Creating Order out of Chaos

April 11, 2012

Life got a bit crazy for us in November and December, much more so than we had ever expected or anticipated.  Although we worked our way through everything that headed toward us, the end result was a bit of chaos  around the house (understatement).  I know this is a common casualty of a home based business, but I think we ended up at a bit of an extreme.  Although we already have devoted an entire bedroom and most of our kitchen and office to the business, at one point we had two additional folding tables in our tiny hallway just to have enough room to pack orders.

We stepped back in January after everything was done and we were shocked to find this in what we affectionately call the soap room:

And this in the office:

Ugh.  Our “we’ll deal with it later” mentality clearly caught up with us.  Beyond that, I found that it was created amazing amounts of stress for me.  I’m a fairly organized individual.  I don’t like to dig for stuff.  If I was searching for a specific label or display piece in the soap room, it took me significantly longer than it should and I was left feeling frustrated after each attempt.  I was also getting distracted while working in the office.  I would literally find myself staring at the mess that had accumulated around me.  Trying to will it away with my eyes.  Neither healthy nor productive.

With all the changes going on around us right now, we wanted to have a fresh start, so we resolved to fix it.  One day after the market, I headed to Ikea and picked up a few things and we spent the entire next day (literally), removing everything we could from each room and putting back only what we needed.

The end result is below.  Our new soap room contains an extra gorilla rack that does a better job of holding our glass and liquids and allows us to have extra curing space on the racks that were already present.  We also now have a packing station that is long and thin – perfect for laying our multiple orders at once.  The bottom shelf holds tape, boxes, labels, and all the miscellaneous mess that is required to get an order out the door.

I am most proud of the end result in the office.  The room before felt cramped and disjointed and although we had two desks and a filing cabinet, we were always running out of space.  Wayne had a really simple Ikea desk that we had purchased some time ago, so I bought another.  Pushed together, they fit perfectly across the back wall and now make me feel like we’re truly working together instead of sitting back to back.  At the same time, we each have our own space, which was important and all the items we use daily are within arms reach.

I can now sit down to work without feeling agitated by the space around me.  Although the project was a hassle, created major chaos before establishing order, and did require a bit of money spent, the end result was definitely worth it.

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