My jump ring collection has mushroomed. (FWIW, I do NOT make chain maille). Originally they were just in plastic bags. But I am way beyond where that works. I don’t want to weed through a bunch of bags when I may only need one of that size and finish, and perhaps that size does not work, and then I have to put it back.
Ideally when I am working in one finish (like antique brass) I want to have all sizes and gauges ready to choose, so I don’t waste time hunting (or ordering a size I already have). I keep all components in each finish in a tray. I’d been using little plastic gem vials with lids, in the tray. But I could easily use up half the tray with vials of jump rings. So space is an issue. Then I started MAKING tiny little rectangular trays out of post cards with dividers that would hold, say, 4 sizes of oval jump rings of a given gauge in that finish.
Except I outgrew that too. Conservatively speaking, I probably have 20 sizes / styles of sterling, 10 sizes / styles of white plate, 25 sizes / styles of copper, etc. I do NOT want to be opening bags or drawers. I have ADHD and need to see it all in front of me.
I need something where I can see all of them in each finish at a glance. Keeping all components of the same finish in a shallow tray works for me, because when I move from one finish to a different one, I just pick up the whole tray and put it back on the shelf. I am also extremely nearsighted, and have to work with glasses off. Having everything I need for one finish at the same focal distance means I don’t constantly have to take my glasses on and off.
Before I reinvent the wheel, tell me if there is a system I am overlooking. I look forward to hearing your ideas. Thank you!