Moving Your Bead Stash: A New Chance to Organize Your Beads

As you read this, picture me packing up a U-Haul for my move across town. I've been in this house for nine years now, and sorting through all the stuff of my life has been daunting. For instance, why do I have two irons-did I think having two might make me want to iron? And what's with these old love letters from high school? Oh, and I haven't even mentioned my beading studio. Nine years is a long time to let a bead stash ferment in one place, and its growth has definitely been . . . well, let's call it "healthy."

As I box up my beads and supplies this week, I'm organizing and condensing. But I'm also dreaming about how I'd like to set up my new studio. I thought you might be interested to read about a few of the things I'm considering: Maybe they'll help you reorganize your stash, too?

Sift through unused beads
I have a lot of beads that just need to go. Many of these are nice beads, but I've had them for twenty years and they still haven't been used. I know someone else could look at them with fresh eyes and create something beautiful. So I may just bring them to my next bead group meeting and let folks have at'em.

Sort your bead leftovers
Before I load my stash into the moving truck, I'm going to take the opportunity to put like beads together. For instance, I have hundreds of little plastic baggies with just a smattering of seed beads in each. Some are leftover from projects, others are from photo shoots, and all just clutter up my workbench.

I've decided it's time to stop thinking I'm going to put them back in their proper tubes-that just ain't gonna happen. Instead, I'm going to dump them all into a bucket and call it a seed-bead salsa. I'll use this colorful mixture for seed-bead projects like those featured in "Simply Seeds," a fun, seed-bead-focused department found in each issue of Beadwork Magazine. 

Organize your bead containers
I'm labeling all the other moving boxes ("Kitchen," "Bedroom," etc.), so I'm going to ride this organizational wave and take the time to label all my storage boxes, too. I've always depended on the see-through quality of the storage boxes to know what's inside, but it'll be nice to have everything clearly labeled, too.

I've been able to keep my studio neat by storing my little bead boxes on top of one another on my closet shelves, but they've been difficult to get to. In my new studio I'm going to store them in these easily accessible drawers that I can roll under my workbench.

 

Dream of beads at the ready
I'll also be utilizing these big storage cabinets that used to store tools in the garage. Now they'll be used for storing my big bead boxes. The ones shown here contain the kits I sell when I teach, but this system will work great for any of my big bead storage boxes. Plus, when I label them like this, they'll be easily identifiable and I won't have to scramble around looking for them like I've done in the past.

Have you moved your bead stash recently? What tips do you have for the rest of us? Please share your organizational epiphanies below!

 

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