I'm into my fourth year now (I think) on Etsy and while my upstairs where we live is nice and orderly and neat, the downstairs, which I've taken over, is (SOON TO BE WAS!!!!) A JUNGLE! This all started out with me selling Stampin' Up stamps and restored prints. It was going to be on a small scale. My husband KNEW better ... I never do anything on a small scale. He was right. Soon I had boxes and boxes and boxes of stamps ... some in my shop, some sorted and ready for pictures, some with pictures taken and ready to be put in the shop, and some unsorted. We were down to ONE guest bedroom as my unsorted stamps resided on the bed in our second guest bedroom. The prints should have been easy enough ... when I had them restored, printed, and into the shop they went into a huge, oversized scrapbook ... but they bred, I swear they did. My short stack of pictures to restore became a box, then a couple of boxes. Somewhere along the line I decided to put holiday prints in one album, children prints in another, animal prints in another (MY way of inventory management). THEN my love of antiques overtook me when we went to an auction one day. THAT was the day my husband said "the downstairs is your's -- all your's". (Like turning a kid loose in a candy store). My "stuff to sell" grew, replicated, bred --- and I was stepping over and around boxes, digging to find orders -- and finally, even though he'd WAITED THREE YEARS, my dear hubby suggested inventory control. He worked for 35 years in Quality Assurance which is even more anal than inventory control -- I should have seen it coming! AND the man suggested I USE NUMBERS. NUMBERS???!!! WHAT A UNIQUE IDEA!!!! LOL.
He said "yes it may cost quite a bit to get this started, but in the end it will be so easy to keep up ... because you NEVER RUN OUT OF NUMBERS". WHAT a guy!!!
SO this weekend, he and I went to Sam's Club. I bought 750 envelopes. BIG 9 x 12 envelopes. NOW while these don't work REAL well for Stampin' Up sets -- they DO work for MANY of the other things I sell AND for the items that go into Sandy's and my new shop we will open in the Fall. AND he suggested I put all of my restored prints together and ... get this ... KEEP THEM IN THE SCRAPBOOKS (since those take up little room) BUT .... NUMBER THEM!! Again, how cool is THAT? LOL! Today is Friday. I've spent the week working on this. NOW I have two huge albums of my prints. I don't have to worry what their subject is --- I just put the number with the print, and put THAT number by the print in my shop. WOW! :+)
My part of Sandy's (that's our recluse in case you've forgotten) and my new shop fit into TWO bankers' boxes! Before they took up five shelves in a huge wardrobe ... also in the guest room (which MAY someday get to be a guest room again)!!! AND the man has class ... he allowed me to alphabetize my Stampin' Up sets --- WHATA GUY!!! That's what I was doing before but I didn't point THAT out to him :+) However he insisted I sort through them and I actually ended up with more room after getting them all neatly into the Alpha boxes instead of lying on top of each other where I'd put them when digging through the "A" or "B" boxes trying to find one set -- and then never straightening them up again.
SOOOO -- if you've ever struggled with inventory I'll tell you something but do NOT repeat this to my hubby. Shhhh ... it's actually feeling GOOD! I'm beginning to LIKE THIS! AND NUMBERS CAN BE FUN!!! LOL LOL!!!
AND even though I'm writing this tongue in cheek, I truly AM enjoying getting everything in order. Even though I'm showing slight sarcasm as I write, I KNOW that getting a C in math doesn't mean numbers have to be dreadful :+) AND he's at the lake this week so I'm waiting to see if he can actually find the laundry room by walking in a STRAIGHT LINE to it and not having to detour boxes! LOL. AND if you are living with the nightmare I was .... THINK NUMBERS!!!!! :+) Ann
AND AN ANSWER FROM SANDY (SUNDAY 5/31/05)
When I stop laughing at that wonderful color that you put into your writing, I will take my hat off to both you and your husband!!!! :) This is an excellent idea and I wish I could say that "I never misplace anything" but that would be a total fairy tale!
My inventory started out as a well oiled machine, but that did not last very long. I also fooled myself into thinking that I did not need anything like "that much organizing" since I sew nearly 75% of what I sell. Now that Annie and I (The Resident Hermit) have this brilliant idea for our soon-to-be-open new shop, I may need to rethink all of these little bags of vintage goodies.
Thanks for sharing the good advice, and this time, give ALL of the credit to your husband!!!! Sandy