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Bead Mess

About this design:

I have been charged with abuse of beads, hence my term in bead prison. All the evidence is here in the picture (every box has beads or findings in it!). I've been sentenced to 30-days probation and community service - expected to sort and separate and return my workspace to a productive state. That's why it's all on the floor, so I can sort. Am I the only one this messy?

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Skittles mommy
    Skittles mommy says:

    Oddly, I want to come and help you! It looks like you have a lot of stuff and it would be fun to go through it all. Plus, I love organizational things. Do you use the compartmental boxes to store all your beads? I’ve been using baggies (snack size) and have them in a rolling cart organized by colors. Kinda like seeing how everyone else has theirs! Good luck and I’d offer to bake you a cake with a file, but all I do it bead! ;P

  2. Mommykat Bubbly Chick
    Mommykat Bubbly Chick says:

    Beads make the most beautiful messes!
    Oooh, I am in Beaders Prison too! :(

    Skittles Mommy, wow could I use an organizer- come on over ;)

  3. Beadlady3 aka Cindy
    Beadlady3 aka Cindy says:

    Heee heee! Yes, I use the compartment boxes, sorted by colors mostly. Gemstone Blues & greens, purples & pinks, black & white, red & orange, etc., then one for fwp and one for glass pearls. Same situation for glass beads (by color). One for sterling beads & findings, and several for base metals. A tub for wire, another for chain. When I get this prettied up I’ll take another picture.

  4. Mommykat Bubbly Chick
    Mommykat Bubbly Chick says:

    I am organized Alphabetically by gemstone, findings are all seperate, charms too. Shells & pearls each have their own containers, I obsess about the beads. Posted a pick this week called my desk is clean almost w/ picture of my beading area :D

  5. NY Bella
    NY Bella says:

    WOW! You really have a lot of stuff! I’m just starting out and already everything seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. I’m using plastic baggies and have one great big storage box, but I can see where I might be headed… My husband is starting to complain about ” beads, beads, everywhere”!

  6. Skittles mommy
    Skittles mommy says:

    I started using the compartment boxes for my beads; however, I kept reorganizing them as I got more beads. Then some beads were too large and ugh! Off to baggies. I use the compartment boxes for my findings and metal beads. Lorrie, I can’t believe you do your’s alphabetically. I am still learning the beads. I think it is so much fun to go to the stores and see them all, touch them, stare, and TRY to remember what they all are!

  7. Sonja
    Sonja says:

    Wow I love your bead prison…I live with my 87 yr old Grandpa and he won’t let me have any messes… I want some of those. I’m not ungrateful for sure but he bought me the big garage type Craftsman tool boxes from Sears and I need way more room lol… so he’s gonna have to let me go plastic ha ha ha!!! I love containers;) I want to come help too!!!

  8. Lynn g
    Lynn g says:

    Now that’s a great bead mess, I wish I could help but you should see mine eekkkk!!! I do use many types of containers, and sorted by color and name, but I really do not have a special room for them, so I usually have to haul things back and forth. Then my dining room table gets full, I clean up, and start over..

  9. No Photo
    LeighAnn F says:

    I use fishing tackle boxes and sort my beads by color of gemstones, fwp, swarovski, findings, ear ring findings, kazuri, vintaj, and what not. My desk has a cool lamp/magnifier that I purchased from OTT-LITE! Without that I would be lost. I like the idea of tackle boxes because they close really snug!!

  10. Sonja
    Sonja says:

    What do you ladies think about a tall office size four drawer type of file cabinet? I have one of those in storage and then I could alphabetize my beads and put my finished unsold items in the craftsman. Since my Gramps is sooo not having the containers! I just talked to him a bit ago about needing more space..that didn’t go over well;)

  11. Mommykat Bubbly Chick
    Mommykat Bubbly Chick says:

    Cheryl, just a tip- I find it easiest to label my beads right away as I unpack them, or organize them.

  12. Vampire Chickie Ravin
    Vampire Chickie Ravin says:

    Organization? Wazzat??? 8O This is my bead space and storage…The 3 tubs with the kitty on top is storage, the bed behind it where my dog Bella is hangin’ with my sleepy hubby is my workspace…lol


  13. Sonja
    Sonja says:

    Love it…!!!

  14. No Photo
    Shelby C says:

    Hmmm…if you can’t have plastic storage, Sonja, maybe a wood multi drawer cabinet would look acceptable. I store my gemstone strings by color hung from a horizontal bar in my work area. Loose beads are in the many little clear drawers of ‘parts’ cabinets. I need to see things or they are ‘out of sight, out of mind’. I constantly work to improve my system. Sighhhhh….

