Box em or bag em

Packing your items for storage can be a challenge. As long as you're picking up your shelving (see preceding section), pick up some plastic bags in snack, sandwich, quart, and gallon sizes. The snack baggies are perfect for storing the smallest of items. When items are stored in plastic, they can't pick up any smells or become musty before you sell them. The plastic also protects the items from rubbing against each other and causing possible scratches. If you package them one item to a bag, you can then just lift one off the shelf and put it directly into a shipping box when the sale is made. Also, when you ship the item, the plastic protection may save the package from a rainy day.

Your bags of items will have to go into boxes for storage on the shelves. Clear plastic storage boxes, the kind you often find at superstores, are great for bulky items. They're usually 26 inches, so before you buy these big plastic containers, be sure that they'll fit on your shelving easily and that you'll have easy access to your items. Using cardboard office-type file storage boxes from an office supply store is another option. These cardboard boxes are 10 x 12 x 16 inches, which is a nice size for storing medium-size products. At around $1 each, they're the most economical choice. The downside is that you can't see through cardboard boxes, so if your label falls off, you have to take the box off the shelf and open it to check its contents. Smaller see-through plastic boxes with various compartments, such as the kind home improvement stores carry for storing tools, work great for storing very small items.

When using these large plastic bins, it's always a good idea to tape a pad of Post-it notes on the end of the box so you can quickly identify the contents. You can use regular sticky labels, but changing them will leave large amounts of paper residue over time, and your storage will look sloppy and icky.

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