This week has been interesting – in both the good and bad senses. On one hand, I no longer work at the gift shop (definitely for the best, in hindsight). On the other hand, Virginia and I are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel of hats!
After averaging out the number of hats we see in a box, we estimate that we’ve gone through between 450 and 500 hats, and we have about 10 more boxes to go through. It’s very, very exciting to know that we’ll be able to move on to another project soon.
To give you an idea of how long we’ve been working on hats, one of the most recent boxes we opened was a surprise. Inside were bathing suits! While we did not tag them, I realized that I was unaccustomed to handling actual garments. It was a weird feeling considering I, you know, wear clothes every day. Ultimately it was a nice period of respite, and I got to take a look at a real-life-itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot-bikini.
The biggest change in our hat odyssey has been where we’re putting the boxes. When we started, hat boxes were located in two main areas. As we’ve gone through, we’ve been able to take out hats for *de-accession or consolidate two “batches” into one box. We’ve also stumbled across boxes that don’t contain hats (like the bathing suit box) and place them in a more suitable location. The combination of these has given us more space and it looks like we’re going to be able to fit all the hat boxes in one area. As the number of donations increase, the amount of space we have left rapidly decreases, so this combing through has proved to be very important.
After we’ve finished, our next project will be to start looking through boxes that are stored in the sliding storage aisles. The aisles are actually a pretty interesting (and important) piece of our facility. If I haven’t explained previously, our storage aisles are moveable, using cranks located on the end of each aisle. When you need to access clothing from a certain decade, you go to the aisle marked as such, and turn the wheel. The aisle opens from its darkened and shut position so you can walk in. This system allows for compacted space, shelter from light, and protection from people.