As the year wraps up I like to start looking towards the future and to begin planning projects I would like to create before spring. I always start this process by taking some time to put away the ransacked holiday supplies, to categorize and reorganize my beads, and make an up-to-date mental “inventory” of my bead stash. Once I have everything sorted I like to switch out my bead boxes and flip the color palettes from the dark and dramatic colors of winter to the pastels and brighter beads suitable for early spring. My favorite storage solution are the 11×7.5 inch Medium Utility Boxes.
I have several of these boxes that I often organize by color or by theme so when I want to make something in tranquil blues and greens I have everything ready to go.
The next part of my cleaning and reorganizing process is to go through my precious metal stash. First, I clean up the mess left by all those last minute holiday gift making sessions. Once organized in the storage box, I single out any sterling items that are starting to tarnish and give them a good polishing to restore their shine. I prefer to use the Pro Polish pads or the Brilliant polishing cloth to clean my findings.
Once I have the sterling findings clean, I pack like items into small storage bags to protect them from further exposure to the air. This keeps the tarnish at bay. Lastly, for an extra step of prevention I add Anti-Tarnish Tabs to the little bags. The Anti-Tarnish Tabs help prevent tarnish for up to 6 months.
The last step in my end of the year reorganization ritual is to store and protect all my new strung jewelry. For many years I used to hang my necklaces up on a hook until a co-worker shared this really great tip with me. Instead of hanging the necklaces place them into a plastic zip lock bag and store them flat in drawer. When you hang your jewelry gravity constantly pulls on the necklace and over the years it can cause the necklace to stretch or create fatigue in the stringing wire near the clasp. Laying it down alleviates any unnecessary stress on the jewelry.
Storing the jewelry in air tight bags also helps keep the metals from tarnishing prematurely. Just like in my box of sterling findings, I add Anti-Tarnish Tabs into these jewelry storage bags to keep the sterling bright and ready to wear. Once I have several bags stacked in my drawer I may even stash the more holiday appropriate pieces in the back and bring forward pieces I like to wear in the upcoming months.
I know this may seem a little fanatical and too organized for some people. At my core I am a messy creative person, so this practice was very foreign to me at first. However, over the years I have found this exercise in organization provided a nice break and the opportunity to enjoy a moment of calmness. A few hours of sorting is an excellent excuse to enjoy some much needed “me time” after a hectic and demanding holiday season. Lastly, this little bit of organization really helps me prepare so when the mood strikes to design I am ready to jump all in. I don’t have to fight my stash or wade through a mix of beads to find what I need to start my project. Everything is already at my fingertips and is ready to be part of my next fabulous creation.
Happy Tuesday! – Rebecca