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Old 01-08-2017, 08:27 AM   #1
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Default Need BRUTALLY HONEST feedback, please...

My work situation is about to be in MAJOR flux (again). I won't go into any of the details, but I will need to bail on my current gig very soon. As I'm contemplating what to do next, I keep circling back around to organizing. I've done this in the past, but here's where it gets tricky...

I want to focus on craft rooms/studios/offices. I don't want to do entire houses or kitchens or garages or "skeevy" jobs (don't get me started about the cat lady hoarder...). I've done my own organizing/reorganizing/re-reorganizing ad nauseum, helped friends with theirs, etc., and feel like I can be incredibly helpful.

Here's the rub: most craft-y types tend toward DIY and frugal, especially in areas where they feel they could/should be able to do things themselves. So, my question becomes: would you, HONESTLY, TRULY be willing to pay someone to either consult with you to get ideas on how you could organize yourself and/or would you be willing to pay someone to do the whole shebang for you?

Just so you have a frame of reference, my reality is that I would need to charge $25/hour, with a $50 minimum, to even make it worth my while. I work quickly and efficiently, so there wouldn't be much "wasted" time. I know that's a chunk of change for most people, hence the consulting vs whole shebang aspect. I would be willing to do as much or as little as the client wanted, but that's where I'm at. Thoughts?

Any/all feedback will be totally appreciated, and I will NOT get my feelings hurt about any comments offered. Tip-toeing around the issue in order to spare my ego will not be helpful at all, so be as negative as you need to be, or however it goes. Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:52 AM   #2
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The first question would be. Are you willing to travel ? How much would the client need to contribute to travel?

I think it's a great idea. There are a lot of people who get in over their heads and can't see how to organize stuff well.
I do think a lot of people would be willing to pay. A lot of people get too busy in buying. If you were there telling them "rules". / reminders / mantra - etc I really really think they would think your cost is worthwhile at the end
Also consider as part of "your package" that you post all the extra stuff for sale - any site such as here or Facebook and you keep a large portion such as 50% - I am sure you could do it effectively and efficiently- and the profit could help both you and client.

Another aspect would be - you set up their craft space. And you do a fabulous job as I know you will. They could ask you to do their garage / laundry etc.

Also you could give yourself a timeline. "I will try for one year" and then decide after that time whether you continue or switch gears.
Ps you Should join Facebook and local Craigslist / online city classifieds and advertise
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:54 AM   #3
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Ps sorry about adding other parts of house. I forgot you said you didn't want it.

And double ps. FABULOUS IDEA. go for it.
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:14 AM   #4
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I think limiting yourself to craft areas might bring less business, but I also see how popular the Pins are for craft rooms. I would hire you for two hours, if I was setting up a craft room, mainly for input prior to purchases of cabinetry, shelving etc. I would then hire you for two hours after it was installed to help put items away in an organized fashion. Would you talk to your clients on how they work? (I don't put things away as I make cards, and end up with piles around my shrinking clear space. :-/) Of course I would need to budget your fees into any craft spending, but if it saves looking for stuff or buying duplicates, it woud be worth it. sorry to hear your workplace is in flux, Sue
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:06 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input thus far, ladies. You bring up a valid question, lynkim. Yes, I would ABSOLUTELY talk to the client IN DEPTH about their process, goals, likes/dislikes, etc. I have a lot of experience in interior design and working with clients to get them what they want, so this would basically be a more focused extension of that...
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:12 AM   #6
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Referrals are important. Most successful consultants, in all fields, obtain jobs by referrals from satisfied customers. Talk to the people you have helped in the past and ask for a reference/testimonial letter or a post on your website. Also, take pictures of what you have done in the past. Before and after pictures will be a very effective way of showing how you can help someone. Good Luck on your new business.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:59 PM   #7
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I think there are people willing to pay for this kind of a service and I think number one is location and If I remember right you should be good that way with population where you are.

maybe as a trial thing would local craft / stamp stores be willing to let you have your cards in their business? ( they already have craft room shopper customers) So, they may already hear that over and over I wish I could hire xyz.

