Holiday Recovery for Your Indie Business: Organize Your Work Space

Organized workspace

An organized workspace will help you feel more in control of your indie business after the holiday season's craziness.

I'm always wondering where to even begin post-holiday-madness cleanup for my indie business. My studio is a total mess, I have completely run out of every imaginable supply, and the thought of January makes me shudder!  Just when did I get so darn busy?!

The hardest task for many indie business owners is deciding where to start when you want to organize your work space after the holidays.  With so much to catch up on, there is the desire to just put my head on my desk, close my eyes and hope the shoemaker's elves show up to lend a helping hand.  But that's a fairy tale, right? 

Over the years, I have learned that nothing happens in my indie business until I get my studio back to working order. I can't send over the shoemaker's elves, but here are some surefire ways to organize your work space and get back on track post-holidays.

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Paperwork First!

If you are anything like me, the details from your holiday sales are in about 10 different places.  No matter how organized I am — and truth be told, I'm pretty well-organized between Etsy, my IndieMade site, flash sale sites, craft shows, wholesale, and consignment — I have a whole bunch of sales channels to organize and numbers to crunch.  

I have found that when it comes to my indie business sales, my mind is like a steel trap.  No matter how insane the holiday craft show may be, I usually have some memory of almost every sale.  Believe it or not, you probably do too, and that's why it is always smart to start with paperwork first when you start to organize your work space.  Enter your data and make sense of those crazy notes you wrote yourself at the craft fair about the sale prices and two-for-one deals you offered. Get it all down while it is fresh in your head. I guarantee that, once things get humming again, those numbers will slip away.

Hot Dates

Time to review your emails, look through those business cards you exchanged, and double-check your calendar.  Chances are you owe some return emails and have some approaching deadlines and meetings around the corner.  Get your indie business calendar up to date and start a whole new to-do list. I like to put everything in my phone and on a giant wall calendar.  No matter how many times my inventory management system reminds me that a wholesale deadline is approaching, nothing has a bigger impact than seeing it written up on my wall.

Take Stock

Take a look at the mess around you, when you start to organize your work space. If you could move anything, or add anything, that will help your indie business be more productive, what would it be?  Do you wish you had better lighting? A new chair? A roomier area for packaging and shipping?  Now is the time to reevaluate the workability of your space. Before you start putting everything back in its place, make sure it was actually working where it was in the first place. 

So Fresh and So Clean

Once things are starting to shape up and you can actually see your desk and floors once again, give yourself some time to do a deep clean of your space.  Even though we keep things neat and tidy, there is nothing like giving your work space a super clean.  Mop, steam, scrub and vacuum.  Do it now while everything is up off your work surfaces. 

A Well-Organized Promise

Promise to stay super organized in 2013.  Then promise to forgive yourself when you end up not being able to see your floors and work surfaces in a few weeks. 

Let me know your best practices for how to organize your work space after the busy season!

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