Sharon and I recently moved into brand new workspaces and learned a whole lot in the process. Check out our tips below to help ease the stress of moving and get you excited for the opportunities a new space brings!
1. Reach out to fellow makers for advice
Your maker network is an invaluable resource for planning, organizing, and bouncing around ideas. You likely know another person who has gone through the process of moving studios or scaling up and their advice will help you avoid spending extra money and wasting valuable time (although some of that is unavoidable, see #6 and #7). I reached out to my network and they helped me focus on the things that were really important and worth spending money on up front vs. things that could wait.
2. Uline is your friend
I have a real soft spot for Uline. I’m giddy every time I get the catalog. More importantly, they have a ton of things all in one place that you may need for your new space. Fast shipping (things arrive the next day if you are near one of their distribution centers and order before 5pm) and great customer service (real people answer the phones and will spend a good chunk of time with you to try to find whatever it is you are looking for). Highly recommend.
3. Craigslist and MoveLoot are great for finding furniture
Looking at something on IKEA’s website? Fortunately, lots of people unload their IKEA furniture for half the price on Craigslist, and (bonus!) it comes already assembled. Time is precious so utilize If This Then That to do the Craigslist perusing for you. MoveLoot is an online furniture consignment shop that serves San Francisco and surrounding areas (as long as you're within 15 miles of the city). It's a good alternative to Craigslist, particularly because of the option to request specific furniture at specific price points. MoveLoot searches their current stock and incoming stock, and contacts you once they find something matching your request. Delivery is super simple and hassle free, though it can be pricey. If you order over $500 worth of stuff, delivery is free!
You should also keep your eyes peeled for garage sales and free furniture on the sidewalk for those of us in cities. One of my work tables is the top of a discarded coffee table found on the street. Attach some legs and voila! $15 work table.
4. Use Online Tools - Pinterest and Homestyler
Both great for keeping your plans mobile and in one place. Homestyler is a free online room layout tool by Autodesk. It is great for getting your ideas together for planning your physical workflow. And Pinterest - do we even need to explain this? Inspiration, aspiration, fun DIY projects to keep your workspace beautiful, and recipes to keep you sustained. Check out our Pinterest boards on studio inspiration here and here.
5. Keep the perfectionist at bay
Plan. Plan a lot. Think everything through. And then be flexible enough to recognize a better idea or a better plan for your space. Remember, it’s ok if your space isn’t your dream Pinterest studio right away. That shiz takes time.
6. Recognize that a new space = a new way of making and it takes time to adjust
Muscle memory is powerful. So you’ve always had a pen, or a tool, or a measuring cup in exactly the same spot and you never really realized it...until you move to a new spot. Be patient with yourself and your new space and build some extra time into your order schedule to allow for this.
7. You will probably spend more money than you anticipated
Budgeting is good. We highly recommend it. But whatever your budget is, add 20%, or double it, or whatever. Just add more than what you think it will take, because it will cost you more than you think.T rust us on this one. All kinds of small (and large) expenses can and do creep in during the moving and remodeling process.
8. Friends/family/neighbors (a.k.a. don’t be afraid to ask for help. Lots of help.)
Hopefully in your business and in your life you’ve taken the time to make friends and connections with lots of people. Now would be a great time to reach out to them for feedback, problem-solving and, um, their power tools (thanks Sacha!)
9. Masking tape: the multi-purpose tool
Laying out masking tape on the floor helps you visualize where everything will go. This was a new trick for me, and one that will probably show up in other DIY and home-planning projects. Virtual floorplans are great (see tip #4), but there is no substitute for being in the physical space and seeing how your work will actually flow. For instance, did you know that you should allow 2.5’ of space when planning for a passageway through two pieces of furniture? True story, and something that I hadn't considered until moving large piece of furniture and equipment into a space.
There you have it - our top tips for planning and moving your workspace. Do you have other tips that weren’t covered here? Leave your tips in the comments section below.