New Contest: Share Your Organization Tips

Jan 10, 2008

It's easy to be an organized beader--if you've only been to one bead shop in your entire life and your entire "stash" fits in the palm of your hand. Now that I'm a "professional" beader, I can't get by with a tiny plastic bag of beads or even a single bead box. It's not complete chaos yet--but it sure is getting close!

At left: My highly organized personal bead stash.
(Just kidding--I wish this is what it looked like!)

I knew things were getting bad when I woke up one morning recently knowing the perfect square magnetic clasp for a necklace I was making and couldn't find it in my bag marked "clasps." I knew I had bought it, but where had I put it? Turns out, I had another bag of new findings and beads (not labeled, of course, and nowhere near the rest of my bead stuff) that I had set aside to use for another project. That's when I knew I had to do something. (About the lack of organization, anyway, the designing necklaces in my sleep is another discussion entirely!)

Announcing the Beader’s Stash Contest

Do you have trouble remembering where you put your pliers? Is your thread a tangled mess? Does your beading area look like a cat sprawled out and took a nap on it—but you don’t own a cat?

Then this contest is probably not for you!

This contest is for those Beading Daily members who never buy the same tube of black seed beads over and over again because they can’t remember where they put tubes 1-28.

Whether your beading friends call you an “organizational genius”—or whether you’ve simply discovered the best way to tote your beads while traveling—then please, please, please enter our contest. The rest of us want to learn from you!

Submit your best beading organizational tip (100 words maximum) and win! Up to 25 of the best tips will be published in Beading Daily and 5 lucky winners (one per category) will each receive an autographed copy of the book Beader's Stash by Laura Levaas.

This is a beautiful book with 40 projects of all different kinds--stringing, wireworking, loomwork, felting, bead embroidery, weaving, soldering, and more! It also includes an illustrated technique glossary, a bead shop directory (U.S. and Canada), and lots of insider tips from bead shops. Learn more about the book.

The Rules

  • You must be a member of Beading Daily to enter. (It's free to sign up if you're not already a member.)
  • One entry per person total (not per category)
  • Categories:
    • Your Beading Place
      Tips for organizing your work area, whether it is a small lap desk or an entire studio.
    • Bead Stash
      Tips for organizing your beads.
    • Beyond the Bead
      Tips for organizing your other beading items--stringing materials, tools, and other necessities.
    • On the Cheap
      Tips for organizing your beading without spending a lot of money.
    • On the Road
      Tips for being a well-organized beader while traveling.
  • Deadline to enter is Friday, January 25, 2008 at 12:00 midnight Central Standard Time. That's 2 weeks from today!
  • Winners will be announced on Beading Daily by February 25, 2008. If two similar tips are selected as finalists, then we will award the prize to the tip submitted earliest--so get your entries in!

Good luck--and thank you! 


Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She can't wait to see your organization tips! This weekend she is working on a brick stitch bangle ("Round About" by Dottie Hoeschen) and hopes she can find the focal bead she needs to complete it!



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Comments

SaraJ wrote
on Jan 11, 2008 10:47 AM
Can an entry be accompanied by up to 2-3 pictures? Some things REALLY need a visual . . . . . . ! Or would a link or two to Flickr or the like, pics, work? Just wondering!
on Jan 11, 2008 11:06 AM
Hi Sara,

If you'd like to include a link in your tip description, that would be fine.

Thanks!

Michelle
DarleneJ@4 wrote
on Jan 11, 2008 3:06 PM
I look forward to everyone's entries. This is something I really struggle with. I am always searching for the perfect storage solutions but never seem to find just what I am looking for. I envision a closed storage unit with multiple drawers that can be labled. I work with so many different types of beads that I would need quite a large "organzied" area.It would be a dream come true to be able to walk up open the doors and go right to what I am looking for and then spend more precious time beading!
ozbianca wrote
on Jan 11, 2008 5:34 PM
Oh dear, organisation of the messy disaster area I call my bead room. I am a project manager during the day and I should be able to organise my studio shouldn't I. I am erally struggling with it, as Darlene said. The storage solutions I have implemented are a big chest of drawers and a CD drawer cabinet. And I have a bit pinboard for projects and ideas and notes, but that is where it stops. My bead desk is covered in stuff, the floor is covered in materials, projects beadmats, I haven't got a decent display area and so finished pieces are on, over just about every piece of furniture. Oh dear. I really need help. I do clean up and have good intentions but then I start chucking things together to see what it looks like and I go off the rails again. Beyond here there be beading needles on the floor, this is what worries me. Someone could get hurt!
Alina_r wrote
on Jan 12, 2008 2:46 AM
WOW!!Thank you very much for this!!!I think that many of us really need some ideas about organising our beads and I am definately one of them! I have submitted my bead-organizing method, but it would be good to see what other people do..:)
NitzaA wrote
on Jan 13, 2008 4:22 PM
I will not comment about my organization... I really need help. Specially for organize a portable system.
on Jan 15, 2008 6:08 PM
I too am struggling with my organization skill for my beading passion. Here is my rough but economic way to do so. I have some transparent organizing compartmented trays for smaller beads. For larger beads, I put them in 3X3 plastic bags with price and name of the stone, and put them in clear lid shoe boxes. The shoe boxes are then sorted by color and type, such as pearl, glass, red, black, mixed color and etc. For each strand I put in the box, I take out one bead and put it separately into a small plastic bag. This is my bead "index" bag. I use this to design and compare beads before I need to take out the whole bag from the box. As you can imagine, I have one index bag for each shoe box. This is work in progress.

