I received the following email from M.D.:
"I remember clearly that I read somewhere you had back problems and had to stay in bed because of that. Nevertheless it didn't keep you from making jewelry. I am facing the same situation. I am not looking forward to it but the worst thing is ... I can't do without making jewelry! Do you have any ANY suggestions for me concerning how you organized your stuff so you could keep working? "
Here is an excerpt of my answer:
This is how I organize my beads: I have hundreds of tiny plastic containers to stash my beads (about 1 to 2 inches wide). Each type of bead goes into one little box. Then I organize all the boxes by bead color into shallow drawers.
This helped me when I was ill because it allowed me to select a bunch of tiny bead boxes I needed for a specific project, and put them with wire and pliers in a small plastic flat tray or tool box. This box went with me to bed. I literally made jewelry flat on my back.
After I recovered, I kept the habit: before starting a project, I place a few pliers, cutter, a few rolls of wire and bunch of tiny boxes of beads in a small plastic tool box. I can then take this with to the beach or to a coffee shop, or even to a waiting room, at a doctor's appt or car wash. It's a type of portability that I like very much.
Any tiny pieces of wire or leftover beads go straight into the tool box. When I'm ready to start a new project, just use the leftover wires from the previous project and switch the little tiny boxes for different ones. After two or three projects, I clean up the tool box, removing any wires too small to be used again.
As you can see, I also label each box with a sticker including the cost of each strand, the cost of an individual bead, day of purchase and supplier. That makes it also very easy to calculate the cost of a piece of jewelry.
You can find these tiny boxes at Gary Packaging.