Every so often, I spend an industrious Saturday cleaning my apartment from top to bottom. I tackle my closets, I pack up clothes I haven’t worn in months and months, and then I eye the stack of boxes sitting in a messy heap next to my computer table…
You guessed it. That’s where my beads reside.
I don’t have a separate room where I can peacefully make beautiful jewelry. Instead, I am a true kitchen-table crafter. The only problem is, after each creative session, I just throw the bags and half-used strands back in the boxes, without bothering to stop and organize.
But I hesitate to even try and unravel everything now. I know the minute I start digging through the tubes of seed beads and strands of gemstones, I won’t be just “organizing.” I’ll be thinking about the next necklace I want to create, the next birthday or gift occasion and the next items I’ll need to pick up from my local bead store. (And if I just end up adding more to the clutter, it kind of defeats the purpose of cleaning.)
Soon I’ll be sitting on my living room floor, beads and findings strewn about, and books propped open as I check out projects, open little boxes to peek at pendants, and sort through tubes of crystals.
Many Kalmbach authors have all kinds of tips for organizing your stash. A good tip for those who work with lots of colors comes from Nealay Patel, author of Jewelry for the New Romantic. He says, “My beads and findings are organized by color and stored in zip-lock bags. When I choose a color for a particular design, I can just take out the bag I need rather than searching through the entire inventory.”
That might be the way to get a handle on my collection of beads. For now, though, I’ll just have to try and contain the mess in my haphazard collection of boxes and maybe start thinking about doing some early spring cleaning.