  15. Jade aka Caryn
    Jade aka Caryn says:

    I keep my beads nice and organized…..NOT. I have a small table that is covered with works in progress and beads I just don’t have a spot for. I have a small end table that I put shoe box size rubber maid containers in..1 for necklaces, 1 for bracelets and 1 for the “not good enough to sell” or future re dos. My actual bead stash sits on top of the end table with my wires an such in another container. I put my tools in a cupholder within arms reach. It is an organized mess that only a beader would appreciate!!!

  16. Sonja
    Sonja says:

    Wish Grandpa was a beader lol!!!

  17. Mommykat Bubbly Chick
    Mommykat Bubbly Chick says:

    But then you would have to share…. :P

  18. Lyric Chick aka Bev
    Lyric Chick aka Bev says:

    Like everyone else, I, too, have a zillion beads in a million little containers, tackle boxes, craft organizers, artist’s sketchboxes, etc, etc, etc, etc. I have beads EVERYWHERE… in the dining room, on the kitchen table, all over the office, on the fireplace hearth, in the magazine rack next to the sofa, in my jewelry chest (imagine that?), and…hubby’s favorite…stacked 2-foot high all over the coffee table. Hey, it’s got to be within reach if I’m going to bead. Besides…if I have to watch the Cowboys several times a week, I’m DUE compensation. As my BFF and I have said for years…she who dies with the most beads (fabrics, crafty things, whatever fits at the time)….WINS! We tease each other that we’re going to be the one to kick-off first and the other one gets the pleasure of cleaning out all the mess. ROFLMAO
    Sonja, what about a mechanics tall tool cabinet and put all the little plastic divider boxes in it. Maybe gramps would see it as more of a “guy” thing and accept it into his abode.

  19. Sonja
    Sonja says:

    Hey you have a point there!!! Great idea…I’ll have a chat with him about that one…love it!

  20. Beadlady3 aka Cindy
    Beadlady3 aka Cindy says:

    I feel so much better. Not because I’ve made any headway tonight (the Buckeyes are on!) – but because I am not alone! Love it! I downsized to a 2-bedroom apartment when I divorced, and couldn’t be happier, even though I miss my dedicated craft/computer room.

  21. No Photo
    Classy Chick JbyJill says:

    OH~~~I LOVE IT!! I want to show this picture to my husband!! Really, I don’t think it looks like a mess!! LOL

  22. Elaine aka Belly Chick
    Elaine aka Belly Chick says:

    Hehehe!!! All of these comments sounds like my life!!
    Cindy, I organize exactly the same way you do, by certain colors!! :-D

  23. karen blasdel
    karen blasdel says:

    I think every beader out there can relate to these pictures, in fact we should all post pictures of our beading space. The only way I organize is but glass bead, swarovskis, gemstones, etc…

  24. grama rose aka stormy
    grama rose aka stormy says:

    I think it would be cool if we all took pictures I can fill the whole page…I have 4 large boxcases pilled all the way up with tubs for each different bead,,3 rooling 3 drawer rooling plastic containers,2 tables one 5ft one 6fi just covered I work in a box size square on the table with my magnifying light also….boxes and tubs all over and that doesn’t count my made totes! I really need help…..:)

  25. No Photo
    EVE G says:

    This is just too good to be true, I thought I was the only one that had a messy work station.I have found a partial solution though. I found some (Drawerz Set of 36 stackable Tiny bins)On
    They are clear little tilt out drawers that you can stack. They look like those things guys use for nuts and bolts and nails and such.Item no. just in case.F4504

  26. Jade aka Caryn
    Jade aka Caryn says:

    Here are pics of my work station. It is described in my above post.

    Attachment Attachment

  27. Sonja
    Sonja says:

    I’m too scared to post lol

  28. Cj w aka Slacker Chick
    Cj w aka Slacker Chick says:

    I have a small craft closet and beading supplies take up 3 shelves. I also have a stack of different types of storage boxes near my computer table which doubles as my work space. When I want to watch a movie or TV I have a folding bed tray that I work off. I use different boxes for different types of beads, gemstone in clear, glass in white, seed beads in school pencil boxes, stringing materials in cigar boxes. I use photo boxes to store made jewelry.

  29. Beadlady3 aka Cindy
    Beadlady3 aka Cindy says:

    @Caryn – I love how there are cups around your workspace. I purposely didn’t include the top of my workdesk because you would all wonder how I could even string anything.