I have more trouble with seed beads and am still looking for an effective ways to organize them.

I have a portable tote bag from Michael a couple years back, but find it more practical for me just to take some simple wire work (weaving) pieces to do in while traveling.
LynnY@6 wrote
on Jan 16, 2008 2:46 PM
Organization seems to be the hot topic for many of us (with New Year's Resolutions and all). The South Florida Jewelry Arts Guild is devoting an entire meeting this Thursday night to the topic and hope to get everyone's best ideas.

The seed bead dilemma I think I have worked out. It does require an investment, but compared to what we have spent on beads it is worth it. The key is to reduce the digging for what we thought we had and having things available to us at a glance. I have transfered all of my seed beads into the rectangular flip top "tubes" that fit into 4x6inch boxes. They are sorted by size and then color. I have a narrow shelf running the length of my worktable and they are stacked on end so I readily see the bottoms of the containers through the boxes. It not only provides a rainbow of color, but allows me to, at a glance, see what I have. This is not a new idea and it really works!
Lynn Y.
KarenP@87 wrote
on Jan 18, 2008 4:24 PM
Joanns carrys some great small clear containers in small clear shallow boxes that are great for seed beads, findings, and small beads. For other beads go to lowes for the work bench drawers and Plano stowaway adjustable compartments boxes. These are better than the bead boxes in joanns because of the ability to adjust, because they are clear, the clasp is better, much less expensive, and it doesn't have those clasps that fall off!!! The drawers come in different sizes also. I'm a complete slob but my beads are in great shape. I entered my travel tips in the contest.
KarenP@87 wrote
on Jan 18, 2008 4:24 PM
Joanns carrys some great small clear containers in small clear shallow boxes that are great for seed beads, findings, and small beads. For other beads go to lowes for the work bench drawers and Plano stowaway adjustable compartments boxes. These are better than the bead boxes in joanns because of the ability to adjust, because they are clear, the clasp is better, much less expensive, and it doesn't have those clasps that fall off!!! The drawers come in different sizes also. I'm a complete slob but my beads are in great shape. I entered my travel tips in the contest.
YolandaM4 wrote
on Jan 22, 2008 10:16 PM
I have discovered that a reasonable amount of disorder stimulates my imagination and I don't feel guilty for not being a role model of order. Quoting Paul Claudel: "Order is the pleasure of reason; but disorder is the delight of imagination." (The quote is originally in French. Sorry if I didn't translate properly, but English is not my native language. My only tip is to put the pliers in an empty can. It can't be less expensive and they're always at hand and easy to find.
FRANCESC@11 wrote
on Jan 26, 2008 4:40 AM
FOR STORAGE, I USE THE LARGE BOXES WITH DRAWERS LIKE THE ONE YOU PUT NUT AND BOLTS IN AND I LABEL THEM ACCORDENLY. IT MAKES MY LIFE EASIER.
Alina_r wrote
on Jan 28, 2008 12:28 PM
Hello! Could somebody please tell me where can I find the selected organization tips?
Thank you! :)
elizabeth@83 wrote
on Feb 3, 2008 3:14 PM
Hi,
It says winners will be announced by February 25th 2008
Alina_r wrote
on Feb 4, 2008 12:28 PM
Oh! that's right!I didn't notice it..Thank you very much E.G.!! :)
tinakstep wrote
on Feb 7, 2008 10:38 AM
I use a rolling scrapbook paper organizeer with 6 separate large drawers (fit for 12x12 paper) that I have added smaller organizers to. I organize my beads by type and size. The smaller organizers can be found in the beading section at hobby lobby and the nice thing is that the partitions open separately with their own lids and the side walls come up all the way to the top so smaller items don't slip over the wall into the neighboring compartments. I like the smaller organizers as I can pull them out, pop them in a tote, and travel quite guickly. I keep my tools in a small handled tote bag with pockets all around the outside ($7 at hobby lobby). So, the two totes hold all that I need to travel with. Another nice idea is to take a shallow cigar box and line it with felt or fleece and use it to store projects in progress. I have a few of these and they work great for interuptions as I can simply close the lid and walk away.
on Jan 5, 2009 9:03 AM
For my workspace, I use a 'converted' computer desk, one of the large ones. It used to belong to my parents, but I convinced them of my dire need for it! You can get large computer desks at thrift stores for little money. The one I have has lots of shelves and cubbies, so I can put everything I need into it! I use the large hardware containers with drawers to sort the supplies I need most and label them with a labelmaker, then use one of the over-the-sink-shelves to put it on so I can use the space underneath for things. I put velour bead mats on the pull out keyboard shelf and use it to hold an extra bead board plus projects! In the space where the tower is stored I removed the door and had my stepdad add a shelf that rolls out on drawer tracks where I place the plier rack my stepdad made me so I can pull it out at any time and have easy access to the pliers. I just love my setup! http://picasaweb.google.com/creationsbyjae/DisplayWorkbench#5271967727392360034 http://picasaweb.google.com/creationsbyjae/DisplayWorkbench#5271967777260121714 http://picasaweb.google.com/creationsbyjae/DisplayWorkbench#5271967798141804002