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.
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!!