; Sort-Me Zone (drill bits)
Hot Metals Temporary Storage; Salvage
Woodshop Temporary Storage; Salvage
CNC (Lasers & 3D) Salvage (drawers only)

Suggestion Box

If you have any ideas as to how the Tidy Space Policy can be further improved, please let us know in our Tidy Space Improvement Submission Form.

Tidy Space Policy

What is TidySpace?

The Tidy Space policy is designed to make the “space” in “hackerspace” easier for everyone to use. It introduces a visual system of marking and tagging to indicate when something is out of place, and gives people tools to help keep things orderly. It relies on participation from every member, but is administered by Area Hosts and Officers. It is, of course, to be executed alongside the Pumping Station: One Membership Agreement and the overarching rule: “be excellent to each other.”

It is strongly recommended that all personal property is labeled. It is much more likely your belongings can be returned to you if there is identifying information present. Pumping Station: One is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen personal property. (See Membership Agreement.)

Parking Permit

What it is

This new version of the permit tag https://wiki.pumpingstationone.org/images/Greenpermitjan2020.pdf

should be placed on any item, project or materials used for personal or group projects, which are being actively worked and/or are too large to store in personal locker/shelf space. Items with a properly issued parking permit must not be left on a worktable or in a walkway. Items that are left with or without a Parking Permit may be moved to Temporary Storage by anyone at any time. Members are able to write their own ticket for parking, valid for a maximum of 72 hours unless an Area Host agrees to a longer period of time not exceeding 30 days. Members are able to renew Parking Permits themselves given that they are physically in at PS1 to do so. Area Hosts are able to limit renewals at their discretion if appropriate to maintain organization of Temporary Storage.

* Note that physical parking permits will not always be green. Although it is convenient to be able to distinguish labels by color, we often experiment with different labels and media that aren't always available in green. Always inspect the permit to see what it says.

Who can issue

Parking permits may be issued by any member for their own project for up to 72 hours. For longer periods, they must be approved by any Officer, Director, Area Host, or deputized person, but renewals can be overruled by a presiding Area Host or a majority vote of the Board. Permit renewals follow the same process as new permits.

What’s on the form

The tag includes a brief, legible description of the material being stored, the maximum square footage taken up by the material, the name and contact information of the owner/responsible party, the date the permit expires and the name and signature of the issuer.

Parking Ticket

What it is

Red Tickets should be placed on any item, project, or materials found in the space without a permit or with an improperly filled or expired permit. If materials are obstructing a walkway, common work areas or work surfaces, or is otherwise stored in a manner that is a hindrance of the use of PS1 by other members, anyone is able to respectfully move items to Temporary Storage where an authorized person will ticket items if they are unclaimed. As stated above, items must be labeled with a Parking Pass and stored properly when not actively being worked on. Personal storage is exempted from the Parking Ticket process and improperly utilized personal storage is covered in its own section below.

Red tickets (https://github.com/pumpingstationone/ps1-design/blob/master/export/red-parking-tag.pdf)

* Note that physical parking tickets will not always be red. Although it is convenient to be able to distinguish labels by color, we often experiment with different labels and media that aren't always available in red. Always inspect the ticket to see what it says.

Who can issue

Parking tickets may be issued by any Officer, Director, Area Host, or deputized person.

What’s on the form

The tag includes space for a brief description of the material in question, instructions for the owner of the item, the name of the individual issuing the ticket, the date of issue, and the date at which items will be moved to Salvage if no action is taken. While digital notifications may be made available, physical labels take precedent.

What happens to ticketed items

The ticket can be struck by the issue of a valid parking permit, or in the case of space property, proper labeling and storage. Ticketed material may be moved out of the way or placed in Temporary Storage, but must not be moved to Salvage until the 72 hours after the ticket is issued. The issuer, and/or Area Host, accepts the obligation to make a good-faith effort to contact the person responsible for the material (if known) to let them know their material should be retrieved or marked with a valid parking permit. If the owner is legitimately unavailable to take care of their materials within the 72 hours, the issuer and/or Area Host may make arrangements with the owner at their discretion, but are under no obligation to do so.


What it is

Salvage is a clearly marked and well lit set of shelves dedicated to almost-trash. Anyone may remove anything from Salvage at any time.

What can be put in Salvage and who can put it there?

  • Area hosts: Items with valid parking tickets issued more than 72 hours in the past.
  • Area hosts: Items that have been in the lost and found for more than a month.
  • All members: Items you own.

Salvage Rules:

  • Do not bring items to PS1 specifically to put in Salvage.
  • If an item is of a known level of brokenness, label as such.
  • Items must fit on the shelves. You can make room by (re)moving or disassembling other items.
  • Anyone may remove anything from Salvage at any time.
  • If you take something out of Salvage for personal use, it must be stored properly.

