I’ve been writing a little series of blog posts all about bead storage and organisation. Why is that?…well, because you asked me to!
So, I’ve already given you some advice about finding the perfect bead storage solution for you (everyone is different, by the way).
I have also talked about the three most important things to look for when you’re choosing bead storage. (You can find both these blogs here).
So, today, I want to talk about putting together great bead storage and organisation when you’re on a tight budget. I mean, you don’t want to spend too many precious pennies on storage when you could spend them on beads, now do you?
Free bead storage and organisation
Yes, you did read that right. Let’s start with what you can get for free.
Well, you’re a creative person. So, start by looking around you. What can you see in your own home, right now, that you could turn into bead storage?
Recycling and Re-using
Let me start with one of my favourite options: recycling. Instead of throwing away those old food containers, how about you go green?
In the photo above, the pot on the left is a CoYo Yogurt carton. Now, I have a portion of yogurt every single day. That size of carton holds four portions. So, that’s two new bead storage pots every week – for free!
You’ve probably got loads of pots that you throw away, but could re-use. You just need to get creative before you turn to the trash can or recycling bin.
Then, there are all the little grip seal bags and tubes that your beads arrive in when you buy them. Do you keep your bags and tubes? I do. So, I can use them again for storing beads. Or maybe as temporary storage to carry back and forth to bead groups or take on vacation.
After all, it’s much easier to pack a small bag or tube with a few beads, than carry around a 100g container!
Charity Shops, Thrift Stores and the Pound Shop
…or, if you live in the US, it might be the 99c store. I’m sure we all have some sort of variation on this. These stores stock a huge range of random supplies, all for just £1 or $1 or whatever.
They are full of brilliant items you can use for bead storage and organisation. You just have to see the potential…and grab it! Yes, because the stock in these stores usually has a short shelf life. It might not be available for a long period of time. So, if you see something that could work, grab it there and then.
The same goes for charity shops. Remember that old saying, ‘one man’s junk is another man’s treasure’… Well, you never know what you might find if you pop in your local charity shop.
The pot on the right in the photo below came from a friend. She had a whole stash of them, was moving house and about to take them to the charity shop. But wait…they have screw tops, they’re clear and they’re a great size for storing little packs of beads!
Storing your storage…
Hopefully by now, you’re getting the picture. Anything is fair game if you can keep beads in it.
I should probably remind you about the three most important things to consider when you’re choosing your storage though…
- does it fasten securely?
- can you see what’s inside it?
- is it practical to use?
I explained more about that in this blog, so check it out if you need to.
The thing is, you may have found homes for all your beads, but where do you store that storage?
I’m about to give you a sneak peek into my own bead storage and organisation… Although I think that might be better expressed as dis-organisation! You’ll see what I mean…
Larger pots to store the smaller bags
So, you can see, my bead storage and organisation system focuses around using recycled grip seal bags and tubes (or the original packaging from the bead shops), that I can then pop into larger pots or tubs that I’ve recycled from elsewhere.
That works really well, but there are also occasion where you need slightly larger boxes. So, in this case, I find myself turning to the Really Useful Box company. In my opinion, you can’t beat them for convenience and solid performance!
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You can get boxes that stack in special units, so they work like drawers. Or buy individual boxes in different sizes and shapes. So, really it’s all about working out what beads you have and what size of box you need.
In my case, my bead storage and organisation is best described as organised chaos. See what I mean…
Seriously, though, I can put my hands on anything I need really quickly. I have all the beads of one type (eg size 11 delicas or AVA beads, or Piggy beads) in a single – or multiple pots. So, each colour within is in its own separate bag.
All my pots are labelled. So, I can see what I have in each and grab the pot I need, then hunt in it for the colour I want.
It works for me!
My pots all stack inside the cupboard unit I have and the door closes so I’m not looking at this (dis)-organisation all the time!
It could be better, but hey, who wants perfect? Actually, speaking of that – I did try and write a whole post about perfect bead storage (naturally very theoretical!), which you can find here >>
Don’t forget this. Seriously this is about bead storage and organisation. So, the organisation comes from the labelling – or it does in my case!
You might have loads of lovely neat storage containers with all your beads carefully organised in colour order, not quite the organised chaos of my system.
But you still need labels!
You need to know the bead size, the brand or manufacturer, the colour and the shop where you bought them. That level of organisation will make it so easy to re-stock whenever you run out of beads. Or, find just the right bead when you start on your new project.
So, whatever bead storage and organisation system works for you, don’t slack on the labels – you’ll thank me for that advice sooner or later!
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And don’t forget, if you’ve got a more perfect bead storage and organisation system than me, share it with us all in the comments below!