The recent rise of the gig economy has made it so that almost everyone you meet at a party is a professional plus something on the side.
“I’m an accountant but I also write freelance for finance magazines.”
“I’m in human resources and I teach barre on the weekends.”
“I’m a middle school teacher but I’ll occasionally photograph weddings.”
Hyphenated lives can be chaotic, and chaos doesn’t translate well into side gig success. Most part-time, self-employed positions are executed from home, so it’s important to establish an organized space that helps you make some extra money, honey.
These six tips will boost your side hustle by helping you create an area that means business.
- Define a dedicated work area
Shuttling your laptop around to different cafes is spontaneous in the way sitting in your office all day is not. But the opportunity for distraction is much higher when you don’t have a dedicated workspace, and you’ll be spending all that extra income on $4 lattes.
Devote a specific spot in your home to becoming your freelance writing area. It should be well-lit and clutter free, with easy access to research materials and, of course, your computer.
Whether you choose a desk, the kitchen table, the sofa, or perched on a countertop, return to this spot every time you have a piece to write. You’ll be more focused, and you’ll actually get to pocket that $0.20 per word.
- Everything in its place
As a fashion designer, you’ll likely have fabric scraps, thread, pattern-making materials, and trim scattered all over the place.
In a design studio, these remnants can stay.
But in your living room, sharing a corner with the TV, you might not be a fan of the additional clutter.
Pegboards are an easy way to store spools of thread of all sizes so they won’t get lost or unravel in the depths of a drawer.
Sewing patterns are best kept in plastic sheet protectors in large binders. They’ll be safe from moisture, wrinkling, or tears, and you can categorize them by garment (dresses, skirts, pants, etc.), or by season/collection.
- Keep the space clean
An at-home baker has the sweet pleasure of creating beautiful cakes, cookies, and other treats for a variety of occasions. That leads to mountains of specialty pans, heaps of cookie cutters, stockpiles of mixing bowls, and frosting everywhere.
Unless you want your home to be overrun by both bakeware and bugs, cleaning up after completing each cake is crucial. Scrub measuring spoons, baking sheets, and mixer attachments and return them to their rightful places.
Wipe down all surfaces with an all-natural cleaner (no one wants chemicals in their cupcakes), and leave the space ready for your next delicious project.
- Incorporate the materials into your decor
If your side job starts to take over your home, you can either fight it or embrace it. If you’re pursuing something cool and creative, like freelance illustration, you should definitely embrace it and hang your creations all over.
A wall of pens and markers brings instant color to the room without the need for paint. Each color is easy to see, grab, and replace so nothing ever goes missing. Plus, without canisters of pens all over the desk’s surface, you’ll have more space to lay out your drawings.
Assuming you own the home (or have a very understanding landlord), paint splatters on the floor aren’t a big deal and only add to the decor. Take it a step further by drawing your illustrations directly on the walls.
- Be travel-ready
Having an organized space dedicated to your gig is key. But sometimes you have to take your work on the go.
A makeup artist should have a travel-ready bag with compartments for brushes, eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks, and more that’s simple to put together before heading out the door. Duplicating the tools you have in your in-home work station will allow you to grab the kit without having to worry about forgetting a particular blush or eyeliner.
- Set up a timekeeping method
Working from home does provide certain comforts, but there are professional elements to still keep in mind. Most important: getting paid! You may not be punching a literal timecard every day, but in order to accurately charge a client, you’ll need to keep track of your hours.
In video editing, you’ll want to keep an eye on how long a project takes so you can bill by the hour. Setting up a timer on your phone or desktop keeps you accountable.
As you determine how quickly you can get a job done, you’ll be able to adjust your rates and, hopefully, charge more for your great work!
Get down to business in a space that reflects your creativity, drive, and professionalism. Who knows? Maybe one day your side gig will transform into a full-blown career. We think you’ll like your new boss.
This post was written by MakeSpace, a full-service storage company that picks up, stores, and delivers your stuff so you never have to visit a self-storage unit again.