Home Staging Inventory Management or How To Organize All That Stuff!
I am often contacted by other home stagers and asked how I organize my inventory. My system has been developed through much trial and error and what works for me, may not work for you.
When I first started staging and was inexperienced, I organized my inventory by item type and color - for example, all green vases in one bin, all red pillows in another bin, etc. This worked OK up to a point, when I didn't have all that much inventory. It basically meant that I had to bring every bin to every staging to pick and choose what I wanted to work with. My company basically consisted of me, and, well, me, and whichever of my friends wasn't working that day and I could guilt into helping me.
Now that I have much more inventory, and many more staging projects under my belt, I have figured out how to organize the inventory to work smarter, faster and more efficiently on staging days.
Here is what I came up with:
"Smalls" are orgainized on open shelves to be selected as needed for each project. Bungee cords keep everything safe on the shelves in case of an accidental bump or an earthquake.
Sets of items, such as towels or bedding sets are arranged in tubs of two different sizes depending upon the volume of the items.
These (left) are some of the towel bins. The blue tags indicate how many towels of each size are contained in each bin. Some of the sets are incomplete because the rest of the set is currently being used in a staging project.
By marking each bin, we know exactly how many towels of each set are still available.
In addition, in each (well that is my goal) towel bin we have added a basket arrangement of towels and some, if not all, of the accessories that we would probably use with that towel set. We use foam packing bags and everything breakable in a bin gets put in one of those. They are a great time saver and protect fragile items really well.
The bin on the left is a full set up for a bathroom. The bin on the right is the same set-up including some silk orchids.
I use the same techniques for bedrooms, including all the bedding, throw pillows, night stand accessories, etc. The lamps are the only things that travel separately. By using down time to arrange the bins this way, it makes the staging days a lot less hectic and it takes less time to stage. I assign a bin to each bedroom or bathroom, and I can assign an assistant to set it up without a lot of supervision.
Any items that are not used are returned to inventory to be used with a different set or to wait for their companions to return. Since there is a constant in-flow and out-flow of inventory the contents of each bin are frequently changed so the designs don't get stale. Additionally, when we are staging, we bring a few bins of extras to add if the contents of a bin are not sufficient for a particular home.
Every item in my inventory (more that 10,000 items!) is marked with an inventory control number. When we stage we make note of each item used.
Here's a couple more photos of my warehouse: