Are you ready to start organizing beads and other jewelry-making supplies? Use these simple tips, plus storage ideas to get your craft room in order.
Is there anything better than sitting down in a neatly organized craft space and getting ready to make something fun and new? Having a good organization system in place has several benefits:
- You save time and avoid frustration because you know exactly where everything is. There’s no need to hunt for supplies.
- You save money because you’ll know what you have and won’t buy the same thing more than once.
- Your family won’t constantly complain that you have beading materials everywhere.
See where I’m going with this? If your craft space is a jumbled mess of beads, stringing supplies and tools scattered everywhere and covering every imaginable surface, it’s time to whip things into shape. Here are some easy steps to take to begin organizing beads and other supplies.
A Beginner’s Guide for Organizing Beads
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1. Assess Your Needs
Determine what beading supplies you have and how much you have of each category. This will require some work. Gather all your materials in one place and group them into categories. Make a note of each category so you’ll know what you need to store and figure out the best way to do this.
Make sure to leave room for expansion. There are some categories e.g. beads that you will, more than likely, purchase more of in the future. You’ll need to have space to store additional supplies, not just what you own right now.
Take note of your other needs as well. Do you have limited space to store your supplies e.g. in a small closet? Then, make sure to take advantage of vertical space using shelves or pegboard. Do you prefer to move around with your beading materials and need portability? Maybe, use a rolling cart where you keep your most-frequently used supplies.
2. Determine Your Organizing Style
According to Clutterbug, there are different organizing styles. Some people prefer everything out in the open so they can see what they have. Others like to store things so they’re hidden away in drawers or cupboards. Take the quiz to determine your organizing style.
I took the Clutterbug quiz and I’m a Cricket, in case you were curious. This means I love detailed organizing systems and I prefer minimal visual clutter. That second part is definitely true. Clutter drives me crazy and I feel overwhelmed and find it hard to function in a cluttered space.
Once you know what kind of organizing style you prefer, you can select storage options that will:
- Maximise your space
- Work best for your organizing style
- Allow you to easily maintain it
3. Get Storage Containers
There are tons of bead storage containers for you to choose from. Below is a list of ideas. Keep in mind the amount of space you have and your organizing style.
Individual Storage Containers
There are lots of options for individual storage containers that you can buy. Some are stackable, some come in a larger box to keep them grouped together. These are great for organizing beads especially smaller ones like seed beads because you can grab one container and pour out just what you need.
Storage Boxes with Dividers
Divided storage boxes have several compartments. These are great because you can store different colours of the same type of bead or use them to house findings. I would recommend using these type of storage boxes for larger beads or findings as opposed to seed beads. You can easily grab what you need from each compartment.
These are great for keeping items stored in individual containers. For example, I personally use small plastic drawers to store my beads that come packaged in tubes and findings in resealable bags. Each drawer is dedicated to a specific category e.g. size 11 seed beads or clasps.
Maximise vertical space on a wall or the back of a door and hang items on hooks. This would be a suitable option if you have lots of beads on strands. You can even use a pegboard system to do this on a larger scale without putting lots of holes in your wall.
Store items on shelves either in boxes or out in the open on display.
4. Start Organizing
Once you have everything in place — your beading supplies organized into categories, you know your organizing style, you have your storage supplies — it’s time to actually organize.
Determine how you want to separate your materials. Do you prefer to store them by colour, size, type of bead, quality e.g. sterling silver vs. silver-plated? However you decide to do it is totally up to you. The organization system needs to work for you, not anyone else.
Once you’re happy with your organization, add some labels. This will help you to find everything and, just as importantly, know where to put things back.
5. Maintain The System
After taking all that time to organize your beads and other supplies, make sure you maintain the organization. When you complete a beading project, put back each item into its respective home.
Every once in a while, declutter items you no longer like or know you won’t use. Give them away, sell them online, or throw them out if there’s something wrong with them. It can be hard to let go of items that you spent good money on but what’s the purpose of keeping them and having them take up valuable space if they’re not being used?
Just know that it can take a while to get your organizational system right. Keep tweaking it as issues arise and don’t be too hard on yourself. It has taken me years to find a system I really like that suits my organizational style and fits the space I have. But, once you find that sweet spot, it’s so much more enjoyable to sit down and bead.