December 3, 2007

Are you drowning in books and bubble mailers?

Having a business in your home can have many benefits. No traffic jams, long commutes or difficult weather conditions. You get to start and finish almost when you want to and the price of gas doesn't faze you at all.
However, there are also some drawbacks. Having your office in your kitchen can feel like you are always at work. Having your computer so close at hand you are tempted to check your email far too often. Your kids may even complain that you are always on that computer! "Mom, pay attention to me!"

There is a solution, in fact a few. One of which is a carefully laid out schedule with designated work times and "home" times and ......moving your business to a less centralized, efficient and compact space.
I thought I'd post a few pictures of exactly what we did a few months ago. We turned our messy "in your face" book selling business that was out in the open into a completely invisible entity. Using an closet in an extra room off the kitchen, we turned our mess into a well confined, orderly and fully functional inventory/shipping department, and mail center. My daughter in law Stephanie, exclaimed, "You really ought to show people how your home doesn't look there is a business in it at all!"

So here it is. I wish we had thought to take a before picture but no such foresight. Take it from me, we had an an unsightly brown fold up table, placed over cardboard boxes of bubble mailers and packing material strewn with invoice slips and tape dispensers.

Never again! Now, we rather smugly challenge guests and book selling friends, "take a look and see if you can see evidence of a business in our home. " They usually can't.

Above is the right hand side of the closet. We cut down a CD rack that we had gotten at a garage sale and put it in the right hand corner. Directly to the left we installed clear plastic wall racks (Walmart) to hold the three sizes of bubble mailers that we use the most. Of course the books themselves are stacked numerically on wire racks that my sons installed. One was there already (being a closet) and the other two they added. (Home depot)

The ugly table still was needed but now is nestled deep into the closet to be used as a wrapping table. (We had to cut two inches off the back with a scroll saw in order for it to fit inside the closet) The top back surface doubles right now as storage for extra jewel cases, tape dispensers, Goo Gone and International Shipping Labels. Underneath the table for now are extra bubble mailers, and a garbage can but may well be room for another wire rack to be installed in the future in case of overflow.

Hanging on the open door is the "book bag" that is filled to the brim daily and handed to Mom as she heads out the door at 4:45 to drop off the loot for the day. When all is said and done, we close the doors and viola. Gone is the mess and the day of work. We can get on with the evening.

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