Saturday, March 5, 2016

My Shipping Room REDO


Warning this is a post about function, and not particularly pretty!


This is the door to my shipping room in our finished basement. I have had an Etsy shop for three years. We finished a REDO of the shipping room to make it more organized and user friendly.



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Having an ETSY Vintage shop can seem a bit glamourous, however as any homebased business, it can take over your house. This desk area has reference books, office supplies and a work space for small crafts, and vintage repairs. I confess I don't use it as much as I should, but when the craftroom is reorganized, this area will have specific designated tasks. I've covered the top in heavy vinyl fabric---impervious to anything and it is just waiting to be used.

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BarberryLane has been my shop's name since 1989 in an Antique/Dealer complex. I originally had about three-hundred square feet in a building with mixed dealers, both OLD and NEW. Eventually I had three rooms that totaled over seven-hundred square feet. I filled it with vintage, arts & crafts, candles & cards, and garden items. I operated for almost ten full years and then closed when it became too much to maintain a large shop and take care of my aging parents.

The original plan was to have my mother find homes for the incredible amount of 'goodies' she had collected and stashed. However in 10 years, I only managed to wrench 8 boxes from her. It was so  hard for her to make decisions or deal with anything, not to mention the boxes and boxes of my grandmothers' and great aunt's items and photos. After her death my father was more open to letting things go---and he simple said find homes for it. I donated so many items in the initial purge.  


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Here is an early photo I took for setting up my Etsy shop---these are personal things I love---of my own that represented my style. The fun thing about Etsy is there are so many wonderful vintage lovers/dealers/buyers. It feels like home, and I really never have to leave my house except for going to the post office. Note the date on the photo---the week my shop opened.

As an entrepeneur all my life, I know a business can take over your home. Having a designated space or two---or three---is necessary, as many of us create, redo, and scrounge, or in my case inherit as well....multiple stashes of different types of items.

So please think FUNCTION when you look at these pictures of my tiny shipping room.


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Photos of items for sale are best taken in natural light, so I use the porches, the kitchen, even my bedroom sometimes to find good light. When that isn't possible, like right now with the entire house ripped apart, I have a shipping room/photo studio to stage photos.  I also store items and prepare to sold items for shipping.

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This room is tiny. I actually can't get a whole shot in the camera of any one area.  The cloths hanging are for backdrops in photos.


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I can pull the wires up with little clips---but they are out of the way and I didnt' even notice until I took pictures.


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I sell all types of vintage and antique items in BarberryLane.

But, first thing you need to do is photograph items for sale! 


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Here is a Vintage wool punch purse from the 1940's (sold) in the room before the REDO.

My shipping/photography room is only 6'x8' and was my kiln room for my pottery studio for over thirty years.

I really don't have any before pictures, but think cinderblock walls, three kilns and a huge metal shelving rack for clay/pottery storage. Two metal bookcase shelves on either end to fireproof the drywall and thirty years worth of clay/glaze dust. Also, a falling apart ceiling and an all-house fan jammed in a window that sucked the dust off the floor and ventilated the three kilns' heat and fumes.

  
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This back door goes into the OLD clay shop--which is basically as it was in 2005. I really need to get in there and repurpose that room--soon!


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 I need to be able to pictures close-up with accurate colors and itmes made of all materials.

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Taking pictures of all kinds of different items can be tricky.

Hubby redid the wiring, ceiling and added the service bar for my clamp-lights. These use natural-light bulbs. I can clamp one on the desk and one above and get a genuine daylight effect.

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Here is a photo taken of some OLD plates(sold)----not natural light but with the natural light bulbs the colors are pretty accurate. With the clamp-lights I can control the glare, set-up the tripod and get multiple shots without major problems, or continually moving my camera.

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Though, natural light is best, Chicagoland seems to waffle between glaring sunshine or the gloomy darkness we have here six months of the year. And the light changes within a half-hour. So you are constantly moving and readjusting.

This glass creamer was taken in natural light, next to my kitchen sink. Not terribly convenient for washing dishes.



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In the shipping room, we now have heavy duty pegboard all over the desk wall---which is great for flexibility. I can hang big wreaths, shelves, or fragile wallpockets. My backdrop system is basically various tablecloths or fabric, clamped onto a dowel and suspended from pegboard hooks. I can change backgrounds quickly.


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My desk worksurface is a bit higher than counter height to accomodate the large totes of items ready for sale.

My Organizational System is...

LOL, ....is very basic.



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Currently I have 8 tubs tightly packed, two additional boxes, two clear totes, a hat box, a jewelry box for small items, and a photo box.  This makes it easy to find items when they sell.

