Taming the Chaos – Organizing Online Store Inventory

Taming the Chaos – Organizing Online Store Inventory

Organizing Online Store Inventory

It’s that time of year again. We want to get organized. We love to start the year off with a clean slate, don’t we? I’m beginning a blog post series on organization. “Taming the Chaos” is what I call it. When it gets bad here, it gets really, really bad. For my first project, I tackled the worst. My online store inventory room. This room is my warehouse/shipping/photography room. After much thought, I decided to call the post, “Organizing Online Store Inventory” because that’s really what you’re interested in, right? Everybody wants to see how other people do it. 

Whether you sell on Etsy, eBay, Amazon, your own web site, or other venue, we all have the same problem. Where do we keep all that stuff?! I’m fortunate to have a large, (mostly) dedicated room just for this. It wasn’t always so. This area started off life as a back extension of our carport. I always thought it should be taken in for just this purpose, but that didn’t happen. Then one day, Ricky decided he needed it for his toy train hobby. So, he built the room. He never played in there and he’s sold most of his trains so now, the room is finally fulfilling its destiny. Other options, if you don’t have an area under the roof to wall in, would be to rent a storage unit or erect a storage building on your property. 

Warning:  There are no pretty pictures in this post. It’s an ugly, but fairly functional, room. It can use some a lot of improvement, but this is what it is at the moment.

This is what happened with the holidays. I did the toss and run. Or dump and run. No, dump and run sounds poopy. Drop and run. Yeah. Drop. These clothes out in the hallway waiting to be ironed? They can’t be visible during the holidays! Dump Drop. That box of stuff? The Christmas tree needs to go there!. Toss. You get the picture. The only things that keep it from being eligible for an episode of Hoarders is there were no fast food wrappers, no dead cats and there actually was a path.

Junky Inventory Room

Eek! The curtain backdrop even fell down! This mess was driving us nuts. Oh, and to make matters worse, we had a mini flood in there. Thank goodness, everything was in plastic tubs or off the floor.

After two days work, this is about is good as it’s gonna get for now:

Organizing Online Store Inventory

The long table on the left, the one that was piled with clothes, is the packing table. 
I was told the tool chests have to stay. Boo hiss.

Organizing Online Store Inventory

Items waiting for their photo shoot. Except the stools. The little wooden one was my grandfather’s and I’m a shorty and use both it and the red stool. And any other stool or ladder you see in the pictures.

Organizing Online Store Inventory

Clothes awaiting their photo shoot.

Organizing Online Store Inventory

And where the photo shoots happen. Hmmm…. I hadn’t thought of this before, but seeing the dress form in front of the railroad signs gives me the idea to maybe try using them in the clothing backdrop…..

I prefer natural light photos, but lighting kits are more convenient. The one I have is similar to this one on Amazon. The one I want is this one. No major expense or anything. Just haven’t done it.

And here’s how I store the inventory waiting for a buyer:

Organizing Online Store Inventory

 

Not very pretty, huh? But it works. Would work better with shelves. That’s on the list. Each box is numbered. I keep a Google Docs spread sheet with a list of items in each box. When something comes out, it gets deleted from the sheet. As a box gets room, something new is added.

Organizing Online Store Inventory

I’m rather excited to get back to work now. Gots me a clean room to work in. So refreshing! But don’t ask me to show it to you two months from now. It shouldn’t look like the before pictures, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be quite this neat. 

We do have plans for a total redo, though. We need shelves. Functional shelves. Tear out the ones that are there and put in customized shelves. We also have a large, roll top desk that we love and want to keep, but that is too big for any room in our house. I’d like to work it into this area, keep a computer in there and get a label printer so that there’s not a lot of back and forth walking to the room with the computer and printer.