  30. No Photo
    Judith Ann Boyer says:

    My workspace is in my workout room! Beads all over the exercise machines! Just in case I want to workout!! Hahahaha (NOT)! OMG! This is to funny, Ravin you crack me up, and Caryn love the apples on your space… just in case you get hungry! :) I always have a snack near by just in case! I am with Cindy, my table is covered and I wonder how anything gets made!! :)

  31. Natures Precious Gems
    Natures Precious Gems says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. I was just talking to the owner at my LBS and asked her if she had beads at home and how she stored them. We all seem to be in the same dilemna. I have 2…(yes 2) 2 door storage shelves. Inside those I have all my beads, of which I have labeled (mostly). I have outgrown that and have a few on the floor and on my beading table. I store my beads in the garage containers with slide out drawers for nuts/bolts. My work table is a large drafting table of which always seems to be a hot mess! I seem to always have a tiny work space, which is driving me crazy. I find myself going thru the beads and thinking oh yea I had a plan for this and oh, I need to get those out so I can make that and those are pretty too I should really make something…so all over the table they go. I have the plastic drawer storage containers under the table that have my swarovski’s and pearls in plastic baggies. I would love to find a better way to organize them. My silver is all in plastic bags consolidated into 1 container. So happy to see that I am actually “normal”, now I just need to convince the husband! :) I’m not in prison yet…but fear I will be soon.

  32. Vampire Chickie Ravin
    Vampire Chickie Ravin says:

    Even though I don’t have alot of beads and such, I fear I’ll be in beading prison soon just for my lack of organizational skills, lol. ;)

  33. Chippy Chick aka Lindys
    Chippy Chick aka Lindys says:

    Good luck! I have a whole lot of those divided craft boxes marked by color. Then I have a whole lot of them with mixed beads. I do keep natural stones and glass, etc separated. My stash recently got out of control and I got tired of spending money on those boxes so I went to a local restruant supply warehouse and bought 4 oz clear plastic cups and lids to store my beads in (and they are inexpensive). They work great! You can easily see what’s in each cup, the lids fit tight and they stack great. You can get them in different sizes too!

  34. Vampire Chickie Ravin
    Vampire Chickie Ravin says:

    Oooooo….that’s a really good idea!!! How inexpensive? Cuz I’m on extremely limited funds right now, let’s just put it this way, I’m $400 away from an eviction notice, heh.

  35. Chippy Chick aka Lindys
    Chippy Chick aka Lindys says:

    Well, Ravin. A sleeve of 125 cups and lids cost me about $6.00.

    KPJEWELS says:

    Love how everyone stores their beads in so many different ways. LOL I use the small parts cabinets that I purchase from Canadian Tire. I use the spare closet at the front entrance and they stack very nicely along the walls and the beads are all stored according to colour. The gemstones in some of the cabinets, pearls in another, CZ’s in another,etc. and my pendants are in a smaller version of a parts cabinet. Works for me. I put a small slip of paper in each drawer with the name of the bead and the price so I can remember what each bead name is and to also keep on top of what I need to order next.

    At the moment, I have a dozen of these cabinets and apparently I need more because I keep procrastinating about putting beads away when they come in lately or maybe I should stop buying. LOL Now wouldn’t LB like that. NOT!!! I don’t have any pictures that I can post at the moment but maybe I will try to post one over the weekend if it will help anyone.

  37. Vampire Chickie Ravin
    Vampire Chickie Ravin says:

    Oooo! I am SO gonna be looking into that!!! Maybe I COULD actually get organized….the only risk would be my beloved hubby keeling over from a heart attack if I was actually oganized and could find everything without making a gawd awful mess! 8O

  38. Mommykat Bubbly Chick
    Mommykat Bubbly Chick says:

    I had to reread this! We all seen to struggle with how to store our beads, and there are some great ideas here.

  39. No Photo
    Faithful Chick aka Faith says:

    Whoa ladies. I’ll stop by and pick up what ya each don’t know what to put where. I’ll find a space. lol. Right now I’m going back through my old receipts labeling into plastic ziploc baggies and storing those into extra large ziploc plastic square storage containers with names for each bead. Trust me down the road when you only have this and that left you won’t remember when someone wants to know what the stone is in your jewelry. I have a 5ft folding table Ted bought me and everything is stacked for now across the back against the wall yet. Soon to buy some wooden or plastic crates from JoAnn Fabric to put on the floor beneat and across the back of the table so the stuff doesn’t fall over. lol. Well my stash has grown and I just don’t seem to have enough hours in life to get everything done. Oh retirement is so fulfilling.

