One of the biggest things I did when I got my bead room organized was to put all my beads into tubes and then placed the tubes into large plastic zip-top baggies. That done, I then hung up a clean, new clear plastic shoe holder with the expandable pouches. I then placed my tidily organized tubes of beads in their bags into the pockets of the shoe holder - all the blues together, all the teals together, all the greens, etc., like that.
Lovely to look at, but it was one great big bead creativity mistake. My beads were in jail and behind so many layers of plastic, I really couldn't "commune" with them at all.
My tubes and bags of beads used to reside in a drawer next to my work table. When I wanted to make something, I would pull the drawer out of the rolling rack, place it on my table or lap and commence to root around, looking for various colors. More often than not, I would end up finding more than I had gone after including the beads for a focal I'd been eyeballing, the perfect colors for a bracelet I'd been planing, a wonderful shade for the fringe on a pin I wanted to make. I'm sure you've experienced the same thing.
However, since I usually ended up with lots of bead piles on my workbench and on the floor, I decided that this must be bad. It went against my "orderly" instincts, so I figured that having all my beads in color-order in a hang up case would be much "tidier." Well, it was, but it pretty much put my creative fun on serious hold.
While I was happy to have my beads stored securely in their tubes, up on the wall where I could see them, it also proved to be the undoing of my creativity. Handling the tubes, seeing the colors and digging around made me really examine each bead color, and doing that made me see these colors in a different setting. Having the bead colors at hand, as they had been when they were in the drawer, worked as a sort of color muse for me. By bagging up my colors into bags, I was effectively locking up my muse.
Now, I'm using a different organizational method. For my regular round seed beads, size 11/0 and my Delica beads, I use the Bead Pavilion units from Sova Enterprises. I love these shelves and have been very happy with the combination of keeping order and of allowing me access to my beads. I use the 3" tubes, and since most hanks of seed beads have far more than a 3" tube's worth of beads, I keep an "overflow" box put away. I make a little mark on the bottom of the tube to let me know I have more in storage, and just keep a representative amount of the beads at hand. This way, I can see them, pull then out of the racks, match them up , etc. Using these smaller tubes, I can fit about half of my color stock flat on my desk, out where I can see the colors and make my various bead "mash up" combinations. Plus, it takes all of 2 minutes to put everything back in the racks. It's a perfect method for me.
So I've learned my lesson - don't abuse your Muse. It is not so important that we be organized when we create as it is to be able to flow with ideas, colors, surface treatments and texture. Sometimes proximity to the medium (beads, in our case) is better for our creative urge that a tidy, organized work area is. So grab the beads, look at the colors, root around and stir things up! And while you're doing that, relax, have fun, and create something beautiful!