Heather Pyle of the blog My Muse http://aquariart-chocoholic.blogspot.com/ posted a contest with the question How do you organize your supplies? The prize is a fabulous pair of beads.
I work a short note in reply this morning, but wanted to expand on my thoughts.
I've been working for the last few years to find a way to organize my beads. I work primarily with seed beads. At first, I had the seed beads organized by size in plastic boxes. The boxes were labeled with the size, and I kept the boxes in a rolling cart in my work room. This didn't work. Every time I went to complete a project, I had to go through several of the boxes before I hit the size of beads that I needed in the color tone I wanted. The beads were in their original containers - long and short tubes, tic tac boxes etc., and I really couldn't get them to be neat. Last year, I moved everything out of the tubes, etc. that they came in and organized by color. I took the beads out of their original containers and put them in 4mml zip top bags that I labeled with size and supplier. Didn't work. I had to go through each color to find the sizes I needed. I now have my seed beads in hardware store containers that have 8 drawers across and 8 drawers down. The beads are still in their zip top bags that I converted to last year Row one goes vertically by size with size 15 beads in the first row. The horizantal rows are organized by color, white first, with sizes ranging from 15 to six across . Works!!!!! I have two of these bins. They are on a ledge in my work room and I can get at the bins easilyThe rest of the beads, are still being put in zip top bags if I have several - labeled with size and where I purchased the beads. Drops, cubes pearls, crystals and bugles will go in their own bozes. Larger beads and random beads will still be stored by color in large flat fishing tackle boxes. I can pull the tops off of these and line them up so I can see what I have. When things are a bit neater, I will take pictures.