I bought a drawer storage chest for all my jewelry stuff a while back and I'd sort of just dumped everything in there because I didn't have the time to organize it. But today was to be the day! So here are some tips for organizing your jewelry gemstones, beads, charms, etc.

Drawer storage chest (available at most hardware stores)
Paper and tape or label paper
Pen or marker
Cardboard or dividers for the drawers
Small plastic containers or other (optional)

Most of my gemstones and beads were already sorted into little bags, so I didn't have to do too much actual sorting. Good luck if your's is one big mess ;)  My stuff was just dumped into the drawers.

Complete gemstone chaos
First, sort your stuff into groups. I sorted mine according to their gemstone type and some by size. Put all your really small beads and gemstones in small plastic containers as the dividers for the drawers aren't always completely level at the bottom. I got my plastic containers at a jewelry supply store here in Copenhagen, but Firemountaingems (US) or CJ Beaders (UK) carry a very nice selection.

Next, label your containers. I labelled mine with numbers that fit with my stock supply list, but you can write whatever :)

Labeling the amethyst gemstones in the plastic container
If you've used label paper, simply remove the label from the back sheet and stick it on your container. If you like me used regular paper, stick it on the plastic container with tape.

Labeled plastic container

Repeat this process until you've labelled all your plastic containers.

Next, place the larger gemstones and items in the drawers, using the dividers that (most likely) came with your  drawer storage chest. I ran out of dividers at one point and simply made my own out of thick cardboard. Label if necessary.

Labeled gemstones in drawer
Full jewelry drawer
If you plan to store silver or gold items in your drawers, remember that they will wear over time if they are not kept away from air, so put your charms, earrings and more in little plastic bags and seal tight. You can label these with a magic marker.

Gold and silver jewelry findings stored in small plastic bags
I like having a nice overview of all the small charms, o-rings and other stuff I have, so I keep most of my gold and silver findings in a see-through storage box. I got mine on eBay, but Firemountaingems has a nice selection of these.

Gold and silver findings organized in see-through storage box
When you're all done sorting your items, cut out labels to stick to the front of the drawers. This way you can quickly find what you're looking for. Again, I had no labels, so I used paper and tape.

Writing labels in a wonderful mix of Danish and English
When you've finished all the labels, stick them on to the drawers, and you're done with your new jewelry storage drawer chest!

Here are some other tips for organizing your beads and findings:

I have a looot of swarovski beads, so I've chosen to group these in these brilliant Beadalon Stacking Containers. I've stuck labels with the color name at the bottom of these.

Swarovski in Beadalon Stacking Containers
I also have a lot of tools for making jewelry. I've organized these in these really cool (but expensive) plastic organizers from the Swedish company Ordning & Reda. The tall ones contain all my pliers, mandrels (most of which are home made by the way - just buy some smooth mandrels from your hardware store and label them with diameter size!), jewelry hammers, etc. I store all the rest like glue, jig, polishing cloth, etc. in the wider ones.

Organized jewelry tools
My organized jewelry closet!
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