Inventorying Your Supplies
by Judy Larson
Many of us want a clean work surface to start the new year so we start to clean and organize our work area and supplies, which can be a daunting task.  
There are many computer programs available geared to jewelry artisans to help organize and keep track of supplies, costs, vendors, pricing, etc. If you are in business, or plan to go into business, these programs can be a lifesaver, especially when it comes to tax time and you need accurate numbers.   

However, some of us just need a very easy way to keep track of our few and sometimes not very varied supplies and we want it on paper in front of us. It is not that we don't want to use a computer program, there is just not really a need for it for us. Sometimes, simple is better. 
Do you know what you have on hand in supplies? Over the holidays I made and gave away a LOT of jewelry and used up a lot of my sheet and wire. I don't keep super close track of what I have on hand and what I may need to replace. I also don't keep close track of costs since I am not in business. However, I do loosely keep track so I don't run out of wire or sheet I use most often. Nobody wants to be caught in the middle of a project, run out of something, and then wait for the order to arrive at your door. By then, your mojo may be gone and you are on to another project. 

In the past I used to (OK, I still do) get sidetracked with having fun creating and forget to subtract what I used from what I started with. Now, once a month or so I update my inventory sheets to let me know where I may be running low, erasing the old numbers, changing to what is left. That way, when sales happen, I know what I should order. Inventory sheets, kept in plastic sleeves and stored with my sheet and wire, also give me an idea of what I use most of and most often.   
Since I keep all my wire separated by type in the drawers of an antique sewing spool cabinet and not by type and gauge, which many people do), it can be difficult to know what is there. That's especially true with base metals, which I have more of than precious metal. My base metal sheet would be too bulky to store in the drawers and is stored in a large pull out bin in my work desk. All the base metal wire is crammed in cabinet drawers. Without an inventory sheet I would not know what I have on hand, other than A LOT OF WIRE. My Argentium silver and gold-filled wire and sheet each have a drawer. It is easy for me to store sheet with the wire because I only order it in smaller easy to store pieces. 
Judy Larson's Inventorying Your Supplies - , General Education, , inventorying your supplies
Judy Larson's Inventorying Your Supplies - , General Education, , inventorying your supplies
These inventory sheets are for the home hobbyist who is only concerned with keeping track of supplies and not cost, although that can be noted in each box as well. However, if you are in business, keeping a separate inventory sheet with each type of wire and sheet metal can save you a lot of time when deciding what and how much you need to order. After a project is completed and you put away the wire/sheet not used, make a notation on the inventory sheet of what is left. 

If it is not practical to keep inventory sheet with your metals, keep a thin three ring binder with inventory sheets in it on or near your work surface to keep track of what you have and what you used. When something is visible, it is more likely to be used. 
Judy Larson's Inventorying Your Supplies - , General Education, , inventorying your supplies
Judy Larson's Inventorying Your Supplies - , General Education, , inventorying your supplies
Judy Larson's Inventorying Your Supplies - , General Education, , inventorying your supplies

Materials

24 Gauge 0.020 Dead Soft Copper Sheet Metal - 6x12 Inch
MET-705.24M
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $10.12
  • Gold Club Price: $7.59
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24 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-24SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $41.83
  • Gold Club Price: $31.37
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20 Gauge Round Half Hard Copper Wire
H11-20H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $0.50
  • Gold Club Price: $0.37
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Tools

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  • Category: General Education
  • Technique(s): General Education