handmade success

6 Simple Ways to Organize your Raw Material Inventory

By following these simple steps, we show you how to become a more organized, and more efficient crafter.

If you are an Etsy seller, then you know that organization is key. If your studio is cluttered and disorganized, it will be difficult to find what you need when you need it. This can lead to missed opportunities and decreased sales.

However, organizing your inventory doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By taking some time to declutter and organize your space, you will be able to work more efficiently and increase your bottom line.

In this blog post, we will discuss some quick and easy ways to organize and store your raw material inventory. These tips will help keep your craft studio neat and tidy, so that you can focus on what’s important - making beautiful items for your customers!

1. Purge your old stock

Even the most dedicated Etsy seller can accumulate a stockpile of materials that they no longer need or use. If you find yourself buried under a mound of unused crafting supplies, it may be time to purge your material stock. This will help you make more space for the things that you do use.

The quickest and easiest way to destash is to simply list your materials on Etsy as there is a ready customer base of crafters looking for supplies.

Tip: selling your unwanted materials can also free up some cash flow: during the summer when sales are typically slower can be an excellent time for this task.

2. Label your raw materials

Create a system for labeling your materials. This will help you keep track of what you have and where it is, and it will also help you remember what needs to be replenished. There are a few different ways to label your materials.

One option is to use adhesive labels. You can buy these pre-printed with your shop name and logo, or you can print your own using a label maker or labels and a printer.

Another option is to use chalkboard labels. These can be written on with chalk and erased as needed, which makes them very versatile. You can also find labels that are made specifically for storage bins and drawers.

If you deal with materials that have expiry dates and/or your products have compliance requirements then it’s really important to ensure that you also have a way of marking out materials from the same lot number. This means you can note for each batch which lots were consumed.

See also: How to properly label your materials »

3. Invest in quality storage containers

By investing in storage containers, you can take your business to the next level. Storage containers help you keep track of your inventory and make it easy to find what you need when you need it. They also protect your items from damage and dust.

When choosing storage containers, look for ones that are made of durable materials and have plenty of space.

You can also find containers that come with labels, so you can easily identify what’s inside (see further below for ways to best label your material boxes).

4. Be clever with your storage space

Whether you’re working out of a small apartment or a dedicated studio, it can be challenging to find enough room to store all of your supplies and products.

One way to make the most of your space is to utilize vertical storage. By making use of shelving, racks, and other tall structures, you can free up floor space while still keeping everything within easy reach.

Read more: Handmade inventory storage and the home office deduction

5. Group together your materials

One way to take your organization to the next level is to group together your raw materials. For example, if you sell jewelry, you might want to keep all of your beads and findings in one place. This way, when it’s time to make a new piece, you can just grab what you need without having to search through a messy workspace.

A more advanced way of doing this is to use BIN numbers. For example, you could allocate a BIN number to each type of material you use. BIN numbers have a structure that allows you to easily read the code and know exactly where to find your item.

6. Keep an inventory system

The most effective way you can get nd (most importantly) STAY organized is to keep an inventory system. This way, you’ll always know what you have on hand and what needs to be restocked.

To get started, you can consider creating a simple inventory spreadsheet, or if you are more of a paper-based crafter you might like to use a notebook or folder. For those at the point of more than a handful of sales a month, dedicated craft inventory software like Craftybase is recommended.

Once you have your inventory recorded and a system in place of tracking your usage, you’ll be able to see at a glance what needs to be ordered and how much it will cost. Additionally, keeping a running tally of your raw materials will help you budget for future purchases and track your expenses over time.

By following these tips, you will be well on your way to organizing and storing your material inventory. By taking the time to do this, you will be able to focus on what’s important - making beautiful items for your customers.

Nicole Pascoe Nicole Pascoe - Profile

Written by Nicole Pascoe

Nicole is the co-founder of Craftybase, an inventory and bookkeeping software product designed specifically for handmade sellers. She has been working with, and writing articles for, Etsy sellers for the last 12 years. Her passion is to help handmade sellers to become more successful with their online endeavors by empowering them with the knowledge they need to take their business to the next level.