7 Ways to Organize

7 Ways to Organize
by Barbara van Look, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Just like designers create pieces with individual style, their organization needs to be individual, too.

While jewelry makers can get started with canning jars and zip-top baggies, a growing collection of beads and jewelry-making components needs to be organized into logical and practical groups. Otherwise, getting the supplies out can take more time than designing the piece! Jewelry designers can group their inventories by color, by size, by type or by any other method that makes sense to them, using organizational systems that mesh with the way they create.

Organizational Types

Do you like to lay everything out flat in front of you and keep your paperwork in stacks? Then you're probably a horizontal organizer.

Do you prefer to hang everything up so you can look around and see it and keep your paperwork in folders on shelves? You're likely a vertical organizer.

Are you constantly on the go? Then consider using mobile organizational tools. If you have a lot of seed beads, metal components or tools then you need to consider some specialty organizers.

If you organize a variety of materials, tools and supplies differently--you're a mixed systems organizer. Perhaps you prefer your seed beads to hang in hanks while your findings must be stored in bins. Whichever way you prefer, you can find or create an organizational system that works for you.

#1--Horizontal Organization

It's all got to be spread out in front of you--you need a big table, lots of counter space, plenty of flat bins and beading boards. Here are some great horizontal organizational tools:

  • Bead Storage Solutions™
    Has plenty of bins, trays and containers that can be mixed and mingled to create a personalized system. The trays can be laid out around you on the table so you can see everything you have.
  • Acrylic and Plastic Sectional Organizers
    Clear and translucent acrylic containers corral beads, components and stringing materials into groups. Secure lids keeps beads and small pieces from spilling, keeping little fingers (and kitty paws) out of your supplies.
  • Tubes and Vials
    Stand Squeezetops™ in a row or put vials or Delica® seed bead tubes in racks like test tubes and you'll have all the colors spread out in front of you, exactly how you like them.
  • Foam Display Inserts with Internal Vials
    Foam pads studded with individual reclose able vials. Vials seal securely with snap-on lids and include padded interiors to prevent scratching or chipping. Foam pads fit standard half and standard full trays.
  • Organizers with Internal Containers, Vials or Tubes
    Plastic containers include internal vials for secure, individual storage. Group by color, by material, by size--whatever system works best for you.
Acrylic and Plastic Sectional Organizers

#2--Vertical Organization

It's all got to be hung up and strung up so you can see what's available--you need plenty of wall space so you can see all the combinations. Here are some great vertical organizational tools:
  • Bead Storage Solutions
    Tip bins on their sides and you have a wall of tiny crystal-clear drawers, showcasing the colors, shapes, sizes and finishes you need to see. Closed compartments help keep the dust off, too!
  • Storage Organizers and Caddies
    Keep it together with stackable wall organizers and caddies. A variety of drawer sizes means you can store beads, findings, tools and more--all in one place.
  • Hanging Racks with Vials, Blister Packs and Boxes
    A wall of pegboard with hooks or some wire racks are all you need to set up jewelry-making space with hanging vials. Ideal for seed beads and other small items--it's almost like shopping!
  • Space-Saver Jars and Towers
    Stacking vials and bead towers let you organize without taking up design space.
Space Saver Organizer Jars

#3--Mobile Organization

You're always on the go--you need storage that is as mobile as you are. Here are some organizational tools for jewelry makers on-the-move:
  • Totes
    Handles, secure closures, multiple compartments in a variety of sizes all make these totes easy to take on the road with you.
  • Organizers/Finished Jewelry Displays
    Take your stock or finished jewelry with you. Create on the road, in the hotel room, at the show--then set up your booth with the same items you organized with.
  • Travelling Beading Mats and Bead Boards
    You're in the middle of a design and you've got to hit the road. These bead boards let you roll up your project, fold up the mat or cover it--and take it with you!
Portable Totes

Specialty Organization

Some jewelry-making supplies need special organization. Often standard containers don't work for the tiniest components--or the largest ones.

#4--Seed Beads and Tiny Component Organization

Delicas, Dyna-Mites™, Rocailles, Ornelas--you've got them all. Make sure you know which is which using a selection of seed bead organizers. Also applies to tiny charms, drops, crimps and other components:
  • Bead Storage Solutions
    Tiny Containers™ fit the Tiny Containers Tray™ and the Assorted Bead Storage Tray™. You can't get better seed bead organization than this.
  • Tubes and Vials with Tube or Vial Organizers
    Hanging vials for vertical organizers, standing trays with vials for horizontal organizers--if you need to sort your seed beads, there's a system for you.
  • Seed Bead Hanks
    You want them hanging up, you love to have your choices, you need to see all the colors and are you a vertical organizer or what?
  • Reused Organizers
    These systems came pre-filled with starter sets, kits or color families. Use up the beads and reuse the organizers for yourself.
Tubes and Vials

#5--Anti-Tarnish Organization and Storage

Fine silver, sterling silver, sterling silver-filled, silver plate--they're all prey to tarnish. The same can be true of copper and brass jewelry components--even gold is vulnerable. Prevent tarnishing and color changes in your metals by storing them in anti-tarnish bags, organizers or with anti-tarnish strips.
  • Anti-Tarnish Organizers
    These water-tight organizers by ArtBin® contain tarnish inhibitors, molded right into the plastic dividers and designed to protect non-ferrous (iron-free) metals such as gold, silver, copper and brass for up to five years.
  • Anti-Tarnish Bags
    Anti-tarnish reclose able bags are coated on the inside. The coating neutralizes the effects of oxygen on silver, platinum and gold.
  • Anti-Tarnish Strips and Coating
    Make your storage safe for silver by adding Shine-On™ anti-tarnish paper to your organizers. Protect copper, brass and other metals by coating them with Jewelry Shield™.
Anti-Tarnish Bags and Organziers

#6--Tools Organization

You've got more tools than you know what to do with--you need a selection of tool organizers for your pliers, nippers, soldering irons and other jewelry-making tools. Here's a selection of organizers for jewelry-making hand tools:
  • Bead Storage Solutions
    The Tool and Spool Bin™ and the large Supply Bin™ let you put your big tools in the right spot.
  • Organizers and Stands
    Hold pliers, nippers, snips and more with workspace-ready acrylic and wood organizers.
  • Storage Organizers and Caddies
    Stackable wall organizers and mobile tool caddies offer a variety of drawer and pocket sizes for tools both big and small.
Organizers and Stands

#7--Stringing Materials Organization

You've got tons of cord and string and ribbon and thread--you're a fiber geek as well as being a bead lover. You can store them all without tangling, with some of these organizers:
  • Bead Storage Solutions
    Organize spools of Accu-Flex® and other stringing materials using the Tool and Spool Bin and the large Supply Bin™.
  • Boxes and Spools
    Keep spools of thread, cord, ribbon and beading wire right at hand. The Huggy Spool® lets you safely and securely coil loose stringing materials, then stores easily on a bar or in an organizer slot.

Are you a horizontal, vertical or mixed systems organizer? Do you need mobile organization for your life on the go? Do you have supplies that don't fit with your regular system and require specialty organizers? Once you know your organizational style, you can find or create a system that helps you create better and more efficiently.

Additional Resources ...