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Sharyl of Sharyl’s Jewelry had the most wonderful idea for a blog hop.  We would come together to share the chore of cleaning up and fixing up our work spaces.  She was very open – it could be cleaning up your whole area, one organizing project, or decorating if the place is already organized.  Anything to make your space nicer and more conducive to creativity.

I have done this many times.  Unfortunately,  I always regress back to messiness of the most design-blocking kind.  I considered doing a blog post about it before, but I thought, “How can I ever show this mess in public?” Then along came Happy Mango Beads‘ Messiest Bead Table contest.  I decided to take a picture and enter it, so my secret is out.  And you know what I found out?  Many, many people have bead tables as messy or messier than mine!


My bead table on January 5, 2014

Horrendous, right?  Seeing this photo spurred me to start finding a way to really organize my stuff, not just clean it up, mess it up and repeat the cycle ad nauseam.  The root of the problem is that I had long outgrown my bead storage.  No wonder I never put things away; they had nowhere to go.  In addition, I had been purchasing new tools and new stringing materials.  I needed a way to store all this, and I didn’t want it to cost a lot of money.  I noticed that my workplace has an abundant supply of smallish, relatively shallow boxes.  I’ve informed co-workers to save them for me.  A few appear in my office every week. Although some people seem confused about why I need so many for “just beads,” I know you understand.


Separating things into boxes by artist, bead type or material will make it easier to find things when I’m designing.  Getting really organized will be a long term project, so I have some larger boxes as an interim mix of beads that I will separate further as I refine my organization and get more boxes.  I will eventually make nicer labels or even get nicer boxes.  However, I know trying to make things “perfect” can impair the flow of getting things done. Good enough is good enough, and it moves me forward to organized.


I want to give away some of my paper craft supplies I’m not using and donate more books to the Little Free Libraries so I can make space for things I do currently use.  After that, I’m going to get some bunting and little lights like in this room to make my space even more cheerful.  I’ll have to think of a really fabulous reward for when I do bigger projects such as put up pegboard like in Erin Siegel’s studio.  Maybe beads!

I still have a lot more to do, but I feel really good about the progress I’ve made and the fact that I can now create at my bead table.  I actually found a real home for everything that had been piled on the table.  I took a tip from the Fusion Beads Blog to keep containers on the table for things that need to be put away, so I have the green and silver bowls for that.  I have a garbage can under the table to throw away bits I’m not keeping.  The pink box has a lift out separated tray; it is for my current work in progress in case I want to take it downstairs or on a trip.


The same table as in the first picture – clean!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the start of my craft room transformation.  If you have any good tips for organizing, decorating or staying organized, please share in the comments.  Then hop around to see what the other participants, below, have done.  And thank you Sharyl for this wonderful idea!

Host: Sharyl McMillian-Nelson … http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com

Donna Millard http://fyrebeadz.blogspot.com/

Beda Hendrix … https://www.facebook.com/SasijuhlsThings

Ann Schroederhttp://www.beadlove.wordpress.comYou are here

Pamela Rachelle… http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com

Kristin L Oppold… http://www.yayjewelry.blogspot.com

Heidi Kingman … http://heidikingman.blogspot.com

Andi … http://strungoutjewelry.blogspot.com/

Patricia Buchanan Click “Blog” on the menu bar at http://www.braceletstoo.artfire.com

Helen Simon… http://helensharvest.com/

Kashmira … http://sadafulee.blogspot.com/

somethingunique … http://somethinguniquebylana.blogspot.ca/

Renetha … http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com

Kathy Lindemer … http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com

Swapna Dinesh … http://www.swardaa.com

Linda Landig … http://lindalandig.wordpress.com/

Beti Horvath … http://stringingfool.blogspot.com/

Sam S … http://samsbeadshopandjewelry.blogspot.com/

Christina Miles … http://wingsnscales.blogspot.com/

Islandgirl … http://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.ca/

macmillanmarie … http://www.macmillanmarie.blogspot.com

Emma Todd … http://www.apolymerpenchant.com

Neena Shilvock …  http://www.capriliciousjewellery.com/the-caprilicious-jewellery-blog.html

Dee Clark… http://biz-e-bead.blogspot.com/

motidana … http://kalaabhushan.blogspot.com/

Here Bead Dragons … http://beaddragons.blogspot.com/

Carol D. … http://dillmansdallies.blogspot.com/

Pam Sears … http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com/

Nan Smith … http://wirednan.blogspot.ca

AliMc … http://northwoodscreativestudio.blogspot.com

Kari Asbury … http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com

Shirley Moore … http://www.beadsandbread.blogspot.com

PyxeeStyx … http://travelingsideshow.blogspot.com/

Jayne Capps … https://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com

Louann Elwell… https://plus.google.com/117746558861718110652/posts

Rain … http://honeyandollie.com/

Lori Bergmann … http://www.LoriBergmann.blogspot.com

Helen Simon… http://helensharvest.blogspot.com/

Arlene Dean … http://aglassbash.blogspot.com

Sandra… http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.de/

Alicia … http://www.allprettythings.ca

Natalie Pappas …  http://blog.nkpdesigns.com/