Time Management 101: Shop locally.

I totaled up the “catalog” cost for all of my assorted framing materials and the result came in somewhere around $1000. This was within my projected budget but I became worried about shipping.

With only 2.5 – 3 weeks until my MFA show goes up I really can’t afford shipping errors like wrong orders, damaged materials, lost shipments, or last minute “temp. out of stock, unable to fulfill your total order” notices… all issues I’ve run into from time to time when ordering online.

Solution: buy as much locally as possible.

I am an avid email subscriber to Jerry’s Artarama, Cheap Joes Art Shack, Hobby Lobby, and Michael’s, all of which are relatively close driving distance – these subscriptions provide coupons and sale notices frequently so I can stay abreast of possible options for materials.

Like most artists, I’m not rolling in the dough – however, I have standards for my personal work and I like to work with quality materials now that I’m embarking on a professional career. One way I can afford to do this on my meager teaching income is to shop the sales. It doesn’t take much time and it saves a lot of money.

In the end, I purchased about 90% of my supplies from local places and saved a little over $400 total. This includes the cost of gas. Although it took up an entire day – whereas ordering online would’ve only taken about an hour – I was able to personally inspect the items I was buying, take advantage of sales and save money, and cart all of the goods to my studio with 99.99% assurance that they wouldn’t get damaged in transport.

Now I don’t have to worry that in the 11th hour I’ll find our 2 sets of sectional frames were back-ordered or that my mat-board was bent in the UPS truck and then have to track down replacement supplies when I should be paying attention to my thesis, or finishing a piece of work.

Sometimes time management is simply about weighing out time spent vs. benefit; in this case, the bit of extra time saved me a lot of money, additional anxiety-ridden time down the road, and also helped preserve my sanity.

So, that’s several more post-its I can wad up and toss in the trash… only two weeks to go now and it’s still looking good.

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