3 Tips for Organizing Your Interior Design Business

If you're hoarding samples, here are some tips to help you de-clutter and get organized.

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interior designer organization Melissa Galt

Do you struggle getting organized?

If you do, you’re not alone. I’ve worked with many clients who struggled staying organized.

I’ll never forget visiting a client for the second time, years ago. It had been six months since our first visit and at the time I’d reviewed all of her samples and provided guidance and selection. 

I urged her to get rid of those that didn’t work. After all, samples don’t improve with age!

Unfortunately, she didn’t heed my advice and had the same old samples hanging around when I went for my second visit. Not only had she not gotten rid of any but she’d not made any forward progress on her project.

When you have samples of any kind, in any business, you need to determine if they are going to work and go ahead and order, return, or toss them. 

Sample hoarding only adds clutter and chaos – not just to your business but to your mind and your personal life. It is like a grand series of open decisions that you haven’t confirmed and closed. 

This is noise in your mind as well as actual junk on your shelves, in your closet, around your office, and in your car.  (No you can’t skip the car, too many professionals these days make it an office on wheels, what does yours look like?)

You’d be surprised how quickly a few extra samples or clutter can turn into an entire mess. And once organization is out the window, it’s hard to get it back. 

That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize and understand the importance of keeping things organized.

It will keep you sane, and it will also keep your business running at an optimal, ordered, and professional level.

Remember: no one likes an unorganized business professional. The best way to succeed as an interior designer is by staying organized, listening to your clients, and getting serious about your business. Below are some tips on how to stay organized.

Get Rid Of Your Sample Closet

I’m often amazed at how hard showrooms have to chase my colleagues in design who have a “sample closet.” 

This closet is overflowing – dangerously, so in many cases – with out of date fabrics, faded paint chips, expired wallpaper books, no longer available furniture pieces, and more. 

It is a weight around the business – and around you. 

I’ve never had a closet. Instead I’ve always kept strictly the samples that are approved and ordered in a neat file for each client.

Stop Being a Hoarder

Think about it: what is the benefit of hoarding those pieces that got nixed, weren’t a fit, and will get out of date? This all creates clutter, taking away from the focus of your business and even potentially diminishing your image as a business professional. 

Perhaps it’s the advent of the A&E show Hoarders that reminded me of the importance of cleaning out, or just my naturally neat habits. (Yes, I was one of those annoying kids nicknamed a “neatnik” by my sisters.)

Get Rid Of The Clutter

Regardless of whether it’s the start of your year or someplace in the middle, make it a goal to get rid of the clutter and ditch the chaos – you’ll find yourself inviting new opportunities by the droves.

The universe has taught us all that it hates a vacuum, and for every bit of clearing out and cleaning up that you do, more new ways to fill that space will appear.

Oh, and did you know that there is a significant cost involved with samples in every industry? 

So by getting organized and returning those samples you don’t need or want to keep on hand for future reference, you will actually help cut down the cost of goods sold and help to ensure that industry pricing doesn’t skyrocket due to professional abuses! 

To learn more about how to keep yourself – and your business – organized and set for success, consider one of my keynote engagements, which shows interior designers how to mine the gold in who they are while getting them what they want out of their business at the same time. 

C’mon now, time to clean it up and clear it out! Stop self-sabotage, and get organized! 

Melissa Galt
Melissa Galt is the author of the Sound Advice blog

Melissa Galt is a sales-generating, referral-building, relationship maker who has the proven processes and successful systems that help you earn more in less time with greater ease, doing exactly what you love most. Whether you want to master time management, renovate your rates, remodel your marketing so it attracts only your ideal clients, or build your team for exceptional growth, Melissa has the strategies and tools you want. She’s been coaching, training, and consulting with designers and retailers for over 15 years. Her expertise is from the trenches of design as a successful residential designer, educator, blogger, and speaker. When you want to ditch what’s not working, you can find her online @melissagalt and www.melissagalt.com.

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