Home-based Business Moving/Relocation series (Pt.4): Cord Organization…don’t get it twisted. They can be a pain.

How many times have we run across the ever-so frustrating act of trying to pack for a move, or just to travel, and encounter the daunting task of unplugging, detangling, and wrapping cords from a dozen different devices/machines?  Oh, no… that’s just the beginning!  Then when it’s time to unpack them we have to remember what they belonged to?.. Is the location of the cord (once it’s hooked up) within reach of an outlet?.. Are there too many cords over here?… Where’s that cord?!  Uuuuggghhh!

Yeees!  We know it all too well.  It’s enough to drive you crazy!  This is how chaotic and crafty that elephant can be when you let it take control.  But there is good news… there are ways of eliminating, even avoiding, that intertwining mess no matter what your particular situation.

May be it’s not an issue of the number of cords but organizing or storing them in a way that they don’t become a major eye-sore.  Although I just moved, I’ve found that I have to get a little creative with the cords around my work area.

I finally got the room organized the way I wanted, everything in its perfect place but now I have this unsightly view near my desk and it’s driving me CRAZY!  So instead of just hiding it behind my shredder (because even though it’s all somewhat hidden, it still bothers me with a passion), I’ve decided to embrace the challenge of finding the perfect solution to clear it up.

“SO… I’LL SEE YOUR CORD CLUTTER, “ELEPHANT”, AND RAISE YOU A COUPLE MORE CORDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MY DESK!.. On to one of my favorite things… shopping!

More on what I’ve done to my cord clutter on another post… in the meantime, here’s some tips on how you can escape the web of cords in your home workspace during a move:

  • First thing’s first, when removing your cords from your devices/machines, be sure to label each one according to what they belong to.  You can use a label maker or special tag to do this.  There are a number of different products out there that you can use to label cords.  Find the one that works best for you.
  • If you have a drawer full of extra cords, wrap them individually with something such as a rubber band and label them as well.  So the next time you need a spare cord, you’ll know what they belong to without having to shuffle through a bunch of cords to find what you need.  TAKE IT UP A NOTCH: if you have a number of cords that need to be stored away, create an organized drawer system specifically for them where you can label the front of the drawers according to the type of devices/machines.  You’d still be labeling the cords as well but by labeling the drawers, in addition, you can get to what you specifically need even quicker.  This is also a big help to business owners who have a shared space with a business partner or team members/employees.  You have to think of everyone who works in that same space.
  • When packing your cords, try to store your cords in the same box/bin as their devices/machines.  If you have a number of extra cords, pack all like cords together.  So if you have more than a couple of the same type of laptop cords, label them and put them all in the same box/bin.  By taking this approach, when you unpack, it will just be a matter of storing them away.
  • Once you’ve moved into or arrived at your final destination, store your cords in the room where they will be used.  Trust me, it’s no fun trying to remember where you put a cord when you’re short on time or battery power.
  • Inspect all your cords to be sure that they are in good condition.  If you notice signs of wear-and-tear, such as exposed wires, consider the cord dangerous then discard and replace it.  SIDE NOTE: Cords such as USB cables can be a headache after a while of continued use.  If you’ve noticed that your devices are not charging as they should from the connection of your laptop or computer, check the drive that your USB cable is connected to.  The cable could in fact be the problem.  You can either try another drive on your laptop or computer or you may have to just replace the USB cable.
  • Once you get situated, Invest into some handy cord organizers to help you keep those cords easily accessible and neat behind or beside your work area.

I hope these tips have been helpful to you.  Feel free to share any ideas you’d like to add below in the comments and, hey, help some other home-based business owners, too, by sharing these posts with them also.

– Sy

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

HouseofDots.com

While we are on the topic of moving, let’s take today’s inspired space to the Netherlands.  Marielle, co-owner of HouseofDots.com, is a stay/work-from-home mom.  Her retail business specializes in women’s apparel so you can imagine the inventory and supplies she needs in order to carry out her day-to-day responsibilities.  Check out her amazingly organized space.  She has created a simple system of organization for all of her items in one zone while taking full advantage of her vertical space (floor-to-ceiling) for storage.  She has a separate work area as well as a sewing station that she managed to locate next to her shelving.  By putting her sewing station near the shelving, it definitely makes it easier to grab what she needs and place it back.  She utilized a wall in a neutral area to be able to see what she needs to display from every area she is working in.  If that wasn’t enough, she cleverly leveraged her storage boxes to display one of her design pieces… um, yeeess!

So for you retail entrepreneurs out there, take notes from Marielle’s space.  She’s proven that you can make the best out of any size space for your home business.

Enjoy the weekend, guys!  More tips on the way…

Sy

Home-based Business Moving/Relocation series (Pt.3): Are cardboard boxes really as good for moving and storage as we’ve made them to be?

TheElephantInMyRoom.net

We recently had another round of rain and ice in the area but not as bad as the weather from the previous weeks.  Interesting enough the schools we’re eventually closed for the day; in all fairness, the bridges and bypasses were covered in ice and causing major problems for drivers on the road.  Let’s just say even salt trucks ended up on their sides… yeah.

On a positive note, the scenery has been looking pretty nice as a result…

TheElephantInMyRoom.net  TheElephantInMyRoom.net  TheElephantInMyRoom.net

As much as I love winter, I am kind of glad to see it go for one reason – ice.  How can something we so commonly see and use regularly (… not to mention, beautiful) be associated with damage?  But that’s just the reality of it.

So what does this have to do with cardboard boxes?  Well, I had this same question regarding boxes as I was organizing my storage unit a couple of years ago.  How is it that something we commonly use be associated with damage?  However, we continue to use them in spite of that fact.  Think about it… we assemble the boxes, line them with tape, and then pack and cram them with a bunch of stuff, some items of which carry a good deal of weight so that we end up dropping or spilling all of the contents inside them.  Then, we lift those same boxes, taking a risk of either pulling or causing serious injury to ourselves.  If we’re storing things in the boxes in places like the basement, attic, or a self-storage unit, we throw those same packed boxes on top of each other, causing them to become damaged or overused, and they’re never replaced in order to protect your precious valuables.  Not to mention the little critters that like to feast or hide in the boxes, especially in non-climate-controlled environments.  DAMAGE!

TheElephantInMyRoom.net

Now with all that said, my suggestion is one of two things… when moving or even just storing your items, consider more sturdy, reliable forms of containment such as plastic bins with lids.  Plastic bins are a great solution because they are durable and they protect your items from water damage and bugs/rodents.  However, if you must use the cardboard boxes, keep these handy tips in mind in order to get the most use out of them and to preserve the items in them:

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  • Be sure to use boxes that are in the best condition possible.  You can usually call your local grocer or department store to request some of their used boxes in order to save you a few dollars, in comparison to purchasing them.
  • Replace boxes you may have that are showing clear signs of damage, like holes, tearing, or crushing.
  • Do not over-pack the boxes.  Leave plenty of room to close the boxes completely and comfortably packed enough to lift without risking damage to yourself (be sure to lift with your knees…ALWAYS!).
  • Be mindful of items that require proper temperature-control and store them accordingly, especially your PRODUCT INVENTORY.
  • When sealing your boxes, use at least three layers of tape to secure the bottom of the box in order to prevent items from falling out.
  • When stacking, store heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on the top.
  • Use the handy label tape that identifies what boxes go in what room or write directly onto the boxes with a bold magic marker.  Be sure to write the room name on the top and side of the box so that you can identify the boxes at two different angles.
  • Package like items together or items that you typically use together in the same box.
  • Boxes with handles are very convenient for moving. (Just so you know…)
  • In the process of preparing to move, store all boxes that need to be loaded onto the moving truck close to the door for easier access.
  • For those who plan to keep their current property or frequently visit, despite their relocation, separate boxes that will be loaded on the truck for moving to your new home from boxes that will remain for storage in your current home. This will prevent confusion and mingling of the boxes when the movers arrive.

So there you have it.  Just some of the great tips to consider when utilizing boxes for your move or storage.  To continue this series on moving/relocation tips, we’ll touch on cord organization and storage.  How often do we become frustrated by the constant tangling of cords under, behind, or on the desk?  Or how can we conveniently package, store, and recover our cords in the process of a move?

Oh trust me… I gotcha’…

– Sy

Home-based Business Moving/Relocation series (Pt.2): Declutter while you move… how?

TheElephantInMyRoom.net  TheElephantInMyRoom.net

In the previous post I shared how important it is to consider the size of your new space in order to determine if it will fit your specific storage needs.  When I was searching for my new home, I knew that we needed to consider not only the items that were in my apartment but also the items that were in my storage unit.  And coming from an apartment, if I was going to pay for more room, I at least wanted to get something that was going to accommodate everything I had without the added expense of off-site storage.  I posted a pic of what my storage unit looked like prior to me decluttering it about two years ago.

