Home-based Business Organizing Tip #6: Mastering the Art of the Shared Space


Sooo, grasshopper… you want to know what it takes to stay organized while sharing your domain with a not-so-worthy ally?  Discovering that your spouse, roommate, children, or business partner is a double-agent… they may be for you and against you at the same time?  I see your elephant foe has managed to cause discord in your relationships as well.  Wisdom teaches that “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”  My my, what ever will you do?  If you so choose to accept the challenge set before you, you’ll need six key tips to stake claim of your victory and obtain harmony among the brethren:

  1. Set and post a business schedule or sign by the room you’ll be working in.  Choose the time of day when it is most quiet.
  2. Remove distractions during business hours.  This includes your family, friends, the pets, your personal phone, television, etc.  Explain to your loved-ones how important the business is to you and them.  Tell them specifically what they can do to offer their cooperation and support.
  3. When sharing a space with a roommate or business partner, work together to develop a system of organization and maintenance plan that will provide a happy medium for everyone.  Refer back to the previous organizing tips to assist you.
  4. Zone off an area or areas within a shared space in order to create a personal barrier specifically for your business.
  5. Label, label, label!  Label your business items to inform others that they are off limits.
  6. Stay disciplined and committed!  Don’t rob yourself of the time needed to complete each task you have throughout your business day for the sake of hanging out with friends… {clearing my throat} and, yes, this includes online, too.  Never compromise quality work!  Clients/customers notice those things.  Stay on you’re A-game.  You’ll appreciate it much more in the end… and so will your friends when you pick up the tab at the next hangout from that fat check you earned.  Uh, huh!  So discipline and commitment sounds preeeetty good right about now.  Totally worth the sacrifice.

Now that you have the tools you need to overcome the unrest in your territory, go forth, my pupil.  Go forth, peaceably and enjoy the fruits of your labor… together.

– Sy


Friday’s Inspired Space (Home-based Business Organization)


In the spirit of creating boards of our visions, I decided to carry it over into this week’s inspired space.  As if creating a vision board wasn’t enough, how about a vision wall.  Or how about creating extra storage for those notes, stamp booklets, or networking cards.  Taking advantage of the vertical space (wall space) in your home-based business area(s) is the smartest move you can make when getting organized.  You spare yourself the floor or desk space and provide a huge convenience.  I’m sure anyone can appreciate a “grab-n-go” feature near their work area.

Well, here’s to another productive week.  Enjoy the weekend, guys!  Next week, we’ll dig into some tips that I’m sure will be helpful to your family, your business partner, or even a roommate, as we discuss the shared space.

Until then…

– Sy

Easy & Practical Ribbon Storage

Hey Guys… here’s a post for my crafters or business owners who need an idea for supply storage, from a fellow blogger and Etsy business owner named Kristen Brown of Home Sweet Life.

Home Sweet Life

With the start of my Etsy store, I’ve accumulated piles of ribbon and nylon webbing. With over 50 designs, varying amounts, and different widths, trying to find one particular ribbon was maddening. Last week I decided I had enough. I was determined to find a solution that was more organized and made me more efficient.

I had browsed online for various ribbon holders. Most ribbon containers were expensive and too narrow or didn’t hold a lot of ribbon. The ceilings are low in my “office” so a wall hanging solution didn’t really work for the space. I saw some awesome furniture options, but the attic-sized opening to get into loft was too small for any furniture. Oh, and a big whammy that hit us over the weekend is that we’re moving in two months (more on that later this week), so I needed something that was easy to move…

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Creative Vision Board for 2014!.. (Warning: This is not your mother’s vision board.)

Happy Friday, guys!  Finally, the end of another week of hard work and now you can unwind… may be.

Last week, we opened the year with two specific goals – (1) to get organized and (2) to set our goals for the year by creating a vision board.  I shared with you tips (found here) on how you can create a powerful vision board that would keep you inspired and maintain the optimism needed to follow-through with your goals.  Today I’ll show you how to think out of the box when it comes to creating a vision board for 2014.  One of the tips that I mentioned was to NEVER settle when it comes to creating your vision board.  The time of vision boards made of poster board has passed.  Not to say that there is anything wrong with doing them but I decided to put a different spin on it.

