How to Organize a Warehouse

by Liza Hollis; Updated September 26, 2017
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A warehouse is a necessity for any business that is responsible for housing a lot of inventory. Regardless of what you are storing in your warehouse, it is important for the items to be organized and easy to find. Finding a place for all of your items can help the space feel easy to manage and uncluttered. Strategies for organizing your warehouse will help you keep track of your belongings, easily order new material as needed and assess your productivity.

Items you will need

  • Labels
  • Stickers
  • Sticky notes
  • Computer software (warehouse management systems)
Step 1

Take inventory of all items held in the warehouse. Keep a detailed list of every type of item you have in your warehouse and how much of each item you have. If you have too much of something, consider offering the product at a discount to move it out of the warehouse. Discard or deeply discount any damaged products that take up space in your warehouse.

Step 2

Remove all items from the warehouse. It is wise to set up a sorting work space elsewhere, such as outside the warehouse, where you can divide your inventory. Before moving anything back into the warehouse, be sure to thoroughly clean it in preparation for your merchandise.

Step 3

Divide your inventory into categories by type, size or frequency of use. These are all factors in how the warehouse should be organized. For example, larger and heavier items should be placed on the bottom of the warehouse or on sturdy overhead shelving where they can be easily accessed with a forklift.

Step 4

Position frequently used items in the most convenient, easy-to-access locations. This will prevent you from moving less used items each time you reach for an often needed one. If possible, place these items where a forklift is not necessary for ease of use.

Step 5

Label your items by section in the warehouse. While it is good for you to know where everything is, large labels identifying the items will help others who need to access the them. Simple handwritten or printed banners will identify categories. Also label each individual item if the packaging is not already a descriptor of what it is. Stickers or removable sticky notes are helpful with this task.

Step 6

Organize your inventory and information into a computer software program known as a “warehouse management system.” Technology can make keeping track of your inventory and ordering new products a breeze. Internet spreadsheet programs should be a consideration for this task.

About the Author

Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including USAToday.com. Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.

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