I’ll admit I cringe a bit when I decided to write this because this is an area I can definitely improve upon. But I do have some good tips for keeping orders, gifts or projects from getting lost or taking over!
Orders & Gifts all get written down! This is a habit I am working hard on. I like to keep things digitally but that means digging through apps on my phone or computer. A friend reminded me of the simple trick of having a whiteboard in your space! Now this is a staple in what I do to keep myself straight and on track. In purple, all my orders go up, by client name, then a quick reminder of the project I’m doing, then how many I am doing for them. If there are several sizes or varying items that I need to keep track of it would be broken down by that as well. I also then include the deadline. I often make the deadline a bit earlier, that way if anything goes wrong I have time to fix it. All of this is now just a glance away when I am working in my office.
Projects then get a pile. I know that seems incredibly unorganized but I have a decent amount of counter space and I am often waiting for things like the proper shirts to come in. Everything is kept folded (if needed) and organized however. An idea for projects, if a pile (albeit organized one) seems unruly, you could easily designate a given space, drawer or even a few bins for them). For smaller projects I am working on here and there, I have one of my bookcase spaces setup just for those. That way I don’t lose small parts too! The point here isn’t necessary to use my exact system since we will have varying spaces, but to find a system that works and then stick to it! The less you go searching for things around your space, the more productive you can be.
Write down what you are using for the projects or gifts. This is key, especially if you are running a business, but can also be good for hobby crafters to know what you have used a lot of! By tracking, you realize you have already give your niece or aunt something with that file on it or that they absolutely gushed over the gift you provided at someone’s bridal shower and now you can make something similar for them, without having to mine the files in your brain (or photos on your phone) to figure out exactly what the heck you made that they loved! For my orders I will write down what I am using on a post it note and designate what project its for. Then when I go to write my invoice I simply follow along the note of what I used for that project. I found stopping to fill in a spreadsheet just interrupted my work flow too much, but I needed all the information.
Lastly, once an order or gift is ready, it goes in a bag for delivery. For orders I have designated bags I use or they get packaged for the post office. I deliver or go to mail them as soon as I can, that way orders don’t linger or get forgotten about. For gifts, I go ahead and wrap it or put it in a gift bag and tag it. This keeps my space working efficiently and I am not digging through anything when a customer wants to pick it up or when I’m headed out the door to deliver it.
Finding a system that you can stick to is key! Your space can work for you or against you and being organized with what you SHOULD be doing helps us creatives stay on track! What is the key for you to keep your space working for you instead of against you?