RE: mess in common house
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 94 11:29 CDT
Judy BAXTER asked:
 How do you deal with
personal items (shoes, sweatshirts,...), toys, dirty dishes and cutlery, left
around in the common space?  In our experience, these sometimes, but not
always, belong to kids.  stuff belongs both to residents and non-residents.

At Sharingwood we had a small problem with kids leaving trash in the 
commons.  At the kids meeting the adult facilitator brought it up and 
the kids apparently solved the problem as I don't recall seeing any 
trash around for the last couple of months. ( I understand that our 
kids have also been policing the other kids from up the road to pick up 
their trash)

One of the interesting things which defines our community to some 
degree is that our internal circulation road is covered with bikes, 
ridey toys, balls and other kids debris. (not to mention kids)  When 
this was brought up at a meeting, it was decided that we like having 
our road cluttered with kids stuff, it helps slow the traffic down and 
makes a clear statement that this is a kid centric place.  There is 
always enough space for a car to weave in and out of the stuff and it 
has deterred other traffic.  Each night the older boys move stuff to 
the side of the road - they do this because one night a ridey toy got 
run over and broken in the dark which was a heart-wrenching experience 
for one of "the little kids".

Stuff left in the commonhouse (or elsewhere) gets put into a "lost and 
found" sort of box and when that gets full it gets drug out into the 
middle of the circle during the general meeting and people can just 
claim stuff right then.  Every once and awhile something shows up which 
no one claims. For example the nylon windbreaker I wore to work today 
was left last summer and never claimed. One of the things which gets 
left most often are dishes and potluck containers which all end up in 
the common kitchen. I just found a favorite cup there last night :)

We are going to build "cubbies" this summer for everyone, so when 
people leave stuff it will get put into their cubby with a couple extra 
cubbies for lost and found.

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