If you’re a small business owner or ecommerce merchant, you may have limited space for your inventory. You may be selling out of your own home and storing your inventory in a bedroom or your garage. Or you may be operating out of a small office building and storing your inventory in a stockroom that’s the size of a linen closet. If you’re storing your inventory in cramped conditions, you could be having some trouble keeping things organized. If this is the case, it’s essential that you develop an effective inventory management program. Inventory control is integral to the success of your business. Here are some things you can do to establish an inventory management program that helps you make the most of limited space for your inventory:

A. If you’re storing your inventory in a space that does not include shelves, it’s a good idea to install some. If all of your products are just stacked in piles on the floor, things are a lot more likely to become disorganized and chaotic. When things are disorganized and chaotic, inventory management is tough. You can easily find reasonably priced and easy-to-install shelves at your local hardware store.

B. As a part of your inventory system, establish a “seating chart” for your products. Every line of products should have a permanent place to be stored. For instance, you could put all of your Product A’s on one shelf, all of your Product B’s on another shelf, etc. Make sure you don’t ever put any of the wrong products in the wrong areas.

C. Get some inventory management software. Inventory software will help you identify products that aren’t necessarily selling very well. Knowing which products aren’t selling well will help you figure out what to buy more and less of from vendors. In this way, inventory control software enables you to conserve space by not purchasing more of what you don’t need.

D. Avoid placing shipping materials and other business supplies in the same area as your inventory. It’s difficult to establish an efficient inventory management system when you have to navigate around packages and the copy machine to get to your inventory.

E. Remember that inventory programs aren’t established overnight, especially if you’re storing your inventory in a small space. Give yourself some time to get organized and develop an inventory management program that works for you.