This article is being written as I do what I'm writing about. I'm tired of scrambling to gather all my shipping stuff when I get an order. It was all more or less in one place just as a big messy stack of stuff with no organization. So here we go.

I'm only working with what I currently have and it has to fit in a corner of the room.

I'm a bit embarrassed to put this picture but we need a before.

So since I'm committed to doing this with what I already have I need to consider the storage I have available.

  • 1 wide plastic set of drawers 24 inches wide 36 inches tall
  • 1 narrow plastic set of drawers 12 inches wide and 36 inches tall
  • plastic shoe boxes
  • Various cardboard boxes
  • Various other storage containers
What I Did
I'll spare you the horrendous photos of how messy my living room got during this process. Suffice to say you can't organize anything without first tearing everything apart to sort through it.
  1. First of all I need a flat surface to construct the packages on and keep my scale. The top of the wide plastic drawers works great. The shipping area is directly across from my computer so I can just wheel the chair over when I need to pack things.
  2. On the top of the drawers are my postal scale, box with gift bags, receipt book, calculator, packing tape, scotch tape, scissors, box cutter, business cards, box of brochures and promo packs. Also some packing paper that didn't fit anywhere else.
  3. Small flattened boxes went in the bottom drawer. Larger flattened boxes tucked between drawers and wall.
  4. Tissue paper saved from orders, gifts, etc. in a cardboard box. Box then went into the top drawer.
  5. Bubble wrap in the top drawer.
  6. Envelopes, extra packing tape, small box of saved packing peanuts, and other miscellaneous small items in the middle drawer.
  7. Assembled boxes arranged in a neat stack. Larger boxes stored in downstairs closet until needed.
  8. Less frequently used items stored in the smaller set of drawers that has been moved to where the larger one used to be. In it are gift boxes, ribbon, wrapping paper, etc.
  9. Next to the small drawers are some more boxes.
  10. Hung my t-square on the wall, I use it for cutting down over sized boxes.
  11. Packed up the art paper, mat board, and other stuff that didn't belong in boxes and they're stored downstairs as well. Organizing my paper is for another day.
  12. Threw out a lot of trash and broken boxes. The stool with my pasta machine went back where it belonged next to my art desk.
Here's the result of my efforts. It's not pretty but it's neat and functional. I hope it inspires you to consider how your shipping and studio is organized.

Some Links on Organization