TheElephantInMyRoom.net

We had a 5×5-inch unit that housed a combination of seasonal items, personal items, business supplies, and memorabilia.  Yeah… a lot for such a small space.  But by cutting some time out of my schedule on an early, Saturday morning, I was able to purge many of the items that I acquired over the years.  Now when I say “purge”, I mean I removed the items that I no longer needed or loved in different ways… not necessarily trashing things.  Some items I donated, sold, gave to friends, or recycled.  My new home came with an attached garage and now everything we needed to store in the house fit perfectly.

TheElephantInMyRoom.net

Preeetty goodSmile.  The garage is a work in progress but it’s blessing my family right now… and our pockets.

All of this leads to my next moving tip… decluttering.  This is the perfect opportunity to declutter your home as well as your home-based business spaces.  Save yourself another headache of transitioning to a new place with a ton of items, much of which you probably forgot you had and don’t need.  Some of those things you may find useful in your new place because you may not have had a chance or the space to use them.  But be sure you actually need those particular items.  My philosophy is if you have to make it work in your space then you don’t need it.  You have to have a genuine need for them.  Apply this to your business items as well.  You have enough to deal with as far as household items, let alone your business items.

Check and recheck your business inventory.  Be mindful of expiration dates and low supply.  Discard damaged or unsellable items.  Wait to restock or reorder after you get settled in.  This will make your transition much easier – less to transport equals less stress.  As far as the inventory you currently have in your stock, pack and label the moving boxes according to how you typically store them so that it will be as simple as just taking them out of the box.  Pay special care to any temperature-sensitive items.  If you have to change the current system of organization that you have to accommodate your new space then refer back to the photos you took of the new space and create a plan.  (You can refer back to my post on creating a plan to get organized – – Smile.)

When it comes to your office supply, you can actually have too much.  For example, if your desk caddy is overloaded with pens, pencils, and paper clips then, yeah, it’s probably time to let a few go.

Create defined areas in your current space such as a “Keep” area, a “Donations” area, a “Trash” area, and a “Storage” area (for those who find that you may still need additional storage for things like business inventory or you are moving into a smaller space).  You can then label the boxes or items within the “Keep” area based on the specific places you want them to be in your new home.  For example, you may have toiletries and bath towels in the “Keep” area, so box and label them as Bathroom or Linen Closet.  Box and label like items together… in other words, pack your items according to where you actually store or use them.  Remember, you want to keep it as simple as taking them out of the box.

Well, since we’re talking a lot about boxes, I thought it would be a great opportunity to dig into some tips on those.

Are those cardboard boxes really as good for moving as we have made them to be?… Hmmmm.  More on that on the next post…

– Sy

Home-based Business Moving/Relocation series (Pt.1): Size really DOES matter.

When you’re preparing to move/relocate as a home-based business owner/entrepreneur, you want to have two objectives in mind… a very simple transition and to not end up in your new place even more overwhelmed then before the move.  Uh, huh… I can see your face now… “Right. Is that even possible?”  Of course it is.  With some strategic planning prior to your move and pacing yourself up to the actual moving day, all the hard work won’t seem as hard as it would typically be.  So what’s the first step to getting it done?  First things first, does size really matter?

… And before you visit that dirty thought, save it for a moment because we’re talking about your space right now.  I’m sure you’ll get plenty dirty later in the process but as for the size of your new space, it really does matter.  You have to determine if everything you have will indeed fit into it.  So, if you’ve acquired a flood of items over the years, or even over a shorter period of time, you would definitely benefit from the next post on decluttering as you prepare for your move.  Now, back to the matter of size… be sure to tour your new digs to determine how much storage is there and what types of storage you may need to add in order to accommodate all the items you have.  Now you may have to get a little creative in some areas of your new place but that is absolutely fine.  It’s like that sometimes; so if making a shopping trip to pick up a little-something, or taking away a small closet, or installing a few more shelves for added convenience will fulfill your storage needs, then make it happen!  I wish every place we planned to live in came perfectly equipped for us but the reality is, they don’t.

Be sure to measure the space, especially awkward areas.  It will save you the headache of finding out the hard way that, “I really didn’t have room for that desk that I really liked after all.”  Yeah, not so cool.

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Another suggestion is to take photos of the spaces inside your new home.  Trust me, it will make the process of planning how and where you would want to set everything up much easier than doing it as you unpack the boxes.

Finally, be considerate of others that will be sharing the space with you.  Be sure that everyone is on the same page.  Otherwise, you may have to compromise a little for the sake of preserving the peace in your home and/or your business.

