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5 Tips for Organizing Your eBay Workspace

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Verified Blogger
Last Edited 03:41:23 PM

Are you a person who thrives on organized chaos, or do you find that physical clutter leads to mental clutter, too? If a disorganized workspace is causing you stress, there’s no time like the new year to get organized, clear out the clutter, and make sure the space where you run your business is designed to help you succeed.


Here’s our five-step plan for a clean workspace to start the new year right.


Create “eBay-Only” Space

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 3.jpg

If you work in a small space, or out of your home, it’s helpful to designate an area that is “eBay-only.” Even if it’s a subspace within a larger room, having a space dedicated to your work helps you mentally separate your business from other aspects of your life, and it signals your brain that when you’re there, you’re working—not streaming Netflix or catching up with friends on Facebook—and prepares you to focus on the tasks you need to accomplish.  There’s another perk of a dedicated home office: it’s tax deductible.


Dedicate Space for Each eBay Activity

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Within your eBay-only space, create a smaller area for each activity. After all, the supplies you need to list an item aren’t the same as what you need to photograph or ship an item, so why you should you try to do all those things in the same space? Even if your eBay office is compact, you can still carve out a small area for each task.


Dividing your space into activity-based stations helps eliminate operational distractions so that when you’ve set out to do a specific task, you have all the tools to do it and nothing that will take your attention away from it. A few spaces to consider:


  • A Photo Station: Whether you use a lightbox and mannequin or have a simpler setup, you’ll need a well-lit space to photograph your items on a white background that’s clear of any clutter.
  • A Listing and Business-Management Station: When listing, you likely need to do some research, edit photos, create listings—all tasks you’ll probably do on a computer or mobile device. Since that means you’ll likely be sitting quite a bit, make sure this space is comfortable. Next, make sure it’s stocked with the tools you need, such as a tape measure or magnifying glass. Use your desk drawers or a desktop caddy to keep these supplies organized and tidy so that you always know where they are and they don’t get in the way of other tasks. 
  • A Shipping Station: This may be where you need the most space. Some sellers swear by a counter-height table for comfort and an L- or U-shape for keeping everything within arm’s reach. Whatever space you create, make sure it’s fully stocked with boxes, envelopes, an ample supply of bubble wrap or other packing material, and packing tape, plus easy access to paper and a printer for labels.


Clean Up Your Physical Desktop

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 3.30.08 PM.pngOnce you’ve set up your listing workspace, it’s time to get it organized and decluttered. Make sure that everything on your desk is something that’s useful or necessary for your business. We recommend limiting the items on your desktop to:

  • Your computer.
  • Your printer and paper for labels (unless this is in your shipping station).
  • A few pens or pencils.
  • A box or drawer with tabs to file any important paperwork.
  • A plant or a personal item that reminds you of why you’re working so hard. Studies have shown that having plants and personal photos in your workspace can not only reduce stress, they can help you focus and be more productive.
  • A box or tray for incoming mail. Just be vigilant that this doesn’t become a dumping ground for all your miscellaneous papers. Make sure you go through it every couple days and recycle or file every item.


Protect and Organize Your Inventory

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 3.jpgWithout inventory, you don’t have a business, so make sure you prioritize a safe, clean space to store it. Many sellers recommend storing inventory in plastic bags or boxes inside numbered plastic bins or banker boxes on warehouse-style shelving. As you list each item, keep track of exactly where you’ve stored it so you’re never hunting frantically for a sold item.


If you don’t have enough space for an organized system, it might be time to consider investing in a larger offsite workspace that can meet your storage needs. If you’re working out of your home, take this quiz to determine whether it’s time to rent commercial space.

Clean Up Your Virtual Desktop

If your computer desktop is also a mess of files and photos, it’s time to clean up. The goal here, as with your desk space, is to simplify, clear the clutter, and create a logical filing system that enables you to find what you need, when you need it. You can even use some of the same tips to clean up your virtual space:


Start by deleting anything you no longer need, and filing everything else on your desktop into folders. For any items that require an action, create an “Urgent” or “To Do” folder that you check every few days (and clean out regularly). Next, clean out your email inbox. Delete old emails you no longer need, file the ones you want to keep, and move any actionable emails to an “Urgent” or “To Do” folder as above.


Then, make sure your inbox stays free of clutter. Studies show that the average person spends as much as 17 hours per week on email and a large chunk of that time is spent on emails that are not important. The problem is often the abundance of newsletters received on a daily basis. A good hour spent unsubscribing to emails you longer want to receive can save you exponentially more time in the future. You can also use services like Unroll.me to help you manage subscriptions and keep them from cluttering up your inbox in the future.


Are you cleaning up your workspace in the new year? Share your before and after photos in the comments!

by symasapi · Adventurer

As a new eBayer, I am constantly expanding and reorganizing my workspace.   Because most of my items are fairly small (under 12" when packed) I am currently carving out dedicated spaces for each function.  so far so good!


After reading these organizational tips, i am now better organized in running my eBay business. Thanks for the helpful tips!


News Team
News Team

Hey @jacs_top-shelf, glad you found it helpful and thanks for letting us know! ~Audrey

by *coins · Rockstar

Great artice! You inspired me to clean up my eBay listing desk. You couldn't see the desk before - it was covered with stuff!...Smiley Very Happy


I use one of those Lifetime folding tables for shipping and taking photos. They are high-quality and inexpensive and it even works well for taking pictures on.


This was an awesome read, thanks, Katie.

by lkzg8898 · Pathfinder

Thank you for taking the mystery out of organizing the work areas! I'm a newbie and will definitely be using your article to set up.

by tigerbskt · Adventurer

Thanks for the tips. I desparately need to declutter my office and get organized. Any suggestions on how long I need to keep records on my Ebay sales and any business purchases I've made? 


Thank you for the tips. Very helpful!

Excellent tips , i would also remind declutting our minds... sometimes we get to many thoughts of what we need to do first or which items to list first or last...giving priority of items to be listed maybe based on need to recover space(move faster) or bigger, bulkier, or the ones you know you will get the most money or faster etc... little things that add up.  happy listing and selling


I have over 1800 square feet of fabric.    I keep trying to get a system,  but there is so much of it and all of it different.    

It also changes,  so one week I have a lot of a certain fabric and the next it is something else.



It seems I spend a day just trying to find more room...