If you’re like me, you believe that you can never have too many beads. As a professional bead artist, my collection has steadily grown over the last ten years to the point where I had to set aside a room in my home just for my beads. While you may not have vast quantities of beads, there are a few things you can do to keep your stash organized. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find just the right bead to finish the project! Just remember that what works for someone else may not be right for you. The bottom line to getting and staying organized is to do what works for you.
Tubes are great for storing seed beads. In fact, most bead stores sell their smaller seed beads and cylinder beads in plastic tubes. Plastic tubes are also great for storing smaller gemstone and glass beads as well. They are easy to store and easy to pack when taking your beads on the road. But a word of caution: make sure that the tops remain firmly closed while traveling or storing. For loose-fitting caps, a small piece of clear tape can ensure that you won’t have little seed beads all over your favorite tote or in the bottom of the drawer.
Whole hanks, larger gemstone and glass beads and long strands of beads can be stored securely in plastic bags of all sizes. Plastic bags also work well for transporting these beads. Personally, I prefer not to put loose seed beads in plastic bags, as it tends to be difficult to get them in and out without spilling lots of beads everywhere.
Flip top boxes are a great way to store smaller quantities of seed beads, cylinder beads and crystals. They come in a range of sizes and there are even totes designed specifically for storing and taking your beads with you.
There are so many different types of organizer boxes and caddies available in craft stores that you will most likely find at least one type that works well for you. Some styles are made to fit into tote bags to make it easy to take your beads with you. Instead of looking in the bead department of a craft store, try the scrapbooking department.
Plastic storage rings are nice for bead storage because each individual compartment comes apart. They are great for storing several different kinds of beads for a single or multiple projects.
Tackle boxes aren't just for fishing gear anymore. Along with beading threads like Fireline and Power Pro, beaders have discovered that these storage boxes and soft-sided carriers are great for storing beads, supplies and tools. The carriers make it easy to take your beads with you, and the adjustable compartments in the plastic storage boxes make it easy to customize your storage.
Space saver jars are great for making the most of a limited amount of storage space. The clear plastic jars make it easy to see what's inside of them, and they are a great way to store larger beads.
These nifty little jars come in a wide range of sizes. Most have clear lids so that you can see what's inside of them. They make it easy to store and organize several different types and colors of beads, and they fit into a larger box to make the most of your limited storage space.