I think your price line looks reasonable I know people here who have their own home cleaning services and that is what they charge. so, the price does not sound bad to me.

but, would I hire you to do it?

no, because I do have the collecting antiques bug, and so for me a whole lot of what is in my studio is second hand and pieced together. I am already more or less organized and I know what I like and or what to do for the most part. my big thing is I know what I want in my head but, things like my main table I walk around to work on has to be able to make it up a U shaped staircase so that cuts the length back considerably and when I find the "perfect" piece it will not fit up the stairs is the main reason I still work on a costco folding table.

if building a "she shed" ever becomes an option I might hire a cabinet/counter people the way I will for my kitchen because, these people do that day in and day out so, they have good suggestions. but, I probably still would do the bulk of it my self I am fairly hands on in real life.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:19 PM   #8
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I am another in the camp of : great idea, some maybe would pay for consultation and help in set up but me?... no, I love the chase myself, as Stacy said. We love to hunt for antiques and to find the perfect something for our spaces is part of the joy. So I wouldn't give that up, also I am pretty organized myself so I like the challenge of bettering my system myself. Third, truth be told, I am cheap. Too cheap to pay someone for what I can do myself.

BUT I have no doubt in a large market you could develop a business like you describe. Over time. It may take awhile and you may have to be willing to be slow as you build up. But I bet it could be done in your location. Who knows, they have made reality tv shows in a similar theme!

Good luck as you think through these things. I do hope things come together for you
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:10 PM   #9
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Would I hire you, Sue? Probably not...but as you already know, I would be doing the same thing as you if I could! I would probably say, "come on over and we can stamp together! Forget the organizing!"

All that said. I have, "for the fun of it", agreed to advise some other people on organizing their craft rooms, at their request, mind you. I observed their area, watched their work patterns and where things were. We talked about a lot of what they did. What it came down to is that they wanted my advice but didn't have any intention of doing anything about it. Not because I was telling them to go spend a lot of money, because I didn't. I think they thought things were just fine the way they were, or something.

Now. It could be because I did it with no cost. But I wasn't making them invite me to their space. I know that people who pay for something are more committed to making the changes called for. After all, they recognize the problem and intend to make it better.

I would say that there's nothing wrong with trying. If you need a steady income, however, I would suggest a temporary/part time job, with building the organizing business on the side. When your business is steady and making at least half of what your other temporary work is making, then you can quit that and go to organizing being your "full time" job. If you don't need the income, then go for organizing full-time from the beginning.

It looks like you are likely a person who can get down to the nitty-gritty right away with people and stay focused. I would tend to be one who did to much chatting! I think you could make a go of it if there's enough potential clientele in your area. I know it's a big enough area!

You know, it might be a good project to take some of the "before" pics of craft rooms on the internet and lay out a good "after" project for that room. Create a "portfolio" of sorts.

I'm just sitting here brainstorming. I'll quit now!
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:55 PM   #10
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Honestly, truly, not unless I were Jennifer McGuire.
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:02 PM   #11
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There are a number of professional organizers in this area who concentrate on offices. I'd put craft rooms in the same category. A difference could be that people may think of their office as more worthy of a professional than their craft room.

Have you taken NAPO classes? Both when I hired an organizer (not for crafts) and when others I've known have hired organizers, we've ended up on the NAPO site or respected the NAPO credential. The people I've met who have become professional organizers have worked hard to get both general and highly specialized NAPO certs.

And would you be willing to also work with paper organizing, and organizing documents on the computer? I know one office organizer who pushes Evernote, and teaches her clients to use it - unless they really don't want it.

For this geographic area - DC-MD-VA - you'd be way underpricing yourself. But this is a very expensive area. Have you checked what organizers charge in your area? If you price yourself too low people will wonder if you're good. : ) I know the feeling though; when I started my one person consulting business I wanted to charge $25/hour and was taken to task by colleagues, mentor and husband, partly because it would send a message that I was an amateur. I bumped it to $75 an hour with a minimum of $300, minus time talking about traffic/weather (the hot topics here) or petting dogs/cats, and raised it not long afterwards, though mostly went to a different pricing structure. BTW, most organizers here have a half-day minimum. Two hours can lead to disappointment if a client thinks a lot can be done in that small amount of time. More importantly, would two hours be worth your time, given travel, hauling things, etc?

