Since everyone is too sick to function, I've been occupying the down time with doing little jobs I find too menial when I'm running full speed. One of those tasks is getting my embellishments under control.
About three years ago I sorted my goodies by color family; this suits the way my brain works to a T. When I create projects I think, "wouldn't a little red something look nice here" not, "Wouldn't the newest Prima look cute" and I found this approach has me using my stash, old and new, more efficiently.
But, an organizing system is only as good as it's upkeep and I'd developed a bad case of ziploc-bagitis. Between prizes, shopping and de-kitting, the piles and baggies were multiplying- it was due time to sort my stuff.
The first step was looking at the current system and deciding what worked and what didn't. In general it worked well except having one box for black/white/metal/clear and another for brown/cream was too confusing. A lot of products overlapped. So I made two neutral boxes, one for fibers and another for everything else.
Step Two was to gather up all the baggies and piles and sort them by color.
Step Three, the eternal step, was to wrap ribbon onto chipboard ( I cut the back of a notepad into strips), sort eyelets, brads, buttons etc and to put them away in fishing tackle boxes. I bought my boxes at Cabelas ( a sporting goods store) for $2.95 each and the dividers are repositionable. Here's the results:
The one downside of this system is that it is hard to remember the brand of your products, information you need when submitting work for publication. My work around is that I almost always buy the same brand of staple products ( like brads or flowers) and for something unusual I can either label it with a small piece of masking tape in the compartment or like this:
See the bow there? I had tied it for a card and didn't like how it overwhelmed the design. Not one to want to tie a bow twice, I just attached it to my chipboard strip and it's ready for when I need it.
If you have kids in your life, they will enjoy helping you sort. Even my big boys enjoyed taming a pile of stuff in the middle of the table into manageable groups.
Hope this gave you some ideas on managing your craft supplies. These containers are cheap, stackable, light weight, easy to bring with you and adaptable to your needs. I highly recommend them.