Today we are starting a fun new feature! OK, OK Workspace Wednesday isn’t new 😉 Yes I have been sharing every other week for a few weeks now. However today brings the first in our guest posts! My dear friend Barb Brimhall who is with Stampin’ Up! kindly offered to write the first one! So day we’re peeking into her workspace and talking about organisation, so here goes!

Cat's Nail Wraps, Workspace Wednesday, BZBStamper, Jamberry, Jamberry UK

Until I began my direct sales journey twenty years ago, no one would ever have considered me a hoarder.

I was a military brat and we moved at least every other year. Every move required purging, which helped me to avoid any hoarding instincts I might have.

But when I began my direct sales business, the hoarding began. As a work-at-home mompreneur, I was responsible for being the secretary, tax accountant, and inventory controller for my little biz – along with a few other hats! *Ü*

And I was passionate about my product. The thought of purging retired inventory was unthinkable – I might need it sometime in the future, after all. Forget about the fact that it was sitting on a shelf gathering dust – I might need that someday!

Cat's Nail Wraps, Workspace Wednesday, BZBStamper, Jamberry, Jamberry UK

After two years, our home was being overrun with paper and items from my little biz. And as my little biz grew into a big biz, the hoarding only got worse. In addition to my product inventory, I also had to find space for:

  • Office supplies
  • Order forms
  • Mailing supplies
  • Catalogs
  • Hostess & Recruit packets

…and so much more.

I studied the concept of paperless offices. It worked for a while, but eventually I always fell back to paper. And it felt like I had piles of “stuff” everywhere!

Five years ago, I finally came up with a system that works for me – and I hope you’ll find some tips that will work for you!

Set up what work space you have into zones

When my mom was a kindergarten teacher, she used to set her classroom up into zones. I borrowed this concept and assigned each zone in my office a specific purpose. You might have an office supply zone, a mailing supply zone, a catalog zone, etc. Only those items can go in that zone. Your zones might be one shelf on a bookcase or it might be an entire filing cabinet. You are only limited by the space you have.

I am a “dumper” so I prefer to use bins on a book shelf. This gives me an office area that can stay clean (or at least out of sight!) because once I’m done with an item, I “dump” it into the appropriate bin.

Cat's Nail Wraps, Workspace Wednesday, BZBStamper, Jamberry, Jamberry UK

I only have one rule – if a bin gets full and I start to dump things on the floor, I have 24 hours to clean out that bin and remove everything off the floor and back into the appropriate bin. I then reward myself, usually with a Starbuck’s coffee. *Ü*

If a zone’s bin becomes overrun with paper that I feel I have to keep, I’ll often scan or take pictures of the older stuff and store it in a folder in Dropbox. (Dropbox is an online “cloud” storage system that allows you to store all kinds of things and is accessible across all of your online devices.)

Keep items you use daily closest to your desk

This may require you to “watch” yourself for a few days. Every time you have to get up to grab something, make a note of it. The obvious “desk zone” items are:

  • Computer
  • Current Catalog(s)
  • Planner/Calendar

Here are some things that I ended up moving into my desk zone:

  • Portable Thank you card box with a roll of postage stamps – I try to send a thank you card every day to my customers & team and it’s easier to do if they’re right by my desk.
  • Order forms – as I’m making my customer care calls, customers will ask me to order them an item. Being able to grab an order form right then and fill it out, rather than jotting it down on a scrap of paper, keeps me more organized. This way, I won’t have to duplicate my efforts by writing that order twice; and, perhaps more importantly, I won’t lose the order or forget to place it because it’s hidden somewhere on my desk.

Cat's Nail Wraps, Workspace Wednesday, BZBStamper, Jamberry, Jamberry UK

Schedule 2-3 days at least twice a year to purge

Our catalogs come out three times a year. I always schedule a weekend the week before I can order from a new catalog as my “purge” time. I don’t allow myself to bring anything new in until I’ve made space for it.

This is a great time to get rid of old paperwork, make up new packets, check your office inventory, and more. And if you’re not keeping up on your taxes, this is a great time to bring your receipts current and organized instead of trying to do it all right before you have to go meet with the tax accountant.

Use a Discbound Planner System

Of all the things I’ve done to organize my business, this has been the most productive by far.

If you’re not familiar with a Discbound Planner, it basically combines the ease of a Spiral Binder with the flexibility of a Ring Binder. (Read my blog post on how I set up my Discbound Planner.)

I have three Discbound Planners – one for my team, one for my customers & master to do list, and one for blogging/social media. I keep all three of these binders, along with my paper punch, right next to my desk and use them daily.

Since I’ve been using this system, I no longer lose things, I can easily keep track of backorders, customer leads, things I need to do, etc. When I’m doing my three-times-a-year purge, I’ll also go through each planner and either pull things out and throw them away, or take a picture and save it on Dropbox.

I attribute this system to eliminating the piles (literally PILES) of paperwork I used to have all over my desk. My daughter, who is in college and is a Plum Paper planner freak, even converted her planner from spiral to Discbound. She now has the beautiful look she wants with the customizability she needs.

So there you have it! Set aside a few days and purge, create new organizational zones, keep those things you use the most closest to you, convert your calendars and binders into a Discbound system, and enjoy the freedom that comes from organizing your workspace!

Barb Brimhall, The BZBStamper
Independent Stampin’ Up!® Demonstrator

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Thank you so much Barb! There are some great tips here that I am sure you will all enjoy. Don’t forget to check out Barb, her website is above and here’s her social media channel links:

Facebook  –  Instagram  –  Pinterest

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