If you love making jewelry, you’ve probably discovered that collecting beads and gem stones can be addictive. Then when you bring your purchases home, you need a way to organize all of your great finds. 

I know from experience that being organized can be tough for artistic types. I had to pull out all of my jewelry supplies to find what I needed to get started on a design, and I struggled with putting things back where they belonged after I was done. My space was cluttered, and I was spending more time finding beads and supplies than making jewelry.

My jewelry-making studio and my office share the same room, so it was important that I design an organization system that provided plenty of storage and surface area.   My space is now clutter-free; allowing me to pull out the items needed for my jewelry designs, work with focus, then put things away when I’m done. 

I use clear plastic containers that allow me to see what I need at a glance, and make it easy to find what I’m looking for quickly without having to dig through everything.  Most of the items in my organization system came from The Container Store, but I’ve found that some of the best storage containers for beads and findings come from hardware and automotive stores.  I also use containers that were intended for kitchen organization.  

Below are a few quick tips for organizing your beads, findings, tools and stringing materials:

  • Organize beads and gems by color, not necessarily by size, shape or material.
  • Place cardstock in your bead and gem containers, specifying name and size.
  • Place tools in a Lazy-Susan so you can easily access the tool you are looking for.
  • Organize findings by metal type.

You don’t have to use storage products in the way they’re advertised.  Take them apart and use only what you need.  For example, if a storage container is dark instead of clear, you can take the trays out and use them by themselves.

There are several storage options available to help you organize your work space.  Be sure to choose the one that works best for you or you won’t use it for long. Once you get your supplies organized, you will be able to spend less time looking for what you need and more time designing jewelry.

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