Late last year, I was thinking of a variety of different ways to create vision boards.  The one thing that hit me was how can I create a vision board that was exciting to look at and that would allow you to conveniently add or remove images as your goals change.  So I came up with the idea of a magnetic vision board, which consists of repurposing a used mirror and adding sheet metal.  You could then add the elements that represent your goals using contact paper, Velcro, and magnets.  This was a very inexpensive project and only took me a couple of hours to complete.  All you need is a little creativity, a trip to your local thrift store and craft store, and you’ve got a very impressive yet motivational piece.

Magnetic Vision Board


  • Wall mirror, with the included template
  • Sheet metal, as close to size of mirror frame
  • Metal snips (hand shears)
  • A fine metal file
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Magnets, in a couple of different sizes depending on the size of the cut-outs for your board
  • Velcro (type and size, optional)
  • Contact paper
  • Hot glue
  • Mounting adhesive, to hang the completed board without damaging the wall surface


  • Acrylic paint (to refresh the mirror frame)

Step 1:  Remove the template from the back of the mirror frame and properly discard the glass.  Using a marker, trace the template directly on to the sheet metal and cut it out with the metal snips, being very careful of sharp, rigid edges (tip: when using the snips to cut the metal, be sure to use thick gloves, goggles, and an apron to protect from injuries.).  While cutting, lift one end of the metal up from the work surface to reduce friction while cutting.  Using a fine metal file, smooth down the rigid edges.  Attention: Be sure to carefully discard of any scraps of glass or metal left over so that no one becomes injured by the sharp edges in your waste/recycling receptacle.

Step 2:  (Optional)  I wanted the frame to pop but I didn’t want to interfere with the gorgeous detailing; so I applied a couple of light coats of metallic acrylic paint to it (Folk Art’s Pure Gold #660) with a sponge brush. 

Step 3:  With a hot glue gun, wrap your fabric of choice over the sheet metal, smoothing out any creasing.

Step 4:  Place the covered sheet metal and the template back into the frame, securing them with the metal tabs.

Step 5:  Gather your cut-out images, contact paper, the magnets, and Velcro tabs.  Cover your cut-outs, to size, with contact paper to preserve the images.  Then place your Velcro tabs on the back of each cut-out and a magnet.  Press the magnet firmly on the back of the adjoining cut-out.  You will now be able to remove and replace your images at any point… just choose a different cut-out with another Velcro tab to go with your magnet.

Apply each cut-out to your newly, created vision board and there you have it!  A new spin on an old tradition.

Magnetic Vision Board

Show us your vision for 2014 or comment below.  If you enjoy the information here on TheElephantInMyRoom.net, share these posts with the people within your network and help them to get organized and stay organized.

Cheers, to being that much closer to reaching our goals and to another successful year!  Enjoy the weekend!

– Sy

Home-based Business Product Fave!.. Really Useful Boxes.

Ever needed something to contain those little home office supplies that tend to accumulate on your desk?  Well, for the longest, I know I’ve needed a solution.  You know, something compact and would help me to keep my supplies organized and accessible.  One of the things that I stress with home-based business organization (… and the answer to my personal pet-peeve, might I add) is to store as little on the desk as possible.  So, this past weekend, I was doing some shopping for one of my projects and I found something that really caught my interest so much that I had to share it as the first of my product faves* posts.

Really Useful Box review

I found these very useful and durable little boxes whose name reflects just that.  From Really Useful Boxes Ltd. in the U.K., comes these 0.14 liter-stackable boxes perfect for storing small items.  They’re great for things like paper clips, pushpins, staples, and even a collection of thumb drives.  It’s also great for small household items, especially small toolbox items.  What I enjoy most is that they come in transparent colors so that you can see the contents in them without necessarily having to label them.  They have removable lids and tabs that snap firmly into place to keep everything inside secured.

I felt like a kid in a candy store for about a split second because I kept thinking about all those small, pesky items on my desk that needed to be properly contained and I mean come on… I know we’re professionals here but you can’t deny how cute they are.  You can store them away or on the desk with very little interference to your workspace.  They come in various sizes, colors, and styles.  I grabbed these transparent boxes for $1/each at my local A.C. Moore craft store.  You can also find them in one of your local Office Depot or Office Max stores.

