1. Houzz Pro Learn
  2. Business Management
  3. Designers

Tips for Organizing Interior Design Project Materials

Check ‘getting organized’ off your to-do list with this Houzz Pro Learn road-tested guide

Stephan Rabimov

Getting and staying organized can seem daunting to any business owner, and especially for interior designer professionals who rely on physical materials to convey their design visions. Investing in an intuitive organization system for your materials and paperwork is key to running a successful and more efficient business. And, who does not want more time to focus on what really matters: creating awesome designs for your clients? There is no bigger creativity crusher than wasting precious time searching for a wayward invoice or rifling through piles to find the perfect fabric or tile for your latest design project. 

Still, it is hard to know where to begin. We at Houzz Pro Learn feel your pain. We’ve compiled this checklist to start you down the path toward a more organized way of working. Read on to find our top tips - road tested by other interior designers -  for organizing your workspace, both physically and in the cloud. 

Use Our Worksheet To Organize Your Project Materials Today

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Before you Begin: Know Thyself

You are unique and so is your style and business. Consider the following questions to help you adapt this guide to your customized needs:

  • How Big is Your Workspace?  Smaller spaces require more compact storage needs such as higher density cabinets, taller bookshelves and fold away storage options. If your office is larger, consider designating a separate room or area for client meetings that is free of storage.
  • Where Do You Work?  The needs of a home office are different than for off-site businesses. If your office is at home, consider which area to devote to your business to avoid having materials spill into every room. Then, you can more easily close the door on work when you are supposed to be relaxing. ;)
  • What Materials Do You Use Most Frequently? Identify the samples and materials you use most often and put them in an easily accessible location. This will save you multiple searches a day.  
  • Where Do You Meet Clients?  If you conduct client presentations in the office, set aside an area that includes a TV, whiteboard or whatever props you use to convey your design concepts.
  • Do you Take Your Show on the Road? If so, consider lightweight and transparent bins for ease of identification and transport. Rolling suitcases also work well.  

Pick the Right Tools

  • Cabinets, drawers and bins: Paper storage cabinets keep files out of sight, and durable drawers and cabinets are best for floor coverings and countertop materials that tend to be heavier than fabric. Consider having one cubby storage exclusively for the samples for your active clients.
  • Hanging Rods: These are your friends for saving space and organizing fabric books.
  • Labels: Repeat after me: No drawer, bin or box shall go unlabeled. Pick up labels and Sharpies online or at your local craft store and do not be shy: use them every time you fill a new cabinet, bin or box. You will be thankful when your client is waiting for you to find that amazing fabric swatch you just raved about.  
  • Bookshelves, books and binders - Grouping wallpaper and paint sample books on a bookshelf make them easy to review and locate. Plus, it looks impressive, like your own professional design library.

Save Time & Space with Digital Solutions

Houzz Pro is an all-in-one software for remodeling, build and interior design professionals that helps business owners stay organized and manage their business. Here are some of the common ways: 

  • Project Management -  Free up cabinet space and organize projects in one easy-to-use tool with unlimited cloud-based file storage.
  • Digital Product Library - Take your product library anywhere by making it digital. With the Clipper Tool, you can instantly clip and save photos and product details from your favorite vendors - or anywhere on the web - into your personal library and directly into projects.
  • Digital Mood Board - All product details can be quickly and easily added with a click and now you’re ready for the fun part—designing your Mood Board! 
  • Proposals - Create and send beautifully branded proposals including product images in minutes which your clients can review and approve online item by item.

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Stephan Rabimov

Stephan Rabimov leads Content Marketing at Houzz. Portland resident. Global citizen. Nature loving.

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