Sunday, November 1, 2009


I have been in the process of organizing my bead stash since earlier this fall.  I had these grand plans about how I would wait and share the wonderfully organized collection with you.  I have come to realize that it is going to take me awhile to finish the project because life keeps interfereing with finishing and of course organizing the beads makes me want to "play" with the beads!

So I decided that I would share with you some of the components of my organizing that I am really enjoying and are working for me.  I have a very small space that I use for my beading.  I have a 4'x2' table that sort of sits between our living room and dining room. I have an iris cart that right now is catching the odds and ends that I haven't put into their permanent home yet.  The other elements to my beading area I will share below.

The first is this cart.  I believe that it was designed for scrapbookers but I LOVE that the drawers have a lid and come completely out.

As you can see from the labels, I have my seed beads in here sorted by size and a project drawer for works in progress.  I have a couple empties at the moment that I am using for temporary storage until I get the rest of my beads sorted and stored.  I invested in many flip top style storage boxes to put my beads in.  I like them because it makes it easy to see what I have and to compare colors when starting a project.

I love that when I am working on a project I can pull out the size bead I need and see all my choices.  I have the drawers arranged in rainbow order (roygbiv).  I cut up empty cereal boxes to make strips to keep the fliptops from sliding.  I also used some empty boxes to help fill in the spaces.  I am sure there won't be space in here much longer with what I have out currently that I am using.  This is what one of the drawers looks like when open on the table.

Another of my main storage units is a multi-drawer unit like this.

I have the drawers labeled as to the size and type of beads.  I also use this for storing my findings, clasps and thread.

Inside the drawers I eventually hope to have everything in fliptops but right now the drawers are a combination of bags and fliptops.

This is one of the drawers.  Inside the fliptop along with the bead, I cut or peel the tag from the original bag and place it inside.  That way I have what the color is, the ordering number and where I bought the beads from.

Because my collection of fire polish and Swarovski crystals has gotten so that it won't fit in one of the above drawers, I bought a 3 drawer unit that sits on my work table.  The drawers are organized the same as the other set of drawers.

I have found it so much easier to "see" what I have and find what I am looking for since I reorganized my beads this way.  This system really works for me and the space that I have (at least until I outgrow it, :-))

I hope that you have found some tips in here that will help you get organized and spend less time looking for those beads and more time beading with them!!


dentedhalo said...

Nancy, I always love to see other people's organization. Gives me good ideas! I agree with you, when I organize any of my beads, just makes me want to play with them more than organize! LOL, great job here!

GrandmaMarilyns said...

This is just great. I use some of the ideas already. I hope to have all my delicas in plastic see through boxes in DB color order in a book shelf soon. I had a problem with them scooting and love your cereal box divider idea. I, too, use empty boxes to fill in the spots.

Thank you for writing this.

Amooretto said...

Wow...I love all the organization! I need to do something like this. Thanks for the tips. :)

Beautiful pieces by the way!

wimmerboys said...

I am impressed! What a project you tackled. I truly need your organizational assistance around here!!! What a beautiful collection of beads you have...and oh my that is a LOT of Swarovski crystals! Now you can set to work and be inspired!

A Beaded Affair said...

Absolutely amazing. How much would you charge to come straighten my room out. Yes, a whole room! I moved upstairs from the basement and haven't been able to get it organized since I moved. Between beads and wire for sale and my own beading and wire work along with computer work, I'm going nuts!!! lol. Help!

Heather said...

I'm working on re-organizing a small space too, This is very helpful and inspiring, thank you for sharing!

cigarboxbeads said...

thank you so much for this---i'm constantly working on organizing my beads and 'stuff', and you have some tips i didn't think of--

marilyn g

beadinggrannie said...

Nancy, love your ideas. I also have the little cube boxes on my desk. I love the black case with the 4 boxes across and 5 boxes down. Where did you find that one at? Gave me some great ideas. I want to get a small box with all the little drawers like you have. I could use it for my findings. Thanks for the ideas!

beadinggrannie said...

Nancy, I love your ideas. Where did you get the large black case with the 4 boxes across and 5 boxes down? Love that one. I too have a couple of the little desk cubes. They are great.
Penny S.

Nancy said...

The small box with drawers and the large cabinet with the closed drawers I got at Target. The cabinet with the small drawers (5 by 4) I bought from somewhere online but I have seen the same thing at Target/Home Depot. It is by Acro I think.

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