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Props Inventory / Management / Organization Systems - NEED HELP!

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Magnolia2011, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. Magnolia2011

    Magnolia2011 Member

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    Hello CBers!

    Looking for some advice on props inventory and organization. We have lots of props that are tossed in boxes, closets, shelves - you name it. What we want to do is organize the props and inventory them. The dilemma is this: how best to organize them on the shelves? For example, do we group all the Phones together and label the shelf "Phones" or do we group all stuff (regardless of what it is) that is from a particular show together and call it "whatever show name" or do we put years like "1950s" and anything from the 50s goes there or what is best practice?

    Would love to know how others set up organized prop pieces.

    Thanks in advance CB

    Maggie
     
  2. DuckJordan

    DuckJordan Well-Known Member

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    Depends is this a rental place or a house? If a rental place do you always rent the full set of props for the show, for a house do you come back to the shows again and reuse the same props/style?
     
  3. Magnolia2011

    Magnolia2011 Member

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    This is our own space - a community theater. We would reuse some props yes, but we don't intend to repeat shows unless several seasons apart.

    Maggie
     
  4. DuckJordan

    DuckJordan Well-Known Member

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    Then I would put all your phones in one area and do it that way, maybe even organize by era/design (ex. Put all your second style together, all your 30's era stuff.) For an inventory take pictures and make a folder system. I built a small webpage database for my props but I'm also dealing with well over 20k props in three locations.
     
    peacefulone61 likes this.
  5. MPowers

    MPowers Well-Known Member

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    If you have a large number of items, bar coding is a good choice. Then when you store them by item first, (ex: phones) then by period or specific year if known. Then you can code a group by shows and store the "show" in you computer files as a group. That way if you are searching for a single item, you can go the the shelf with phones and not have to bother with other items. If you are looking for a group of items by period, call that up on the computer and it will tell you which phones, lamps and radios, for example are all from 1930. No guessing as you pull them. If someone needs/wants a "set of props" for a single show, the "show" file will pull up the codes for "that show" and anyone can pull them even though they're not all on the same shelf.
     
    bobgaggle and RonHebbard like this.
  6. erosing

    erosing The Royal Renaissance Man

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    How much space you have is another factor, along with how many props you have.

    I agree with MPowers, Using phones(or any item), if you had enough in space and quantity, organizing by general item then period may be the easiest to find things. So having all your phones on a 3 shelves and then grouped by decade. Or serving-ware shelved by style and then binned by period. Furniture can get more complicated depending on space available.

    As for inventory, cheapest is probably going to be a spreadsheet with the software of your choice. More advanced is going to warrant database software like FileMaker, Access, or similar. Barcodes and QR codes are a good option too. But whatever you choose should be accessible to the present and future staff as far as use and maintenance.
     
  7. B_Cut

    B_Cut Member

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    One of our work study students is currently switching over our inventory system from a VERY large Word document to a proper inventory program. http://www.inflowinventory.com/ I have not had a chance to go through it with him, but he says it's easy and very well organized.
     
  8. MusicNinja610

    MusicNinja610 Member

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    How did you go about creating the website database? Ive also got 3 venues with 4 storage facilities that id like to organize. Also what did it cost to set up if anything?
     

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