Orderly disorder.

I thought I’d share with you my inventory system.

For years I just put all the jewelry I made into little bags and popped them in a drawer until I sold them.

This worked well until I started to drown in finished jewelry pieces and found myself becoming more and more fraught with anxiety each time I sold something and couldn’t immediately put my hands on it.

It didn’t help that I wasn’t always good at following the drawer rule either.

Sometimes I’d find the pieces in other places.

Just laying around.

Mocking me.

I’ve always worked, (and lived really), in a chaotic mess which has never really bothered me except that sometimes the idea of running a business just really brings out the nerd in me.

I mean I love Office Depot for instance.

All those organizing things under one roof.

 It’s just unfortunate that Ms Chaos runs rings around Order every time I decide to sort myself out..

But now I have the perfect system.

For me anyway.

Prepare to get your nerd on…

… and your baggies out.

And the sticky labels…


This is only for those of us who don’t know what the hell they’re doing.

For all you other people who already know what you’re doing this will probably have you either in stitches or you’ll lose your eyeballs in the back of your head.

You have been warned…

I break down all of my items into codes as such.

Necklaces with Cabochons = NC

Necklace without Cabochons = NS because they’re typically just made with silver.

And so on.

Earrings = EC and ES

Bracelets = BC and BS

Rings = RC and RS

Then I add their numbers after this code and stick it onto individual appropriate sized bags.

Like so.





I then use a larger bag to hold up to ten pieces of jewelry.

This bag gets its own label.

NC1 – 10

NC11 – 20

NC21 – 30

Into which I put the corresponding items.

The good thing about this is that I can then store them in bag order in the drawer and so when I sell item NC26, for instance, I can put my hands on it straight away.

To encourage me to remember to do all of this I have a set of numbered bags ready and waiting in a little box on my work table.

When I finish a piece I put it straight in its pre-labeled bag, then I just take the box inside and list the pieces that are in it.

It may sound simple.

You may already do this.

You may have a better system.

But to me, this is heaven on a sticky label.

Here are the cabochons waiting for their turn.

I then have a simple spread sheet that I made on my computer which has this code number on it, where I have it listed, i.e., Etsy or my Website, the item name, how much it is, and finally a box in which I can mark off when and also where I sold it.

i.e. √E = Etsy

√F = Facebook

√I = Instagram


This one is for the earrings.

Don’t ask me what the P is for…

Just goes to show. You can take a horse to water….

Maybe it’s a private sale?

We may never know…

So there you have it.

Of course you have to follow through with all the putting things in baggies and remembering to put the code in the item’s title when you list it on Etsy, etc., although I noticed that now Etsy has a new box for putting in your SKU number when you list something so that should make life easier.

O.K. so don’t laugh that it’s taken me this long to figure things out.

I didn’t know I was going to make so much stuff.

Not my fault…

Of course I don’t have any system whatsoever for keeping track of materials etc.

I suppose I’ll be saving that little project for another decade.

12 thoughts on “Orderly disorder.

  1. I’m impressed! Seems perfect–very simple but very orderly. The best kind of system! Good to keep the metal stored away from air too, tarnish-wise, I understand. What did we ever do before ziplock baggies?

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      Right! I love them.

  2. Mary B

    I’m very proud of you. I like what you did to organize your pieces that are finished. I kind of have the same problem. I have a system where I have different numbers for each group; bracelets, earrings, necklaces, etc but don’t have them stored like you do. I have to go through all of them to find something. I will have to do something like you did.

    I made a spread sheet for items I buy with the item name, the company & item number, date of purchase, how many pieces, the total cost and the cost per piece. I also have a column of “pieces I use” when I make an item, which subtracts from the total pieces. That helps me when I start getting low on something.

    And I thought I was a nerd:-)

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      lol I’m going to have to keep track of my materials. I am good at keeping track of what I spend, but not anything more than that.

  3. Great idea! Thanks!

  4. ceciliarobinsonza

    Hi Deborah, nice to see you being so productive and organised and generally doing better! Keeping your jewellery in baggies have the added advantage of keeping them from tarnishing. I have made some display stands to keep my jewellery on as I have people coming to my house to buy (here in SA we cannot use Etsy as the courier costs are too high) and I also have a collection on display stands at a shop nearby, and my pet
    hate is having to keep it clean. I have now at last received some Renaisance wax from the US and I hope that will help with the tarnishing. Do you have any good tips as far as that is concerned? Xxx Cecilia

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      That’s too bad about Etsy. It doesn’t seem fair to be so limited. Cecilia, if you ever want something shipped to you. Supplies, etc., just ask. I will get them for you 🙂 [email protected]

  5. That is an excellent idea. beautifully explained and rather helpful.
    If I thought I could manage it, I would adopt it. (I have yet to embrace my LittleMissChaos, but have never been home to LittleMissOrganised)
    Note to self – must try harder 😉

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      🙂 I had those books. My sister has a mug or two. Good times…

  6. ceciliarobinsonza

    Thanks for your offer, Deborah. I do have a brother who lives in Virginia Beach and I have started ordering things from Rio and even stones from India, which I have shipped to him. He comes to SA every few months and then bring my things. Did I mention that we also do not have a postal service to speak off. But we manage 🙂

    • coldfeetstudioblog


  7. Hello Cecilia. I have some 3M anti tarnish tabs that are like magic at preventing oxidisation. I get mine from Palmer Metals in the UK https://www.palmermetals.co.uk/shop/intercept-technology-anti-tarnish-products.html and cut them into quarters to put with the stuff I buy that I shan’t be using for a while (like premade chains, butterfly backs etc).
    I also have them in my own ‘wearing’ jewellery box, and they work a treat.
    I also sourced some anti tarnish really useful boxes recently (again from the UK) http://www.storage4crafts.co.uk/shop/index.php/catalogsearch/result/?cat=&q=anti to keep the items I make that are ready for sale. These are fabulous – I can’t recommend them highly enough!!

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