Shipping is a big part of your small business. But it can sometimes feel like a lot. Especially when you have so many other things to do. Stuff like selling your awesome products! Plus, without a dedicated station, shipping from home can get pretty chaotic.
That’s why you need a space that’s solely for shipping. An organized space can be the difference between smooth shipping processes and delayed deliveries. Or worse – messing up customer orders.
But that’s not going to be you, my friend. Oh, no! Because after you read this blog, you’ll have the know-how you need to create a home shipping station that works for you. Say goodbye to shipping chaos and hello to efficiency.
11 Tips for Creating your own DIY Home Shipping Station
1. Select a large, flat surface for prepping shipments
The first thing you want to do when creating your home shipping station? Select a space to prep your shipments. Pick a surface that allows you plenty of room to work with product and packing materials. The larger the surface, the better. It could be a big table, desk, or countertop. The last thing you want is to be working in a cramped area. That can slow your shipping process right down. Oh, and make sure it’s flat!
2. Create storage beneath your shipping table with shelving and bins
Boxes invading your home shipping station space can be a real issue. That’s why it’s important to create storage under your new shipping table. So, you can keep your boxes and other shipping supplies out of the way. And, this way, they’re never far out of reach.
Make sure you have shelving, cubbies, or bins under your designated prep area. Then, flatten your boxes, stack your envelopes and bubble mailers, and store them away. You can also use photo boxes to store items like washi tape, stickers, and promotional inserts.
Remember : It will save you space to flatten and store your boxes away. However, it’s wise to keep a few out and on hand ready to pack an order!
3. Sort your supplies by type
After you’ve got storage sorted, you need to store supplies in a way that makes sense. This way, it’s easy to know where everything is. Sort supplies into your bins and cubbies by type.
For example, one storage bin or cubby could be for branded inserts. Here, you could store coupons, flyers, and business cards. Then, you could have another bin for packing materials like bubble wrap and tissue paper.
4. Store away extra supplies
Maybe you buy shipping supplies in bulk. And that’s smart. It’s one way to make shipping cheaper in the long run. But supplies can start to take over your shipping station space and your home!
Only place the supplies you need in your home shipping station. Store everything you don’t need each day out of the way. As a result, not only will you save space, but your shipping area will also be primed for efficiency
5. If you have a larger space, consider shelving or tall furniture with storage
If you’re a lucky ducky and have more space, a shelving unit can make accessing supplies quick and easy. You can have your essentials right at eye level! This saves you from scraping through boxes.
Alternatively, you could use nearby tall furniture for storage. Why not use what you already have? By using furniture with built-in cubbies, you can store your most used materials ready for instant access. Then, you can put the items you use less on higher shelves. This keeps your home shipping station nice and tidy, while keeping these materials within reach.
6. Organize your tools on a pegboard
However, if you don’t have tall furniture or tons of space – there’s the trusty pegboard! You can organize anything with a pegboard. That includes your essential shipping tools like scissors and tape.
So, hang one above your home shipping station. Then, you’ll be able to find your tool of choice at a glance and keep your station tidy.
7. Add DIY bubble wrap & packing dispensers
DIY bubble wrap and packing dispensers could be a great addition to your shipping station – if you have space in your home!
All you need is wooden dowels to create simple DIY paper dispensers. You can attach them to your surface or put them next to your shipping station on the wall. This makes grabbing and cutting off paper for packages way easier.
However, if you don’t have room, store wrapping papers in a cute basket beside your workstation. This way, you’re still ready to roll.
8. Keep ribbons stored in a shower caddy nearby, ready to customize your packaging
A simple ribbon can create a memorable unboxing experience for your customers.
So, keep ribbons nearby by storing them in a shower caddy! Organize the ribbons into different colors for quick access to the one you want. Oh, and keep a pair of scissors in the caddy too. Then they’ll always be on hand when you’re ready to add that special touch to a package.
See – you don’t need to go on Amazon haul for organizing supplies. You can just use stuff that’s already in your home to kit out your shipping station!
9. Have your promo goods on hand
Promotional inserts, like cards and flyers, add a personal touch that can increase customer loyalty. So, it’s always good to keep them on hand.
Have business cards, coupons, and other branded inserts at your shipping station. Make sure that they’re ready to go already so you can simply pop them into packages.
Organize them in a caddy that’s on your worktop. Then, you’ll be able to quickly reach them when you’re packing your amazing products. Ultimately, this is another way to keep your shipping process slick and speedy.
10. Invest in a label printer!
Regular printers and InkJet printers can do the job when it comes to printing shipping labels. But they take up a lot of space.
One way you can make room in your home shipping station is to invest in a label printer. Label printers like the Rollo® are popular amongst eCommerce sellers. They’re also smaller than regular printers! Plus, they’re more efficient. This is a wise option if you have the money to spare.
11. Use a dry-erase board for notes & shipping schedules
This last tip is a biggie. To have an efficient shipping process, you need a shipping schedule. You don’t want to be dragged about demand and be disordered. But if you need a shipping schedule, you also need somewhere to display it.
So, go get a dry-erase board or wipeable calendar to keep near your home shipping station. You can use this to set shipping days and keep track of orders. This will allow you to develop a routine and rhythm for your shipping processes.
Essential Supplies for your Home Shipping Station
So, that’s how to create your home shipping station. And how to make it more efficient. Now, what shipping supplies do you need? Well, depending on what products you sell, everyone’s list will be a bit different. But here’s a list of the essentials:
Home shipping must have’s:
- Shipping boxes and/or padded envelopes
- Backing boards
- Shrink wrap or wrapping paper
- Bubble wrap
- Packing tape
- Tape dispenser
- Label Printer (Or a regular printer, at the least)
- Printable labels or combination shipping/packing slips
- Product labels
- Shipping scale
- Box stickers (for fragile packages)
Branded packaging and inserts
If you want to brand your packaging, at the very least, you want some nice business cards and some promo inserts. You could also make-up some branded stickers and personalized thank you cards. These little touches are a super way to maintain that connection between you and your buyers.
Stock up on free shipping supplies
Not many people know, but you can get free shipping supplies from USPS. And you can get them delivered straight to your door! Visit the USPS store online to order free boxes and envelopes. Other big carriers like UPS also offer free supplies.
In an economy of rising shipping rates this is an absolute godsend. So, save yourself some money and hassle. Stock up your home shipping station with supplies with no charge!
Summary: An Organized Home Shipping Station is the Foundation for Smooth Shipping
Successful and smooth shipping starts with an organized home station. It seems super simple. But it’s the foundation for making sure you’re ready for when those orders do come in. By applying the tips above, you can make shipping from home easy and breezy.
Make your Home Shipping Even More Efficient with ShipOrder
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How? By giving you the ability to do things like print shipping labels in just 3-clicks. Or order USPS and UPS home pick-ups. Making pesky post-office trips a thing of the past. Oh, and those pick-ups are going to save you over 90 minutes per week. Plus, you’ll get heavily discounted USPS and UPS labels.
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Equipped with your home shipping station tips and ShipOrder, shipping can now go from nightmare to dream. Not to mention the time and money you’ll save.
Go spend that time saved on things you love.