And yes, I would absolutely hire someone to help me with my office/craft room. How do I balance the office/business vs. the crafting? I'm semi retired and only take jobs I really want. The balance in my office/craft room is confusing, and I'd love someone to work right along with me, especially in certain areas.

I hope it works out wonderfully for you!

Beth

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Old 01-08-2017, 06:10 PM   #12
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All very good points and very valid things to mull over - thank you! I'm sort of using this thread as a point of reference for whether or not I even want to attempt this, which is why I opted for "brutally honest". I'm not so attached to the idea that if it isn't feasible I'll cry and skulk off into my pout-y corner - I'll just re-gear and do something else... More thoughts are welcome, if anyone has any, and I'll be sure to report back on what direction I decide to take. Thanks again, all!
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:55 PM   #13
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No, I wouldn't hire someone, but my main reason is I'm an organizer myself (not professional, I'm just an organized person). So I know where I want things and what works for me. I wish you luck. Its tough making decisions like this.
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:01 PM   #14
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More time to stamp?

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Old 01-09-2017, 06:24 AM   #15
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Quote:

Originally Posted by sprtchickView Post
More time to stamp?

One can only hope, lol...
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:08 AM   #16
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For me, I would only pay someone in a "once in a lifetime" situation. When I was finally going to move my hodge Podge of crafting tables and storage out of my bedroom and into a spare bedroom. I would be spending money to buy cabinets and drawer units anyway so paying for the services of someone who has a "gift" for organization would be helpful to get the brand new craft room whipped in to shape!
Otherwise, I just tend to DIY the organization. Making do with what I have and would prefer to spend that money on more stamps!
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:25 AM   #17
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I would pay $25 an hour (minimum of $50) for someone to help me organize my craft room, and I would also gift it to my friends! I think if anything it is not enough per hour.

I do think you will struggle to limit what you organize, but I do understand why you would not want to get into cat lady hoarder organizing.


I am fantastic at organizing other peoples crap, mine just isn't as exciting lol!
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Old 01-09-2017, 11:15 AM   #18
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I had just one client with many cats (well cared for) who identified herself as a hoarder, and one who might have qualified. Not the most fun I've ever had.

We had a neighbor with an MSW who was a professional organizer. Many of her referrals were from the county health department concerning hoarding situations. She eventually burned out.

My organizer had a degree and advanced specialty certifications from NAPO working with people who hoarded and with ADHD. She interspersed "normal" organizing (my project!) with those. A couple times she called to see if I wanted to meet earlier in the day than planned because a client could only face so much purging or memories before shutting down.

Both told heartbreaking stories. My organizer worked for a small organizing company that was hired to work with a woman who was apparently well known and highly respected. She hid her hoarding for decades. When she became incapacitated, out-of-town family relocated her to a nursing home. Four or five of the organizing company's team members cycled through to work together for months. They had to inspect every piece of paper due to the importance of the woman's research.

Sorry to ramble, just such tough work. And even "normal" jobs can include people who think they're ready, but actually need to hold on to old things or old ways. Talking the talk doesn't always equal walking the walk? : )
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:35 PM   #19
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As you take on this venture it is important to remember,
You can't please everybody, and be prepared to have disagreements with your clients who may not want to pay you for your time and services when the job is done.

Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:52 PM   #20
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Well put about not pleasing everyone.

I never had a client try to stiff me - but I didn't bill homeowners; they paid at the end of the appointment. (Commercial jobs were handled differently.)


But I think it's critical to set up clear expectations ahead of time. I sent a friendly, casual but crystal clear email to clients ahead of time. They'd have to let me know they agreed to the terms.


That also started the relationship off on professional footing. That was important for me, since when with homeowners, I tended to be casual and friendly, and we had a lot of fun sometimes. But I had to be different than a friend, since friends often don't take friends seriously. : )
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:55 PM   #21
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I really, truly appreciate everyone's input and thoughts - thank you a MILLION, BIZILLION times!!! After carefully considering your comments, and reviewing some of my past organizing experiences, I have decided to NOT pursue this as my next career move. Between the ramp-up time, the logistics, and the potential for negativity (which I'm trying to weed out of my life), I'm thinking that I'm better off pursuing other income avenues. I'll just continue to organize/reorganize my own treasures (ahem)... Thanks again!
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:10 PM   #22
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I think your ability to come to a clear decision as well as to re-re-re-organize deserves some re-re-re-spect, as Aretha would put it. : )

I hope negativity didn't play too much of a part. That was such a tiny part of my business, and generally was when I would have rather stayed home rather than going out. I have a vigorous lazy streak.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:22 PM   #23
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The negativity was the least of the factors, to be honest. I am a firm believer in "what you focus on expands" and that we attract people and things into our lives by our attitudes and expectations. I expect everyone to be pleasant and kind, so it's rare that I've run into anyone who was otherwise. I know that they're out there, those cranky folk, but they mostly move in circles other than my own...

The logistics is the biggest thing - marketing, scheduling, traveling, etc., etc. I started remembering those aspects of my previous business in Syracuse and decided that I didn't really want to start from scratch here. I had clients from as far back as 1993 and never had to advertise - all word of mouth referrals. I don't have any kind of network here...

I don't know if I have a "vigorous lazy streak", but I DEFINITELY have a "homebody" streak! If I could find something to do to bring in $$ and still stay home, I'd be all good! The search continues...
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:38 PM   #24
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I'm cranky and you like me......
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Old 01-10-2017, 04:27 AM   #25
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I'm cranky and you like me......
Wow! First time I think I've ever heard you tell a lie (the cranky part, I mean - I definitely LIKE you)! Anyone who knows you at all will say the same...
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:16 AM   #26
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Quote:

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The negativity was the least of the factors, to be honest. I am a firm believer in "what you focus on expands" and that we attract people and things into our lives by our attitudes and expectations. I expect everyone to be pleasant and kind, so it's rare that I've run into anyone who was otherwise. I know that they're out there, those cranky folk, but they mostly move in circles other than my own...

The logistics is the biggest thing - marketing, scheduling, traveling, etc., etc. I started remembering those aspects of my previous business in Syracuse and decided that I didn't really want to start from scratch here. I had clients from as far back as 1993 and never had to advertise - all word of mouth referrals. I don't have any kind of network here...

I don't know if I have a "vigorous lazy streak", but I DEFINITELY have a "homebody" streak! If I could find something to do to bring in $$ and still stay home, I'd be all good! The search continues...
Right, all those HGTV shows where people move to an amazing Caribbean island because they can run their businesses from their laptop. What businesses do they have and can I get one?

Logistics for me were so basic - scheduling one appointment per day and deciding where to drive based on time. Beyond that a travel surcharge applied, but I discouraged it and said no sometimes. And setting up the business entity plus at the very beginning going to a couple events and quicky business workshops.

But marketing can be the kicker, right? Luckily all that was needed was a website that got traffic. I paid a website designer. People found me and told people. I lucked out with a big commercial job in my first weeks. (I was first my client's customer.)

It was a niche market in a prime location, with an uncommon credential. But if I had been an organizer, I bet I would have had to do marketing since there are so many organizers here. That would seem exhausting unless into it.
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:52 AM   #27
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In the past, and probably again this year, I have hit the festival circuit with my handy work. I spend this time of year building inventory. I've sold cards (blank, birthday and thank you...), sewn items (denim bags, baby blankets), recycled items that have been given new life (picture frame chalkboards, painted pots, jewelry, etc...) I even accept orders with a deposit. Vendor fees can range from $25 up depending on the event. I don't expect to make tons of money... I just enjoy meeting other crafters/artists and sharing ideas and learning from them. Plus, it puts a smile on my face when someone buys my creations.
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:58 AM   #28
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In the past, and probably again this year, I have hit the festival circuit with my handy work. I spend this time of year building inventory. I've sold cards (blank, birthday and thank you...), sewn items (denim bags, baby blankets), recycled items that have been given new life (picture frame chalkboards, painted pots, jewelry, etc...) I even accept orders with a deposit. Vendor fees can range from $25 up depending on the event. I don't expect to make tons of money... I just enjoy meeting other crafters/artists and sharing ideas and learning from them. Plus, it puts a smile on my face when someone buys my creations.
Not to hijack Sue's thread (good luck Sue!), but... I'm looking into this type of thing, and I have a couple of business questions. I'm wondering if someone here has any advice.

First, does anyone charge sales tax for things at craft fairs?

And second, how much do you have to make selling crafty stuff before it becomes "taxable income" instead of a hobby?

(I probably need a CPA... but there are so many knowledgeable people here that it seemed worth a try. I went from years and years at a "traditional office job", to becoming an "independent consultant" working from home. Same job, new local and title... and I'm pretty lost on all of the tax implications.) Thank you!
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:12 PM   #29
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Not to hijack Sue's thread (good luck Sue!), but... I'm looking into this type of thing, and I have a couple of business questions. I'm wondering if someone here has any advice.

First, does anyone charge sales tax for things at craft fairs?

And second, how much do you have to make selling crafty stuff before it becomes "taxable income" instead of a hobby?

(I probably need a CPA... but there are so many knowledgeable people here that it seemed worth a try. I went from years and years at a "traditional office job", to becoming an "independent consultant" working from home. Same job, new local and title... and I'm pretty lost on all of the tax implications.) Thank you!
In CA you can get a sellers permit through the Board of Equalization. Yes, you must file taxes with them annually in July... I may do 2-3 shows a year so I'm an "occasional" seller. I deduct materials and supplies, travel, etc... and so I haven't had to pay anything, creative bookkeeping. They haven't locked me up yet and I've been doing it for years off and on.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:20 PM   #30
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In CA you can get a sellers permit through the Board of Equalization. Yes, you must file taxes with them annually in July... I may do 2-3 shows a year so I'm an "occasional" seller. I deduct materials and supplies, travel, etc... and so I haven't had to pay anything, creative bookkeeping. They haven't locked me up yet and I've been doing it for years off and on.
Thanks! (Gosh, if I deducted for materials and supplies, I'd have to do a LOT more than 2-3 shows a year just to break even, LOL.)
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:21 PM   #31
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I believe on the federal level the income is 600.00 per year ( and up ) you will owe taxes.

(guess what I did at work all day today?)

( print 1099's and W-2's)

eta but, yes talk to your CPA and ask questions
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:54 PM   #32
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I believe on the federal level the income is 600.00 per year ( and up ) you will owe taxes.

(guess what I did at work all day today?)

( print 1099's and W-2's)

eta but, yes talk to your CPA and ask questions
Thanks Stacy! (And I hope your evening is more fun than your day was.)
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Old 01-10-2017, 04:19 PM   #33
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I'm actually glad that this conversation has morphed this way, as it's another thing to put into the pot to stir into the soup, as I conjure up a new life path for myself. I jumped ship today, so I'm officially job-less... (the ship can now go down without me on board - whew!)

And I echo Kitty's sentiment for you, Stacy - hope your evening is SIGNIFICANTLY more fun than your day!
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Old 01-10-2017, 04:24 PM   #34
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I'm actually glad that this conversation has morphed this way, as it's another thing to put into the pot to stir into the soup, as I conjure up a new life path for myself. I jumped ship today, so I'm officially job-less... (the ship can now go down without me on board - whew!)

And I echo Kitty's sentiment for you, Stacy - hope your evening is SIGNIFICANTLY more fun than your day!
Sue, since it sounds like you don't require employment that carries benefits, have you considered registering with a temporary service? I have had friends who "retired" and did temp work and really enjoyed it. They could always say no if the position didn't appeal to them.
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Old 01-10-2017, 05:17 PM   #35
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Here in my current location, there are approximately 200 applicants for every available job (more sometimes, depending on the job). I registered with a temp agency when we first moved here (2014) that I had worked for when I lived here in 2006, but I was self-employed in the interim, and so my most recent experience wasn't "relevant" to any of the jobs that they could match me up with qualification-wise. Even the state employment specialist that I met with said it was a difficult case. Too many years of self-employment, and too many years since my last "real" job, was the summation of it. I now have just over a year of "recent, relevant experience" for the jobs I'm qualified for, but I don't want them. Because unemployment in this area is still high, companies know that they can get away with paying significantly lower wages than they should. The same job I was doing in 2006 pays $2/hr less now, for example. Meanwhile, cost of living has gone up, not down. I call BS! It is what it is, though, so I'm looking into other options...

So as to not sound TOO depressing, my DH started a job about a month ago at a significantly higher salary than previously, and it's a long-term position, so we won't have to eat dirt! I still need to bring in something, but it's not dire...
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:45 PM   #36
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Here in my current location, there are approximately 200 applicants for every available job (more sometimes, depending on the job). I registered with a temp agency when we first moved here (2014) that I had worked for when I lived here in 2006, but I was self-employed in the interim, and so my most recent experience wasn't "relevant" to any of the jobs that they could match me up with qualification-wise. Even the state employment specialist that I met with said it was a difficult case. Too many years of self-employment, and too many years since my last "real" job, was the summation of it. I now have just over a year of "recent, relevant experience" for the jobs I'm qualified for, but I don't want them. Because unemployment in this area is still high, companies know that they can get away with paying significantly lower wages than they should. The same job I was doing in 2006 pays $2/hr less now, for example. Meanwhile, cost of living has gone up, not down. I call BS! It is what it is, though, so I'm looking into other options...

So as to not sound TOO depressing, my DH started a job about a month ago at a significantly higher salary than previously, and it's a long-term position, so we won't have to eat dirt! I still need to bring in something, but it's not dire...
I heard you can make money blogging if you're not doing it already. Have you considered reaching out to the stamp/scrapbooking manufacturers as a regional rep/demonstrator? You'd be doing something you luv and getting paid for it. When I retire I hope to get such a job.
Tell me have you prayed for direction? Asked the Spirit to lead you in the direction HE wants you to go? It works for me, but I don't see or realize it until after I come through the trial and I'm so thankful for the transition because I come out in a better place than where I was...
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:50 PM   #37
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Post How to get your life back on track...

I came across this article while "pinning" this evening. (I luv Pinterest, maybe a bit too much ) It's a good read for those of us going through transitions, losing it all, and trying to get our lives back on track. It comforting to know I/we are not facing some of the same life derailments and challenges alone.


How To Get Your Life Back When Nothing Goes As Planned - Simple Roots
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:18 AM   #38
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Thank you for the suggestions, Bohodiva. I do try to live every aspect of my life with direction from the powers-that-be, I just don't apply labels to he/she/it/them or worry too much about the trappings around that belief. All of which is to say, certainly asking said powers for guidance/assistance is part of the project...
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:24 AM   #39
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Not to hijack Sue's thread (good luck Sue!), but... I'm looking into this type of thing, and I have a couple of business questions. I'm wondering if someone here has any advice.

First, does anyone charge sales tax for things at craft fairs?

And second, how much do you have to make selling crafty stuff before it becomes "taxable income" instead of a hobby?

(I probably need a CPA... but there are so many knowledgeable people here that it seemed worth a try. I went from years and years at a "traditional office job", to becoming an "independent consultant" working from home. Same job, new local and title... and I'm pretty lost on all of the tax implications.) Thank you!
Business vs. hobby can be complicated, but here's a start:
https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/fiv...-about-hobbies


And different states have different requirements and regs.


Good luck!
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:32 PM   #40
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I'm actually glad that this conversation has morphed this way, as it's another thing to put into the pot to stir into the soup, as I conjure up a new life path for myself. I jumped ship today, so I'm officially job-less... (the ship can now go down without me on board - whew!)

And I echo Kitty's sentiment for you, Stacy - hope your evening is SIGNIFICANTLY more fun than your day!


I always enjoy your posts so much, so helpful and positive. I wish many blessings for you this year whatever you decide to do.
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