Over the last few months I've learned just how organized I need to be in order to realize success with my online shops. Meaning, I don't miss things when shipping, I include thank you cards with each order, I ship the right item, etc. Doing all of this from my home requires some advice usually sought from the pages of magazines. I'm particularly enjoying the one entitled "Where Women Create", published by Stampington, with oodles of eye-candilicious pages showing wonderfully talented artists and their equally inspiring workspaces.
My latest issue of Real Simple also had some nifty ideas which I'd like to share with you along with some of my own personal tips.
-Rocks as Bookends. I love this idea of using found items in nature to both decorate and organize. Rocks don't scream "bookends" but they perform the function wonderfully. I also use found rocks, pebbles and shells to display my jewelry listings and to drape items across. TIP: some beaches or parks don't allow for the removal of rocks, so double check this before doing so.
-Wire Hanger to store ribbon rolls. Great because you can hide hangers away at the end of your crafting time. I sometimes tie my packages with ribbon or twine so this would work for me. You do have to untwist the whole hanger to get the rolls on there, but they'll be on for a long time once they are.
-Sponge as pet hair lifter. This is a good idea, but I like using rubber or nitrile gloves even better. Slip them on and de-lint away. I don't want to work in a cat-hair filled environment. Also, when I display items for sale I often use fabrics as backgrounds, and those fabrics are often covered in- you guessed it. No one wants to zoom in on a thumbnail of my latest necklace creation and see white Phoebe hairs stuck to my black blanket behind the scenes.
-Six Pack container as condiment holder. I would like to amend this by saying I use this idea for toting craft items from one place to the next. Once you're through your next six-pack (of soda or something ahem, harder)- fold the remaining container and save it. Yes! Luckily enough they fold away flat! So handy for the tiny kitchen drawer that's good for nothing. Use for storing and/or toting brushes, messy glue bottles, splattered paint tubes, rolls of paper- whatever. The best part? it's just cardboard, so all that mess doesn't matter- just recycle when you'e done with the current project! And? The more you drink, the more you have! (just kidding.)
-Button Bag as Storage. Yes! Use these little bags for anything from seed beads to jump rings to bits of paper. I also use them for my glass tile jewelry projects- I lay the glass tiles glue side up, but inevitably some of the glue drips down. To remove the tile without damaging the pendant, put a plastic bag underneath and voila- it comes right off! You can also recycle sandwich bags, jewelry baggies, plastic wrap and more for this sort of thing. Button bags can also come in handy when sorting and separating pendants and pins or when shipping them to protect the item. I also recycle the small baggies that come with jewelry components when I buy them.
-Cupcake carrier as Knickknack Organizer. If I was the sort of person who baked, this would be cool. But even if you're like me, you can easily find incredibly affordable cupcake tote options at places like HomeGoods and Bed, Bath and Beyond. The ones specifically made for toting are the ones you want, because they have LIDS. Again use for everything from beads, craft pieces, pendants, baggies (see above), buttons, tags, etc.
- Silicone Cutting Board as placement. I'd like to amend this too: you can use one of these for anything with regard to crafting! Catching glue drips, wiping gluey, glazey fingers, letting items cure or dry, sprinkling glitter, pouring resin, etc. Get some that are sturdy enough to be able to lift from both edges in case you want to transport your messy project to another location. They come in all colors and again can be easily found in dollar stores or discount home stores.
all photos by Mary.