Friday, May 8, 2020

More Workspace Organizing

With my school year effectively shuttered indefinitely, I had to go in today to pack up my stuff. A couple of years ago I had a post about my classroom, which has a number of my vintage bicycles on display. Keeping some of them at school not only frees up some space in my basement, but also gives me (and the kids) something to look at while I'm working, and just makes for a much more interesting environment. But packing everything up for the Summer means bringing all the bikes back home so they're safe and available for riding. However, figuring out where to put them all is always a challenge.
Just one corner of the classroom. A vintage bike on the wall, and the commuter beast below. On any given day, there are usually 5 or 6 bikes.

I'm wishing I'd have taken a photo of my little station wagon all loaded up for the drive home. Two bikes on the roof, two more on a rack on the rear hatch, and one inside with the seats folded down. It was a sight.

Since getting my workshop nook cleaned up and organized, and with a bit of space-saving creativity, I had room to get two of the bikes in there, yet still out of the way (hanging vertically on the back wall). But I still had three more bikes that needed some space.

Just on the other side of the door to my workshop is another little nook that's been pretty neglected for a lot of years:

I've got a bike on hooks up on the wall, and my tandem bike on the floor below it. But as you can see, I also had a bunch of boxes and crates, assorted junk, and piles of rags. It's also where we keep a few storm windows and screens stacked up when they're not in use. The solution to the junk problem was obvious: I had to sort through it and get rid of anything I haven't used (or even felt the need to look for) in a bunch of years. Then I consolidated whatever was worth keeping into much more compact and sensible storage solutions. The tandem presented a bit more of an issue. It's really too long to fit where it is (it has to go "diagonally" across the whole nook). I cleared away and rearranged some things over on the opposite side of the room and moved the tandem over there, where I had a much longer wall space available.

And yes, we still have several old doors. We'll never use them, but with an old house like ours, you hate to get rid of them, and standing up along the wall, they don't take up that much floor space. But with other junk cleared out, the tandem fits much better over here.
With the junk cleared out of the nook, and the tandem relocated, I suddenly had room for three more bikes. I put some hooks up into the joists so I could hang two of them vertically, while a third was able to hang below the other one along the left wall. And the great thing is that I when I want to ride, I can still easily access any of them without having to move or shift the others out of the way. Brilliant!
I have to say that the coronavirus shutdown has had some terrible effects that will be felt for a long time to come. But if there is any possible "bright side," it would have to be that it has made time for a lot of things that otherwise have been neglected.


  1. Old doors can be re-purposed as computer desks (black pipe superstructure), backs for door-way entry tables, and backs for (shallow) shelving units.

  2. My first real desk consisted of a door I found in the trash of a luxe co-op building. I propped it up with two file cabinets that my employer at the time was about to toss. I repainted everything in black.

    It must have been difficult to bring all of those bikes back. But you don't know when you'll return to the school and who/what is there in the meantime. I must say, though, a bike next to a skeleton gave me the chills!

    How is online teaching?

    1. Sorry I had no response on this -- for some reason, my own replies weren't showing up. Using at least one of those old doors as a flat surface might be handy. Thanks.

      Online teaching has been a challenge - but we're almost done!

  3. Finding space to store more bikes is certainly the kind of problem we all love to have!