Regardless of whether your jewelry collection is made up of “real” pieces or costume jewelry – or a combination of both – organizing your jewelry makes it more valuable, because if you can easily find the items you want, you’ll actually wear them.
Clean Out. As always, start organizing your jewelry by emptying all of drawers and boxes where you keep it stored. Set aside pieces that are broken, earrings that have no mate, and items you no longer wear. Donate items you don’t wear (Dress for Success is a great option – find a location near you) and have a jeweler repair broken items you’d like to keep. Consider alternative uses for unmatched earrings – they can often be made into pendants or bracelet charms. Gold jewelry that you no longer want can be melted into new pieces or sold to a reputable jeweler.
Time to Sort. Once you’ve narrowed your collection down to those items that you love and wear on a regular basis, sort them in a way that makes sense for you. You can group them by color, type, matched sets, etc. – whatever categories will make it easy for you to find what you need when you’re accessorizing your outfit for the day.
Shop Smart. Don’t purchase a jewelry organizer until you’ve categorized and counted the items you need to store. There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a snazzy organizer, only to find that it will hold only half of your earrings or is not tall enough to accommodate your longer necklaces.
Think Outside the Box. If you have more than a few jewelry items, a jewelry box may not be your best option. Hanging organizers are a great solutions for necklaces and long earrings; small divided containers make finding favorite rings and earrings easy.
A few of my favorites include:
Stacking Jewelry Trays – these modular trays can sort jewelry by size, style and function. Stacked trays slide side-to-side to provide access to lower trays.
Jewelry Tree – this piece is pretty and functional, holding necklaces, bracelets and earrings on a nature-inspired metal tree stand.
This simple, classic Portofino Jewelry Box includes 35 compartments on three levels and provides great storage on a counter or closet shelf.
The Little Dress Jewelry Organizer is a fun hanging jewelry organizer that hold lots of jewelry – with 39 clear pockets on one side, and 24 hook and loop closures on the other.
For travel, this Drawstring Jewelry Pouch holds items in small interior pockets, and offers space for bracelets and necklaces in the center of the pouch. Small enough to slip into to carry-on bag for safe-keeping. I’ve personally used one of these for more years than I can remember for travel, and it works great!
As always, please remember that organizing is personalized to each person’s needs and tastes– one side does not fit all! There are many customized solutions to fit the individualized needs in every situation.
Guest author Terri Stephens is the founder and Chief Professional Organizer of Real Order Professional Organizing, LLC. Since 2003, she’s helped busy homeowners with their clutter and organizing needs in metro Atlanta and surrounding areas. Terri is also a Senior Move Manager and helps older adults and their families with later-life moves.