Oh yeah, mama is a happy woman now:)

*I have NOT been contacted by any companies mentioned in this post to provide this review.  The decision to provide this information and the commentary was my decision and was based on my actual experience.

Home-based Business Organizing Tip #5: It’s MY products and I’ll store them how I want to!

Not everyone works or thinks the same way.  So when it comes to creating an effective storage system for your products, the same understanding applies.  It’s so easy for that intrusive but well-meaning person to come along, pick through your things, and tell you how “all your lipsticks should be put together…” or how “it would make more sense just to put all the men’s products in one area …”.  Yes, but that would be too simple and I deliberately want to make things harder for myself. Nooo!

Home-based Business product inventory

Unless that caring individual has to work with me in that space, they don’t know that it’s not always as simple as putting all of the lipsticks together.  They don’t know that it’s a WORLD of matte lipsticks, lip glosses, lip stains, ravishing reds, pretty-in-pinks, naughty nudes… and they are constantly changing.  They don’t understand that orders are not just placed by lipsticks or shoes.  It’s the types of shoes, the types of lipstick.  It’s the type of men’s accessory… is it seasonal?  For what purpose?.. dry or oily skin?  What size?  These are just examples of what needs to be taken in consideration when creating a storage system for your products that will really work for YOU and your business.

Home-based Business Inventory list

Home-based Business Organizing Tip #5 :  Store your products according to what works best for your particular business.

  • First thing’s first, go through your entire inventory and sort through what you have.  Create general categories for your storage area according to what your inventory consists of.  It may be lipsticks, eye liners, blushes.  It may be men’s, women’s, children’s.  It may be candles, flatware, or linens.  Then, create sub-categories based on the types of lipsticks, candles, or children’s items.
  • Purge products that are unsellable or discontinued.  You may consider using the discontinued items as give-aways or thank-you gifts for customers.
  • Take consideration of items that may be temperature-sensitive and store them accordingly.
  • If space is an issue, consider condensing some of your categories or take more advantage of your vertical space by purchasing wall shelving.
  • Use sturdy storage units that will withstand wear-and-tear over a longer period of time.  Consider stretching your dime a little more for a better quality shelving unit.  It’s an investment worth making.
  • Store seasonal or special occasion items further away, while items that sell or are used regularly should be stored in view.
  • Good lighting is as essential in your storage area as it is in your work space.  Concerned about power consumption?  Energy efficient light bulbs are the perfect, cost-effective solution.
  • When labeling your products, be sure to use a font size that is easily visible to you.  It’s enough trying to locate the products themselves, let alone having to struggle with what your label says on the shelf or the container.
  • Keep a log of any items that have specific expiration dates and be sure to store the items with the closest expiration dates toward the front to be sold first.  Keep an inventory tracking log daily so that you know what items may need to be restocked, especially prior to key sale days or events.
  • Finally, be sure to take a few minutes at the end of your business day to do a quick run through your work area and inventory space to make sure everything is placed back in it’s original home.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’re business day is sure to flow as smooooth as butter.

– Sy

Aligning Your Vision with Your Actions

Guys… here is an example of one blogger’s Vision Board party experience. Her name is Jenni Lewis and thanks to a friend, she had the time of her life.
Enjoy the weekend all. In keeping with the Vision Board topic, next week I’ll be sharing one of my personal favorite vision boards to kick off a series of DIY projects for this year. More details to come soon. – Sy

The Life of Jenni Lewis

Listening to one of my good friends and business partners a little over a month ago talk about how much she had grown and how she had a vision board party for her 30th birthday instead partying sparked my interest.  I thought that was an amazing idea.  And since my birthday had just past, I thought this would be a great way to bring some amazing women in my life together to discuss our futures and share our outlooks on life.

I invited my closest friends who are in the metro Detroit area, my business partners and a few family members.  I cooked dinner and bought poster boards, scissors, glue sticks, wine, and gathered some old magazines.  A little music set the mood and my excitement increased upon the arrival of each of my guest.

To read more about vision boards and how to set up a party, please feel…

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