Organizing. It’s a big, all-encompassing, scary word for some of us. Because some of us – and I’m not naming any names – aren’t that good at it. Or maybe it’s that I don’t know where to begin. But sometimes you just have to begin, and since it’s National Organization Month, I decided to dive in. One area that’s needed some big time help in my craft studio for quite awhile is my jewelry supplies.
I haven’t made jewelry in so long and there’s a very specific reason why:
When you have pathetic wads of supplies, cording, metal, etc. in plastic bags . . . it’s not good for anyone. It’s not conducive to making jewelry and honestly, I’ve just avoided the whole situation.
Hence, I haven’t made jewelry in years. So it was time to clean it up.
For this month’s Michaels Makers challenge, we tackled organization. Um, sign me up! I headed to Michaels with the very specific idea of organizing small jewelry items, and before my very eyes was this beauty:
Have you seen it? It’s the Creative Options Large Rack System – and it’s amazing. Without sounding too much like a commercial, I have to tell you about this thing . . it’s got bulk storage up top and three utility boxes – two deep and one standard. I don’t know about you, but it’s perfect for holding a wide variety of jewelry supplies. It holds my collection perfectly.
Check out some pictures:
It took me about 45 minutes to organize my entire jewelry stash. These are the steps I went through, and are (coincidentally) also my top five tips for organizing my jewelry supplies. Here’s what I did.
1. Decide on vertical or horizontal organization. This could go for any organizing, but people definitely have their strong opinions on how they want their jewelry to be organized. Some like trays that are stacked, but other people like to spread their trays out in drawers so they can see absolutely everything. For me, my craft studio is a huge warehouse with tall ceilings, so I always go vertical with storage. I’d rather use a stool to access shelves than spread it all out. That’s what drew me to the Creative Options container – it stacks your trays and works like a tool box, which I like.
2. Inventory your components and then purchase containers. All my stuff fits in my organizer, but you might find you need more organizers, or different trays, etc. Be mentally prepared to go back to the store a few times, because it’s HARD to inventory jewelry. There are a lot of pieces and parts. Do your best and at least take a peek at your supplies so you can get a general idea. You don’t want to leave the store with 5 containers when you need 30!
3. Make sure your containers have dividers. I thought I’d fill the small compartments right away and they wouldn’t be big enough. I was wrong. My Creative Options containers came with dividers and I could adjust to different sizes which I liked . . . and I need more small compartments than I thought. The dividers are key.
4. Organize by color, size, or type (or all three). This made the most sense to me. If you have a LOT of goodies, you might want to purchase a container for each color. For me, I have just enough jewelry supplies for the three containers, so I organized (at first) not by color and size but by type. Gold chains went together, cabochons, charms . . . if there were too many for a compartment, I’d divide them out by color and size. It worked great.
Oh, and if you do this, you’ll end up finishing at a different you start. You’ll end up combining compartments, adding more inserts – it’s part of the process!
5. Don’t be afraid to use tiny containers within larger containers. I did remove most items from their packaging, but some things (like certain chains) were left in their packages. Then you can also purchase (at Michaels) smaller 1″ containers that work great in larger compartments. This is where the multiple trips to the store could come in handy. Sometimes you just have to get started and see what you need.
So what do you think?
Inspired to organize your own space? Start the year off right! Michaels has tons of products and storage supplies that can be used to decorate and inspire creativity in any room of your house or office.
If you don’t know where to begin, you can always take a look at some of the fun storage projects on Michaels.com or the other 49 makers’ ideas on The Glue String for tips on designing, organizing and decorating their favorite places!