Psychological Effects of Being Trapped in a Closet


I was trapped in a closet for five months. Then I was hit by a car, so it wasn't a problem any more. This proposal fell on deaf ears, but my managers were hugely tickled by this hyper-optimistic coping mechanism. 


Hi all,

Thanks for taking the time to look at my layout proposal! I'm really excited about it and I think you will be too. So, having been privileged to work at some nice frame shops, I've found myself contemplating a layout for this unusually small space that would solve the majority of problems people have observed over the years:


  • table is too narrow to accommodate large work

  • dead space on shelves & drawers

  • storage areas inaccessible

  • only one set of tools awkwardly placed for two people to frame at the same time

  • glass is in awkward/inaccessible area

  • air hose is awkward/gets in the way/hard to maneuver


What I'm proposing is a design that will increase production and quality of service. In a space this small we can't afford to have any dead space, and it's more ergonomic to have all like materials together and easily accessible. This will require a small investment (under $250, the price of a single average frame job), but I'm sure you'll agree the return will be great and these changes will pay for themselves in short order.


(And for those of us whose eyes cross at having to read lots, I've included a blueprint I made with this really nifty room design program I found.)


First, the work table:



  • I've taken the linear layout and folded it in half (the top leaves are the same dimensions). This island will allow for a stable surface for larger pieces.

  • Small/medium sized frames can still hang from pegboard, but now they will be easier to reach from either side of the table.

  • Matching tool sets on either side will ensure that employees can rapidly access hardware.

  • The front of the table will be the drawers and slots used most frequently, and the back of the table will have slots that have consistently stored less important things.

  • Above the table will be hung a spiral hose secured to the steal beam just behind the drop ceiling. This style of hose would either dangle in the center of the table or latch onto the pegboard. This is the most ergonomic solution to the air hose problem and would allow for rapid access.



    Second, the vertical storage unit:


    closet vertical storage.png


    • The remaining short slot fixture will fit between the two tall slots. This will create the perfect cubbie for photo paper rolls (instead of awkwardly under the drymount press). This will also increase the length of the top storage area, making room for rarely used items that are currentlytaking up shelves.

    • The broken glass barrel will go between the unit and the door, which will be in arms reach of the mat/glass cutter, allowing for rapid access.

    • No objects will block access to glass sheets with this setup.

    • The oversized boards will slide nicely between the unit and the far wall, and the oversized glasswill remain in that last slot. This will be in alignment with the footpath next to the table, so these items can slide out completely without obstacle.

    • The plastic bags will fit just behind the glass barrel.


    Third, the drymount press:



    • Unused items will be moved to other storage locations, so the bracket shelf will not be needed here. Enough room should be cleared on the bottom of the two big shelves for materials that are used most frequently(adhesives/hardware). This is prime real estate since it's at eye level and easy to reach.

    • The press fits perfectly under the lower shelf, and tucked inside the room cutout it now has a smaller footprint. 

    • Concerning larger pieces: the press can still wheel forward a couple feet, which will be plenty since the likelihood of mounting a piece longer than 8ft is negligible. The press is 3 ft in depth, which means when wheeled out more than half the board is reached, ensuring adequate overlap. Now artwork can rest on the work table while they're mounting instead of having to be held the whole time.

    • The tall drawers also fit perfectly under the lower shelf, but they have not been utilized because they were not easily accessible, so now they can store some of the things that were on the bracket shelves.

    • Between these two items is just enough space for the metal box that stores the stretcher bars and frame kits for people's orders.

    • The compressor will go under the drymount press, with room to spare for storage. 


    Fourth, tool/material accessibility:



    • The large paper roll is really  awkward vertically on the floor. Mounting a dispenser on the wall next to the mat cutter would make cutting off needed amounts extremely quick and efficient. The roll/dispenser would come off the wall about the same depth as the mat cutter.

    • Above the paper dispenser the large frames will hang from the peg board.

    • Having two of the most-used tools on the table will make them easy to reach at a moments notice. This is why we will need (1) a second drill (2) two plastic trays with ten compartments for hardware (3) a second pair of wire cutters (4) a second drill bit.

    • Leftover items like fillets and manual mat cutter have the option of fitting in a few different corners. 

    • The bracket shelves have two pairs of bracket mounts, which means if we REALLY need to we can cut down any portion of the shelves to fit in a small space such as above the glass barrel, above the oversized boards, or even above the drymount perpendicular to the big shelves.

    • The vertical slots will have to be reorganized to decrease dead space, ensuring that all glass is accessible from this unit, and all unimportant materials go in the storage at the back of the work table. The bottom two drawers under the front of the work table can also be better utilized. 

    • NOTE: We may be able to gain a few more inches of space on either side of the table by either (1)turning the top leaves around (it's 70" x 84", and there's dead space  under the edges. In these pictures I have long side facing forward, but that will involve negotiating how much room to leave for pulling out glass/artwork), or (2) finding another place for the kraft paper roll, like under the mat cutter. It's also possible the drymount press will have enough room to swivel out for larger pieces I'll have to check these measurements.



    Some day we'll be able to knock down a few walls and have all the room we desire, but in the mean time these simple changes will transform this tiny closet into an efficient and profitable frame center, capable of plowing through high volume periods. And just to make things super easy for everyone I've gone through the trouble of locating the tools we will need to bring into the shop. As you will see, the list is very simple:




    Congratulations, you read the whole thing! You're a champ.