Organizing shaped and two-holed beads

Even professional beaders need to reorganize their stash occasionally!
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Bead&Button magazine has been around for almost 25 years, and we have collected a lot of beads since then. Keeping them organized was not too difficult at one time, because there were only a few shapes that we worked with. 

Then came the multi-hole and the shaped beads. There were only a few new ones at first, so it was still fairly easy to keep everything organized. But as the new beads increased, so did the disorganization! Our drawers were overflowing with all the different styles of shaped beads.

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STEP ONE: SORTING
Since January is Get Organized Month, I thought it was time to tackle those two-hole (and four-hole) beads. My first task was sorting. What a job that was! I didn’t realize we had more than 60 different multi-hole and shaped styles of beads in our offices. I have to admit, it was a bit overwhelming at first.
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STEP TWO: REPACKAGING AND LABELING
I repackaged many of the beads into smaller bags, and wrote the name and color (if I knew what it was) on the bag for future reference.
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STEP 3: TRAYS
Once all those beads were in their bags, I put the sorted beads into large and small trays. The small trays have anywhere from one to several different styles in them depending on the quantity of beads that we have on hand of each style.
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Beads with larger quantities were put into bigger trays. Now we have a fire-polished beads tray and a par Puca tray, among others.

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The trays are now all clearly marked and organized on shelves in our storeroom, and we can easily find the bead shape we're looking for. Now we’re ready and have room for all the new beads we’ll be working with in the next 25 years!

How do you organize your beads? We'd love to see pictures of your storage spaces; share them on our Facebook page!

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