There’s much to be said about the convenience of home based businesses.
You set your own hours. You can work in your pajamas. Lunch can always be a home cooked meal. Unfortunately, even mostly great things still have some downsides. For many home based business owners, storage and organization present a real logistical challenge. When you work and live in the same place, where should all your stuff go?
1. Think Vertically
You likely have more space from the floor to the ceiling than space from one side of the room to the other. Vertical storage solutions like tall shelves and cabinets will give you more places to put supplies without monopolizing a significant amount of floor space. Almost anything, besides a desk, can be stored vertically and easily accessed. If you need a wide drawer unit and the unit is sturdy, you might even be able to stack vertical storage solutions on top.
2. Go Paperless
Going paperless solves a lot of storage problems that home based businesses face. For one, paper documents and the printing equipment necessary to generate them take up a lot of space. Opting to keep digital versions of all your files will take up a lot less space – technically, no space if cloud storage solutions are used. You’ll also save money on all the supplies required to keep paper documents. Do something better for storage and for the planet by keeping it digital.
3. Keep Offsite Backups
The backups you keep of your documents and records are taking up twice as much space. Keeping your backups offsite serves two purposes. One is to reduce the amount of space you’re occupying, and the other is to keep your backups extra secure. If there were a flood or a natural disaster, your backups would be ruined with your original copies. Offsite backups assure you always have copies of your documents to fall back on.
4. Utilize Community Sharing
For things you need to keep but don’t have room for, you can always utilize community sharing websites. If someone nearby has some extra space, you can pay to use it. You won’t need to travel all the way to a storage unit to have access to the things you need to stash away. You might even find a local business sharing extra space as community storage. If that’s the case, it’s possible that you’ll find opportunities to network and grow.
5. Keep Home and Work Separate
When you have two big things going on in one space (in this case, it’s living and working), keeping them separate is vital. Assuring that your home storage and organization are kept separate from your business storage and organization is crucial for your success. Store everything exactly where it belongs. You never want to wind up finding an important missing order form in the kitchen junk drawer. Be sure that the rooms of your house around the area where you conduct business are equally as organized to prevent blunders.
6. Store Inventory Safely
Home based businesses that sell and ship products require a lot more space than other types of home based businesses. Keeping product on site poses a significant storage challenge. If you have a large yard or an unused garage, it may be worth converting that garage into a warehouse or erecting a small building in the back yard. As long as you have a weatherproof environment with high security, any external structure will work. It’s worth the investment to have your living room return to its purpose as a relaxation area instead of allowing it to remain an inventory showroom.
7. Organize Meticulously
It’s amazing how much stuff you can fit inside a drawer with the right organizational system. When you’re working with limited surface area, start putting things inside of other things. Labelled and divided drawers will allow you to give everything a clear place to go. Both finding things and putting things away will become infinitely easier.
Home based business owners need to be a little clever and inventive when it comes to storage solutions. Rethinking your current setup will give you more room to be productive and more space to live in.
Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space in Melbourne whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.