I knew it was here somewhere, tucked inside one of my crafty-containment-system mason jars, but I couldn't find it. It was a little, red, vintage button that I had clipped off an impossibly stained apron several years ago. I shook and scanned and shifted through, until my hand came out of one jar with three straight pins embedded in my finger tips.
That's when I decided it was time to dump everything out and re-organize.
The pins were deposited into one specific jar, the buttons in another. Several 4-inch scraps of ribbon and fabric and yarn were thrown away. (I had enough for the apocalypse and then some.) But I still haven't found a really satisfactory system for storing my circular knitting needles, so for now they're on a hanger on the back of the bathroom door.
I did find that gosh-darned button, though. And then I found one I liked even better that I didn't remember I had, so I guess that was an hour well-spent.