I scored big with these tips leading up to my move and a blessing it was to plan ahead.

Now… are you finding that you have a lot more stuff than you’d like to deal with moving forward?.. then keep reading to see how one word can fix that problem.  It’s SUCH a great word that it baffles me that it’s not even listed as a word in the dictionary (go figure).  Next post, we “declutter” while we pack…

– Sy

Finally!.. We’re settled in!

Yeees!  So I am finally settled in to my new home… well, for the most part.  For the past, nearly two weeks, I’ve been transitioning from my old apartment to my new house and though I can’t say it was a piece-of-cake all of the time, I can say that everything worked out great.  All of my things have a new home and I actually managed to gain a separate space to construct my d.i.y projects.  With all that said, over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing tips on how you can transition to a new space as smooth as possible, especially if you work from home.  Not only was I moving myself over the past few weeks but I was also doing the same for a client; so this is going to be very helpful. I’m pretty hyped about it!  The tips will cover a range of things, from organizing your cords for easy recovery to executing a long-overdue decluttering process while you pack.  The key is strategic planning and pacing yourself prior to your actual moving day.  The moving process does not have to be overwhelming at all.  So if you are the type of person who tends to wait until the last minute to try and get things done, these tips are bound to change your perspective.

So gather your packing supplies, black magic markers, family or a few friends, and get ready to get moving.  This should be painless…

     

– Sy

Round 2!.. The South vs. the Winter Weather Mayhem (Update for the week…)

Hey guys!  I know it’s been a little bit since my last post but, I’m sure you’ve heard, we’ve had a ‘round 2’ of unusual winter weather here in the south and this time it came with friends – sleet, rain, ice and, believe it or not, another layer of snow.  I have not experienced a mix like that in years and, boy, was I unprepared for the mess I was going to run in to.  The kids were released early from school, just before the snow began to fall (pretty thick might I add) and we decided to get comfortable.  I had been watching the news all morning in anticipation of what was to come because it was a pretty nice morning but very cold.  Forty-five minutes later it seemed like the sky dropped everywhere.  I’m telling you the atmosphere changed so quickly we couldn’t believe it.  So I was watching everything unfold on the television and decided to call my husband to see how he was doing on the job.  They originally decided to close their doors around 6 that evening but little did they and all of us know how serious it was about to get.  It literally only took 30 minutes before the snow had reached two to three inches while the sleet and rain fell.  Traffic was straight chaotic because everyone was trying to get home at the same time and the road conditions were quickly becoming dangerous.  North Carolina had never seen winter weather to this degree but I must say the state was well prepared and did a great job, in spite of the overwhelming results.  So, shortly after I spoke with my husband the first time, he calls me back and tells me that they were closing within a half hour.  We only have one car at the moment so I came up with the genius idea of “attempting” to go and get him.  Again, I did not realize how serious everything was even on the streets in my area until I actually pulled out onto the main road.  I also did not realize how useless two-wheel drive would be to me on that day because less than a mile down the street my truck gets stuck in the now-five-inch snow.  Oh, I wasn’t the only one.  There were quite a few vehicles sliding and getting trapped in the snow.  There was little to no traction for many people on the road so in the end, we were instructed by the authorities to abandon our vehicles.  So, of course, my husband and I had to walk all the way home.  I never made it to pick him up, by the way, so he walked over seven miles home, while I walked just under a mile down the street.

This was my walk home in the middle of five-inch snow and heavy wind…

     

So me and my poor husband, with our aching joints and limbs from trekking through the city streets, came home and the only thing we wanted to do was get warm and sleep.  So, yes, we had a very interesting couple of days following, as you could imagine.  And, yes, we are very grateful for the sixty-degree weather we’ve had over the last few days since that winter storm last week.  I did recover my car a couple of days later.  It was safely parked so I wasn’t out of sorts about it.  Besides, IT WASN’T LIKE I COULD GO ANYWHERE! So we just used those following days in doors to prepare for our move into our new home which is now officially six days away.  I am soooo excited!.. all of us.

This move is pretty cool because it’s given me quite a bit to share with all you entrepreneurs needing tips on how you can transition your home-based business for a move or relocation.  Get ready for this series of posts coming over the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, my next post should be just as helpful as I’ll be sharing tips on organizing the world of cords in your home-based business space.

Until then… enjoy the weekend, guys!

P.S.  Here’s another pic from my walk during the storm.  Did I mention that I was wearing Crocs, a thin jacket, and a tank shirt?  Two words… Never Again!

– Sy