This may seem a little counter intuitive since I told you in my last Tech Tip to never become a pack rat. But where last week we talked about people keeping things that people were never going to use this week we're talking about never throwing away things that you know you can use.
Let's call these your assets. Your assets are the flats, platforms, furniture pieces, and backdrops/curtains that are sturdy, reliable, and able to be used again. These are your life blood for the company, more valuable than gold. When they're built right and have enough of them they'll never fail you. And more importantly you don't have to pay money to buy the material to make them again. And anything that helps you get the show done under budget is your FRIEND!
I would even encourage you to go further with this. Why should you have to even throw anything that you buy for the set away after the show closes? Should you just dismantle your custom set pieces and leave all of that would lying around in the shop? Should you just take all of your scraps at the end of the day and throw them in the dumpster? I think not! Plan now to have a second and a third use for everything!
I am a big proponent of not having anything lying around that's not serving a direct purpose to you. That means that custom builds can be dismantled and turned into stock units, oddly cut backdrops can be cut up into standard sizes, and odd furniture can be remade into a new use or put into the office or green room to liven things up! Even your saw dust and scraps can be reused to help you out with other projects. Someday I'll give you my recipe for "painters goop" which is made from sawdust and leftover paint.
If at the end of the day you take out the trash and have the peaceful feeling that everything in that can is something that is completely worthless to you, that none of it feels like you're throwing money away, then you'll know what I mean when I say it is a rush.
Keeping your assets well maintained is a great feeling. It saves your company money, build time, and causes less clutter. When you store up these little treasures and learn to use them well you'll start to realize, even if you don't have all of the money you need, how rich your shop really is.