Bead list cull: where do I go from here?

It seems so long ago that I started my quest to shrink my bead wishlists. But, here we are six months later, so it’s time to give an update! It’s long, I know, but bear with me. I had a lot of thinking (and deleting!) to do. If you’re short on time, skip to the “Was it worth it?” section ;)

One path that I didn’t want to take was to go on a shopping spree! While that would have solved the problem, it’s not a sustainable solution ;) I decided to ignore my “family” list since there were so few beads on it anyway. That left my “thinking about,” “one day,” and “probably not” lists. If you remember, there were 20 beads on my “thinking about” list, 39 on my “one day” list, and 15 on my “probably not” list for a total of 74 beads.

Stage 1: The plan and little purge

I always tried to keep my “thinking about” list around 20 items. But, when it got too long, I just moved the lower priority items onto my “one day” list; when one shrank the other grew. So, I knew that these lists were the ones that I needed to work on the most. I started with the goal of getting each to 20. My “thinking about list” was already at 20, but I knew that I couldn’t realistically delete half of my “one day” list. So, I aimed to get the sum of the combined lists to 40, then balance the lists.

But, to get me into a deleting frame of mind, I started with an even easier list: my “probably not” list. Since it contained beads that I “probably” wasn’t going to buy anyway, I went with a slash-and-burn approach: I deleted anything that had been on it for longer than six months. That left three beads on it.

Stage 2: The big purge

Next, I sorted my “thinking about” and “one day” lists by priority and deleted some of the lower priority ones. Then, I sorted by date and deleted some of the beads that had been on the lists the longest. This required a bit more thought since some things had been on there for a while simply because they were more expensive and I’d likely only buy them on sale.

Next, I did a search by brand to see how many items I had from each brand. I figured that having too many from one brand distracted me from what I really wanted from each brand. When I searched, I realized that I actually had a fifth list of beads that I was tracking –  my “sold but I like” list!  With my new mindset of tracking only what I really wanted, I deleted that entire list. Keeping track of beads that I could never have is silly!

Stage 3: Making sense of what I had left

My “thinking about” and “one day” lists were where I wanted them to be, but I still needed to figure out how to keep on top of the lists going forward.

I went through and copied the “added on” date into the comment field for each bead. Although Amazon has an “added on” date for items on wishlists, the date resets when you move an item from one to list another. So, for someone like me who moves things between lists, it’s not the best indicator of how long I’ve been tracking something.

Stage 4: The plan going forward

I unofficially thought of my “thinking about” list as my “goals for the next six months” list, so with that in mind, I renamed the list to “six month goals.” Then I chopped it down to 15 items. Realistically, I’m not buying that many items off that list in six months anyway since there are always unexpected beads that swallow up my budget. But, being able to ask myself “Am I really going to buy that in the next six months?” has worked well to help remind me of my plans and keep me in check.

My goal is to keep my “one day” list between 20 and 25 items, which I think is manageable. The simplest one (I think) will be deleting things off of my “probably not” list if they’ve been on there for longer than six months.

Was it worth it?


Deleting things was easier than I thought it would be. As of today, my “six months” list has seven items on it and my “one day” list has 19. Both have been hovering around those numbers for the last few months. And I don’t regret deleting anything off of them. To be honest, I couldn’t tell you half of what I deleted, and I deleted a lot! And when I say deleted, I mean completely deleted them. I didn’t just move them to my “probably not” list (which, in case you were wondering, has no beads on it ;))

Aside from cleaning up my lists, I also realized a few things:

  • I was tracking useful, but ultimately distracting, things. The best example was the “sold but I like” list that I deleted entirely. But, there were other items that I didn’t need to track as closely as I did. For example, in January I added an item for each of the two new X Jewellery colours released in March. In February, I added an item about a possible zombie bead coming out (although it hasn’t materialized yet!). Even though I didn’t have all the details at the time, I wanted to track them so that I could potentially budget for them. Now, instead of tracking future release items separately, which ends up muddling the lists, I have one note in my “six month goals” list so that I don’t lose track of them.
  • I was keeping some things on my lists unnecessarily. Five of the items on my wishlists were different colours of X Jewellery rubber links. I needed between four and 13 of each colour. I realized that it wouldn’t hurt my wallet to add a few each time I do an order. That way, they’re off my lists and not distracting me.
  • The biggest thing that I realized was that I don’t have to track everything that I “like” in my lists! I buy uniques when I see ones that I love. And sometimes a silver catches your eye at the right time. I don’t need to track the “one day, if the right one comes along” items because I would buy them even if they weren’t on a list.

I could never give up my lists, but now I feel like they’re working for me rather than me working for them!


  1. That sounds very sensible, Tracy. I have a few beads on my list and I just took a look and have now reduced it from 9 to 2 but then added an expensive one-that Trollbeads Daisy that Laura from IG just bought. So now I’m no further ahead. Always the way!

    1. :D I know what you mean. I often delete one or two only to add another one on. I am trying hard not to concentrate just on the numbers, but more on how I really feel about the beads that are on there.

      I just went back to my lists to see if I could thin out the number of Ohm beads (realizing that they constitute a larger number than other brands and reflecting on my statement “having too many from one brand distracted me from what I really wanted from each brand.”) and I still couldn’t delete any. But I think it’ll be worth revisiting this post occasionally to remind myself of my goals and the process that I went through.

      I have a few on my list now that are on the more expensive side that I know will sit there for quite a while. I don’t want to delete them, but they’re definitely not as easy to pick off. Perhaps one of my next goals should have been to figure out how to persuade myself to buy them!

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