The big question of the hour (for me anyway!) is bead storage. I've got a ton of beads in every color, shape and size imaginable, and they are split between divider boxes, baggies stacked in plastic bins, a portable case that I pulled the divider boxes out of and just threw baggies of beads into it, a cart with three drawers for my JellyPin supplies, tools and miscellaneous jewelry supplies, and... oh yeah there's that shelf in the corner that's loaded with supplies.
Somedays I wonder if I just have too many supplies... in fact I have a donation box going that will go to my local art association once it's full. But then I find myself at a bead store again and fight (with myself) about whether I should get those amazing and inspiring beads or just try to find something good enough in the piles I already have.
I know I'm not alone here... I've seen many posts about various thoughts on storage and sorting, even organizing beads in a manner that also displays them. But still, I haven't found something that would work for me.
Here are the problems I seem to run into every time:
1. It doesn't accomodate different quantities of beads - most of my beads might fit in the little containers but then I have several giant bags of beads to contend with. Some sort of modular-ness is crucial.
2. I really want all of my beads in one place... or at least one type of storage system. I'd also like them all to be easily visible when I go looking for something.
3. The system should, ideally, be portable. My favorite idea is that I somehow coax all of my beads into a single portable unit, but I'd settle for 2 or 3 identical units which are all individually portable.
4. Ease of use is a big factor, if it's a huge pain to get the beads in and out of the containers, I'm far less likely to put them away immediately. Then when I go to make JellyPins I have a mammoth of a mess on my desk to clean up first.
5. I'd like it to be durable, so that I don't destroy it within a few uses. I've had plenty of bags and tubes that I tear or somehow break, and if the containers are specific to the storage system, that can be problematic.
6. Absolutely, must be stored in crystal clear containers. Nothing frosted or colored or have words or labels over the area the beads are in. I'm minimalist even among my thousands upon thousands of beads, so I like a system that is not too busy and that I can easily see my beads.
7. Fussiness always gets me and I kind of addressed this in #4 talking about the containers, but in this case I mean the overall system. My storage bag has a nifty front-open feature, and a zipper on the top, and velcro, and several pockets that if you open the top or the front zipper, whatever is in them is probably going to fall out. I wasn't able to store some of the things I wanted to in the mesh pockets because bits would get stuck on the mesh and not go in the whole way or not come back out. It needs to be super quick, easy and slick to maneuver the unit and get items in and out of it.
I should probably give up and invent something myself...In addition to everything I've said, are there other features or considerations you think should be addressed in a storage system?