January 3, 2008

Happy New Year! There's always something exciting about starting a new year. It's a chance to start fresh, look ahead, and make some improvements that will make life easier up ahead. We're sharing a few of our organizational ideas with you this January. In three issues we'll discuss office, workroom, and storage tips. Hope you'll find something inspiring here.

The Paper Trail

I don't know which is worse- the time wasted looking for a particular piece of paper or the mental toll of feeling inefficient. It really makes you feel like you are not all you can be when you're searching for the elusive measure sheet and you should have left for the appointment 10 minutes ago.

I've devised a way to help me find exactly the paper I'm looking for quickly. I use a color coding system for papers that really works well.

First go to Office max and buy the 500 sheets of paper in a assortment pack of colors- purple, green, blue, yellow and pink. Label your client file with your new label maker.

You'll use the colors this way:

Green: Photocopy payment on this paper, keep a hard copy in your customer file.
Reminder: Green- the color of money.

Pink: This is great for your estimates.
Reminder: Pink- Hot pink for hot numbers.

Purple: Initial consultation notes.
Reminder Purple - The passionate color- Passionate about People and Projects!

Blue: All hardware order information goes on blue paper. Hard treatment orders such as blinds and shade orders go on this color also. Even if you use a standard order form, you can print a copy on your colored paper for the file.
Reminder: Steel Blue for hardware.

Yellow: Construction and yardage notes and calculations go here.
Reminder: Don't be too scared or yellow to measure.

I do use a travel file for visiting clients. The information in my files is too precious to risk leaving at the customer's and having it lost. On the first visit to the client all that goes along is the purple paper. On additional visits, the pink, blue, and green stay in the office.

No more searching through the whole file to find one thing, the color leads me right to it. Hope it works for you too.


Tips from Chris

Hi Chris,
Help, please!!!!!!!!! I made a neckroll with a covered button on the ends, and they have been returned from the designer because the button keeps slipping down into the form. Any ideas?

As always, thanks for the help..you are THE best...

Sue B.

First line of defense would be to cover a washer with the same fabric as the button and use it ~ as a washer. If you pad it with a bit of Dacron or flannel, it looks cool. The washer needs to be larger than the belly button of the neck roll. If you could not pull the belly button tight enough, then maybe a double washer would be in order maybe a 2" then a 1.5" and then the button assuming you are using something that is 1" or less.

Another option is to use a huge button but if you want to get these back to the customer asap then you would probably have to wait for a shipment of buttons. :-{

Third option: If you have any Firmaflex. You can cut any size you want and cover it with fabric, screw a small screw eye into the center back and voila, you have a super custom button. I saw Amy Burton's ottoman with a huge 3" button from Firmaflex and I really pulled on it to test if it would hold up and I could not get the eye to release. I have a workroom sample pack from Rowley with a Firmaflex sample in it. If you have the same sample pack, you have what you need.