Maybe I’m a bit compulsive, but I really enjoy when things are organized – specifically my band’s merch. You may have gotten that vibe if you read my 11 suggestions to improve your bands merch. We go thru a lot of shirts and at times keeping them organized, inventoried and in stock it tedious. I wouldn’t ever show up to a gig without knowing if I have the appropriate cables to connect my guitar – and I feel the same way about my merch setup. Organization is key part of this so here are some tips on keeping everything together and in one place.
Have a merch list
The list can be digital, it can be a spreadsheet you print out before the gig and have on a clipboard, it can be anything really as long as you use it. Square allows you to enter all your items into an online inventory and take cash along with cards. This type of system is one of my favorites. Know what you have in each variation and keep it inventoried. Google Spreadsheets work well also. This is especially difficult with many band members so once you have a system in place, let everyone know.
Have a Container
I personally like old samsonite-type hard-shelled suitcases. My personal gold standard is one that has a luggage hanger so I can have my display shirts ready to go on hangers. You can easily pick up them at a thrift store as airlines tighten their size limitation for carry-ons. Anything that is going to generally protect them from rain, snow, and the dirty disgusting places your are taking them. I also really like these Amazon Basics Packing Cubes for keeping things contained inside the suitcase.
Fold them up
Fold the shirts up, it will help the overall process and is much easier than trying to pull them out of a bucket of disorganized madness. I really like folding them with a Miracle Fold it keeps them very uniform. I like to stack a few shirts up on the table in each size so I’m not having to dig thru bins.
Or roll them up
I’ve also seen a lot of bands roll their shirts up. This method works, however it isn’t my favorite because it leaves the shirts fairly wrinkled which I feel like is a bad first impression of my new t-shirt as a fan. It does however keep the shirts very compact, so if you have a lot of shirts this may be a consideration.
Label them by size
Label them by size in some manner. I like making t-shirt tags for everything and using a swifttach gun to attach them. If you are bagging them you could use stickers.
Consider bagging and tagging
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