  40. Gemme Designs
    Gemme Designs says:

    OMG, how I wish I had this problem, this would mean I have thousands of beads… which I don’t :(
    I always find it cool when someone says they “found” an awesome pendant or beads whatever, in their stash, I always know exactly what I have, no surprise find. When you have that much, it’s like shopping in your own supplies. But I know I would be an organisation freak, in such case, I would need everything labelled, accessible and organized, but then again it would be awesome fun to organize it all!!

  41. Gemme Designs
    Gemme Designs says:

    From reading everyone’s comments, I get a feeling there is good money to be made in patenting an organizational system especially designed for beaders!! :) There is a niche out there!! Hey LB are you listening? :) )))

  42. Joyce M
    Joyce M says:

    I don’t think there is a beader anywhere that can stay organized! Even with the best intentions, organization that’s been done can be destroyed in just one good day of playing! I can make a really pretty mess in no time if I’m really getting into creating! I’ve ususally got at least 5-6 different things going at once. And piles that looked pretty together all around that besides! I clean off my table when I run out of room to work!

  43. Puppy Love
    Puppy Love says:

    I have obsessed about the organization of beads, metal, findings, etc. I first organized them by name of th estone but then found that the stome had so many different colors, shapeds and sizes that it was taking too much time to find what i wanted. I finally after several attempts settled with organization by color since that was the first attribute that people usually ask for in a piece. I organized my findinds and chains by metal color. Some stone did not fit in any color category – obsessed about this for way to long!! I decided to organize them as multi-color with a range of color i.e., brown – green.
    I also have gone through many containers from fishing containers to tool organizers and now am using drawers on wheels for easy transport. Each drawer has a color and the beeds in the drawe are organized in clear containers purchased in either craft store or harbor freight. I will let you know how this works. I am still struggling with the organizaton and packing of completed items for transport when doing a show. I would welcome any ideas.

  44. Anita C aka PirateChick
    Anita C aka PirateChick says:

    As they say “misery” loves company – and having too many beads is certainly a “misery” I can live with :) . While my room looks extremely messy, I have FINALLY organized all of my beads (it took 3 months) of cataloging all of my beads on Excel spreadsheets by color, size and bead description as well as where I bought the beads (also included the cost and how many beads to help calculating how much my items actually cost me). Have put my beads in those small parts cabinets with all the little plastic drawers (I have 7 of the 39-drawer cabinets) and printed out the lists so I have a ready reference. Now am working on setting up a worktable so I don’t have to use the dining room table anymore and have my cat “help” me sort out the beads. I now insert my new beads in the listings so I don’t have a mountain of beads to sort again.

  45. Eeka Mouse
    Eeka Mouse says:

    I have found a cool thing to put your headpins in on the work-surface, so they are always at hand: one of those plastic 6-slot things you use to make home-made ice-pops. I can instantly grab a headpin of the color, gauge, and length I want…And it only cost $1 at the dollar store!
    I donated the ‘handle-lids’ as kitty toys. They are fun to bat around the floor.

  46. No Photo
    Deb D Grammy Chick says:

    That’s a very clever idea, Eeka! And inexpensive! One of the things I have found invaluable is a large cork bulletin board. I hang bead strands (my more unusual ones), larger items, and bags of beads so that I can see them easily. I also hang some of my works-in progress, earring findings, and what-ever else up there. It hangs above my beading desk within easy reach. My beading desk was another great find, a small computer desk with a shelf above the table that I bought for $5 at a “clearance” my dealership had for the employees when we moved into a new building. At the back of the table part, I have some baskets for storing wire, one for bags, and one that I store tools in and on around the edges. I have an old ammunition box a friend gave me that my husband built shelves in for storage, and that is hanging on the wall next to my cork board. My containers of seed beads hang on metal shish kabob skewers which I hung horizontally…very handy, because I can see all the colors, and just remove what I want from the skewer. The handle end hangs from one nail and the other end rests on another nail. I have clear plastic divided boxes stacked on the shelf of the desk, and recently bought a wooden shoe rack at 75% off to put on top of the shelf so that I didn’t have to have boxes stacked 5 or 6 high. I also have an old bookcase next to my desk for storage. I also divide by color, with my pearls, crystals, and glass beads in separate containers. I also put baskets and wooden cigar boxes to use for storage. It has taken quite a while to get to this point, but it does help me to stay organized and have less mess. My beading area is in a fairly small spare bedroom and shares the space with a large corner computer desk, large chest freezer, and some stacked storage containers. The computer chair works for both the computer desk and my beading desk. I hope some of my ideas can help the rest of you! :D

  47. No Photo
    MaryAnn o says:

    I think we all have a little of the mess in us. Its how we chose (or not choose ) to control it thats the issue. Good luck been there too

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