THINC: February 2021

Organization is the Key
by Denise Sullivan

HURLEYVILLE– Being organized saves time!

How? By not spending time looking for lost items, and instills confidence by knowing where things are in the home or workplace. The stress related to lost items or lost information is greatly reduced when you practice being organized. It can also save money by not buying items you already have.

When the organic farming staff at The Center for Discovery (TCFD) asked for help organizing their gloves, tissues, and hand sanitizers in their many outdoor work areas, Sam Rose, Director of Recreation Therapy, answered the call. His department is home based at the Technology Hub and Incubator (THINC), and Sam always looks for ways to involve TCFD residents in do-it-yourself projects.

The farm staff requested an outdoor storage cabinet, so that while students were outdoors tending the chickens or feeding and watering livestock, they could remember and find the container where sanitary supplies were kept. That’s how the sanitation barn was conceived. It’s a sturdy, painted wooden box with latching doors that open easily. It has room for plenty of supplies and is designed to look like a miniature red barn. It even has shingles on the roof. It meets the standards of fit, form and function. It is also really cute, with lots of detail, like crisscross trim on faux doors and window shutters.

Mr. Rose has learned to use modern digital tools to create the designs for DIY projects. SketchUp, a 3D modeling software used at THINC, allows the user to draw a three dimensional object, and then take it apart and lay out the pieces. The walls, doors, floor, and roof of the sanitation barn were arranged and then cut from wood on the CNC (Computer Numeric Control) router, leaving little waste. Full sheets of plywood slide in one end of the CNC and miniature barn pieces — complete with joinery cuts, pilots for mounting screws and even decorative grooving — emerge on the other. The barn door and window trim pieces were laid out and cut on THINC’s Full Spectrum laser cutter. Each project is archived in SketchUp so that with a few clicks it can be recreated at a later time.

Mr. Rose looks at each design / build project with a time formula that ensures TCFD residents participate in the construction. For every hour that he spends preparing materials, he creates 1 hour of “resident work”. Sometimes, that work is painting, learning how to pre-drill holes for finishing nails or using a nail gun with assistance for the first time. For residents in day habilitation programs outside of THINC, he delivered paint and trim wood so that more students were helping with the project. With many hands on deck, all the trim pieces were painted quickly. TCFD adult residents also assisted in the assembly of the sanitation barns, nailing roof shingles and attaching door latches.

The sanitation barns have been installed in several farm locations, thanks to Sam Rose and his crew of students and adult residents. Supplies are dry and organized, and workers can easily locate them. Less stress and more happiness for everyone!