Sort-Me Zones

What they are

Each hosted area has Sort-Me Zones (one or multiple), a marked spaces designated for PS1-owned items in need of a home. Anyone who knows where these items belong should return them to their proper storage location. Within an Area, zones may be labeled based on category. Items that appear to be personal property should not be put in Sort-Me Zones, but rather should go to Temporary Storage.

What to put in a Sort-Me Zone

  • PS1-owned items
  • Items that fit the category of the area-specific zone (e.g. placing drill bits in a Sort-Me Zone of drill bits.)
  • Things that bear no indication of where they belong can go in generic Sort-Me Zones.

What happens to things in Sort-Me Zones

Things found in Sort-Me Zones will be sorted by anyone. If you encounter a populated Sort-Me Zone, do this:

  • Put items where they belong (if you definitely know where it goes).
  • Designate a new home with a labeled bin, shelf, pegboard outline, or similar (let the area host know, chances are they’ll appreciate it).
  • Take item to lost and found (if a personal item).

Only Area Hosts, Officers, Directors and other deputized persons are allowed to:

  • Issue Parking Tickets
  • Throw items away
  • Take items to Salvage

Personal Storage

Upon the expiration of storage rental by a member, whether by ending membership at PS1 or ending payment for storage, members are expected to removed belongings promptly so that other members may make use of personal storage as limited spaces are available. Members have 2 weeks to remove belonging from an expired unit after an attempt to notify the member has been made. After that 2-week grace period, the contents of that personal storage unit will be labeled and moved to Temporary Storage for an additional 2 weeks to allow for the owner to claim their belongings. After those 4 weeks, starting from the time of initial notification, if no other arrangements or contact has been made, unclaimed items will then be moved to Salvage.

Lost and Found

Small personal items (cell phones, wallets, multitools, hats, etc.) should be placed in the Lost and Found.

  • Label found items with date and location found
  • Items must remain in Lost and Found for a minimum of one month before they are moved to Salvage
  • Try to inform the owner
  • Communicate privately if possible
  • Post to the list when the owner is unknown
  • Include "[found]" in the subject line

Area Hosts

Because the Tidy Space policy relies heavily on Area Host intervention, it also requires that areas be visually well-defined, that area hosts are easy to contact, and that they’re able to recruit help and delegate administrative tasks as necessary.

Every square foot in the space falls under the purview of an Area Host. In each area, the following information should be clearly visible:

  • Name of the Area
  • Name and contact information the Area Host

Area Hosts may, at their discretion, deputize members to help them manage Parking Permits, Parking Tickets, worktables, walkways, and storage of any kind. Area helpers agree to communicate all administrative activities to the Area Hosts. Area Hosts may revoke administrative permissions at any time, but should avoid this by selecting their helpers carefully.


A worktable is a surface to be used only for projects currently being worked on. Area Hosts designate worktables in their area at their discretion. Worktables are marked either with spray paint (using a stencil like this one; note: stencil currently not found) or with other markings devised by the Area Host. Worktables must never be used to store projects not currently being worked on except those that qualify as “Standing Projects.”


Walkways are specially marked areas which are kept free of obstructions so that individuals may pass through them unhindered. Area Hosts designated walkways in their area at their discretion. Adherence to ADA width requirements* is strongly encouraged where possible. Designating “walkways” is an excellent way for Area Hosts to keep floorspace clear and are recommended for areas around stationary tools, shelves, and anywhere else where obstructions are unacceptable.

Standing Projects

If you need to leave a project for a short time (1 hour maximum) you are expected to put a note on your project with the time you are leaving and contact information. If an hour passes after that time, the item may be moved to Temporary storage in the same manner of an untagged item.“Standing Project” forms will be available but other media may be used. If a project is going to be left for longer than 1 hour, a Parking Permit should be written and the item should be stored properly, either in personal or temporary storage.

Standing projects should be tagged by their owner with the following:

  • Name and contact information
  • Date and time the items are being left
  • Justification (examples: "wet paint", "home depot run", "dinner")

Make sure your tag is visible, legible, and securely attached to your items.

Moving Other People’s Projects

If you encounter what appears to be an abandoned project after looking for a Standing Project Note and verifying that the person is not at the space, proceed to move the project to Temporary Storage while keeping the following in mind:

  • Respecting other people's property is part of Being Excellent.
  • If possible, carefully place the items in a container so that they don’t get scattered.
  • Move items to Temporary Storage if there is space available. If no space is available, move items to an area you do not currently need to use and contact an Area Host to let them know about the items in question.
  • If items are drying, painstakingly arranged, or susceptible to damage from gentle touching, avoid moving them. If the owner is known, communicate with them. Otherwise, contact the presiding Area Host.
  • Understand that in a shared space there’s no guarantee that if you leave your project to dry, others will take your project into consideration when working nearby (e.g. sanding next to freshly-painted wood). Take this into consideration when leaving your project unattended.