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Three or so times a year I reorganize my totes as items sell and space opens up in the bins. I take the Etsy pages and photos of my entire shop and label each item with a bin number. It seems primitive but I'm a visual person---so pictures work really great to spot an item quickly.

New items stay in their own numbered bin until the next reorganization, I keep a list of those, and I can easily look up items by their listing date, also. I find when I shop other Etsy shops, I only have patience to look at about twelve pages or so. So I try and keep under number thirteen.


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On the wall opposite the desk I have two large heavy-duty plastic shelving units. The top shelf is dedicated to boxes.

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Standing on end are new boxes, used boxes, and priority boxes. I keep them folded flat unless they are double-walled and smaller in size.


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Copies of invoices are kept in the silver magazine boxes, the white boxes hold beaded flowers, and antique photos/paper items.

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A larger white file box, holds jewelry and smaller items.


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This my next box of goodies to photo and list.

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On these shelves are supplies, boxes, wrapping, vintage subject greeting cards-which I include with every purchase(left-over from my shop), packing materials and bins waiting to be photographed to sell.



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By the front door, is a small sewing chest filled with jewelry repair parts and making supplies. This may find it's way back to the craftroom, but for now it fits right by the front door. It was my grandmother's, my dad purchased for her when he was in the service. It has seen better days and deserves a REDO.

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I have a few props in the room, flowers vase, plate holders, display racks for taking pictures.

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These are a mess when thrown in a box, so I keep them messy hanging on the wall. At least they aren't entangled there.


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My pens, tape, enclosure cards for small items, scissors, small clear bags are kept right on the counter in a box, so I can move them out of the way if need be, but they are handy.



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I try to be GREEN in my packing materials and reuse clean bags, boxes from friends, styrofoam and packing paper to wrap my sales, even those newspaper bags that the newspaper company doesn't want back. They are Long and skinny, and can be blown up and tied to make great balloon packing for fragile items. I have only had one shipment break----in three years...and that appeared to have been driven over.


There is one more small shelving unit  tucked next to the front door.
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More boxes, small boxes, odd foam pieces and and cardboard corners up in the laundry basket.

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A shoebox holds envelopes. It's surprising how many padded and unpadded envelopes you use.
Larger bins hold more items to be photoed and listed.





 I found a NEW wonderful wrapping paper storage unit from Michael's Recollection collection on the back door. This unit can be put over the door or screwed into the door, and I'm using it for wrapping paper, ribbons and cleaning suppllies on the top shelf.

I use the ribbon to tie up tissue wrapped sales. I bought another kit to use on the front door--which is yet to be installed.

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Here is a sale that happened while I took pics for this post---with its paperwork, the items sold, a corresponding vintage look card which is included, all ready to be wrapped and weighed on my digital scale. Etsy makes it pretty easy to sell items at a reasonable cost. Some things ship cheaply and others are very expensive.

The biggest thing I have had to ship was a set of nesting tables to the Washington, D.C. area and it was over $80.00 and the box was just 1" under the max for USPS...and it would have been $160.00 any other way. I will probably try and do a few shows with some of my larger items, or list them on Craig's List. I do miss having an actual brick and mortar store, but Etsy gives me the freedom to sell what I want to and when I can.

Have a great week, and I will be happy to answer questions about anything in this post.


 All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle


As always, Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate any comments and will try and answer your questions.




 I will be posting at these fine parties:
Sandi





7 comments:

  1. Looks like you're very organized, Sandi, which is so helpful when having a business, no matter how large or small. Great etsy room!
    Mary Alice

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  2. This is awesome!! A perfectly organized shipping room in your basement. You did a fabulous job for your business comfort.
    Thanks for dropping by, I so appreciate it.
    FABBY

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  3. Well, Sandi, it all looks very organized and I really like that unit storing your wrapping paper and ribbon. I need one of those! Thanks for sharing.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. The wrapping paper unit is available at Michael's Crafts in their craft container aisle. They periodically go on sale 40-50% off...and you can coupon on top of that sometimes...another 20%..so they become quite reasonable at about 16-17$. Also purchaseable online. I love it and will put the other one up when I paint the door. Thanks for stopping, Sandi

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  4. Prior to retiring, I thought I would do an Etsy shop, but then I thought about all the less glamorous work involved. Your post confirmed that we just don't have the space for me to sell.

    Thanks for sharing your space on SYC.

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    1. After doing art shows for almost 40 years---shows just wasn't an option anymore. And my 'inheiritance' of goodies from my family isn't manageable...or even give-away-able. So this is the best solution. Thanks for stopping, Sandi

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  5. Very organized Sandi! Thank you for sharing @Vintage Charm!

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Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi