Inventory Management

How Interior Designers Use Sortly’s Inventory Management System

August 16, 2022 • 7 min read

Interior designers and home stagers use lots of furniture and decor to be able to do their jobs. And those furniture and decor items are often stored or displayed in multiple locations. That’s why so many design-based businesses turn to inventory management software to help them keep tabs on all their inventory. 

But when it comes to creating a truly visual, flexible inventory system, not all software solutions are created alike. And that’s why many of these businesses choose Sortly. Here are 11 different ways interior design and home staging businesses are using Sortly’s inventory management app:


1. To create a visual inventory list

An inventory spreadsheet or even a Word document can function as an inventory list. And your team can fill it with tons of details, too. But a spreadsheet or a piece of paper will always struggle to display high-resolution images in a seamless, manageable way. 

This is one reason why Sortly is so popular with highly-visual professionals: it allows you to upload tons of high-resolution images, making it easy to see what you’ve got in stock—instead of just reading an item title. And since interior design and staging are so visual, being able to see each piece is critical. It also allows you to track the condition of each item over time. You can snap photos and document everything from large furniture pieces to tiny items like votive candles—and even large quantities of materials, such as floor tile or copper. A picture is truly worth a thousand words.

Related: Learn How This Interior Design Firm Uses Sortly To Visualize Its Inventory


2. To organize inventory purposefully

Every business likes to organize its inventory in a way that works for its employees. No matter how your business uses inventory or works with its clients, the ability to classify your furniture and materials however makes sense to you is essential. 

With Sortly, designers and home stages organize their inventory by folder, category, tags, and custom details. They create folders for different projects, clients, installations, or storage facilities. They generate categories or tags for different styles of furniture. And they add custom details like colors to quickly filter inventory and find what they’re looking for faster. 

Many businesses also create a top-tier folder of available inventory, checking items “in” and “out” of that folder by dragging them to project folders. This action can be sped up with Sortly’s in-app barcode and QR code scanner.


3. To streamline inventory management with barcodes and QR codes

Interior designers and home stagers who use Sortly tend to agree: there’s no feature more important than the in-app barcode and QR code reader. This function, which works from any smartphone or tablet, allows customers to instantly scan a labeled item, immediately pulling up item details. At that point, all data on the piece can be accessed and changed, including condition, value, location, quantity in stock, and more.

When Sortly’s design and staging customers scan their inventory, they typically do so to check items in and out of storage or job sites. But most furniture and decor come without a barcode or QR code. Sortly allows customers to generate customized barcodes and QR codes, automatically syncing them with the right inventory. This can be done using nothing more than a computer, a printer, and everyday label paper.


4. To stop buying what’s already in stock

Placemats. End tables. Granite slabs. Whatever inventory your interior design or home staging company has in the back of a storage closet, Sortly can help you remember you’ve got it… before you buy it again. In fact, many of our most successful customers have their employees double check their Sortly inventory list before shopping for new items. 

This is especially helpful if you store inventory in multiple locations or have items coming and going from different job sites all over town. Your team can simply check their inventory app to see where items are and when they’re expected to become available again. 


5. To stay on top of inventory value

Furniture, decor, and materials don’t come cheap—most interior designers and home stagers invest a lot of cash into their inventory. Many of our customers, for example, shop at antique shows and art fairs looking for “scores” that don’t have a final destination yet. Sortly allows these customers to not only remember what these items are (and where they are) when the right project arises, but also to keep track of how much cash is tied up in all that inventory at any given time.

After all, inventory and assets can be liquidated—they have value. And that value needs to be accurately reflected on a balance sheet to truly understand a business’s financial picture. By helping customers know precisely how much their inventory is worth, businesses can budget better, make more informed decisions, and finish tedious accounting tasks faster. 


6. To keep an eye on key dates

Home stagers, in particular, need to know where their items are—and for how long they will be there. Sortly helps customers track the dates that matter to them, whether those are loan expiration dates or just a few notes about how long a staged home is expected to stay on the market. 

Plus, if you move items from “Available Inventory” or other location-based folders to specific job folders, you’ll be able to see all those details in your Sortly history. Many Sortly customers look back to those records to help with billing, and to double-check details should any damage to furniture or decor occur. 


7. To add documentation to items

Whether your business purchases heirlooms or half-assembled bunk beds, chances are there’s some documentation you need to keep on file for those pieces of inventory. Many Sortly customers in the design space upload key documentation—think: appraisals, certificates of authenticity, assembly instructions—directly to an item’s profile within the app.

With documentation securely stored within Sortly’s cloud, anyone can access it at any time. All your team has to do is search, either by any detail about the product, or by scanning the items barcode or QR code with a phone or tablet. 


8. To get your delivery and warehouse teams aligned

Many Sortly customers use Sortly’s item details to add photos, barcodes and QR codes, and documentation to their items. But in the design space, more and more customers are also using the software solution to leave key notes for their delivery and warehouse teams.

Sortly’s customizable, flexible design allows you to drop in any critical details that matter to you. Links, notes, customized reminders. This can be particularly helpful if you know that some of your inventory is hard to move, access, or assemble. For example, some customers will make note of oversized items that won’t fit through a standard-size door, write that certain items can only be moved by two or more people, or that certain pieces of furniture will require assembly on site using specific tools. 


9. To speed up audits

With so much inventory coming and going—or simply sitting for quite a long time—inventory audits are a key component of interior design and home staging inventory management. And many Sortly customers have found that keeping perpetual inventory throughout the year makes their inventory audits much easier. 

Sortly’s barcode and QR code features are beneficial during audits. That’s because the quick-scan functionality speeds up inventory counts, allows multiple employees across many locations to audit simultaneously, and can help you keep better inventory records between audits. 


10. To create reports ready to share with colleagues, employees

Sortly allows its customers to create detail-rich, highly-visual reports about their inventory instantly. These reports can be filtered by tag, category, location—whatever matters to you. Many Sortly customers export them as PDFs or CSVs, share them with their team, and even present them to their clients. 


11. To always know exactly what’s where

Whether you’re traveling to a trade show, halfway across the world searching for obscure antiques or just home sick, Sortly allows you to review your inventory from anywhere, at any time. That’s just one of the many reasons why so many designers rely on it to keep track of their furniture and decor. 

Sortly customers can assess what they have and what they need, plan for future jobs, and even determine when it’s time to replace their inventory—all right from their smartphones.

Experience the simplest inventory management software.

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About Sortly

Sortly is a top-rated inventory management software solution perfect for interior designers and home stagers who are serious about getting organized. With easy barcode and QR code scanning, a highly-visual inventory dashboard, and the ability to get the whole team collaborating on day one, there’s no easier way to manage your furniture, materials, and decor for your interior design or home staging business.

Ready to get started? Try Sortly free for two weeks.