How to organize your favorite jewelry (and get rid of the rest)
When it comes to storing jewelry, there is no shortage of organizing options. In fact, the choices can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, the best choice is usually determined simply by what kind of space is available.
But before you run out and buy hooks, trays, dishes or boxes, take an inventory of your collection. Pair earrings, untangle necklaces, make sure watches have batteries and set aside pieces you no longer wear.
Once you know what you have, you can consider which storage options make the most sense.
If you have extra drawer space, try drawer inserts. The key is compartmentalization to prevent things from getting jumbled or lost.
In smaller drawers, you can stack padded jewelry trays. In larger drawers, you can customize storage with different types and sizes of trays, or an expandable tray. There are inserts made specifically for rings, earrings and necklaces, so you want to know how many of each you’ll need. Using drawers to store jewelry has the dual benefit of allowing you to see everything when you pull it open, but also of having things out of sight, so surfaces feel less cluttered.
If you want to get creative, substitute ice cube trays for standard jewelry trays. You can also use items as fancy as antique teacups and as basic as colored or decorative gift boxes inside drawers to separate rings, earrings and bracelets.
Silver pieces are best kept in anti-tarnish bags or in closed boxes to limit air exposure.
There are ample other ways to organize and store jewelry to go with your decor using empty wall space.
One inexpensive and trendy option is hanging necklaces and bracelets on a pegboard, which allows maximum flexibility for rearranging pieces or adding new ones. Or try a decorative bulletin board, with pins called T-pins to hold up the jewelry.
You can buy a pre-made, wall-mounted hanger option. Open jewelry hangers are lightweight and easy to attach the wall. They’re easy to take with you when you move, and come in a variety of finishes and sizes. If you would rather enclose your collection, consider a wall-mounted cabinet. Jewelry cabinets, or armoires, are available in basic designs; others are outfitted with mirrors, LED lights, locks and even specialty fabrics to prevent tarnishing. They are heavier, however, and require more work to install. They’re also more difficult to move if you redecorate or relocate.
If those options seem too elaborate, hooks designed to hold keys, ties and belts also work, as do adhesive hooks, which can be stuck anywhere and won’t cause damage when removed. These inexpensive hooks are also available in different colors, finishes and sizes.
Using surface space to store jewelry gives you maximum flexibility to move things around.
Jewelry boxes range from large and elaborate to small and basic, but all have limited storage capability. Other options include open-tiered stands and “trees,” designed specifically for necklaces, bracelets, watches and rings. It’s fun to add a little personality and color by using special dishes or even a tiered dessert stand.
If jewelry is your passion and you need things to be stored away but easily accessed, you may consider an actual piece of furniture. Jewelry armoires are available in a variety of sizes and finishes, and have the benefit of not actually looking like storage.
Getting rid of jewelry
Understandably, jewelry is difficult for people to part with, as there’s often a special memory attached or it is valuable.
If you can’t part with particular pieces but know you’ll never wear them, at least store them in a different space from your everyday jewelry.
Donate pieces you no longer want. Many charities, including Goodwill, the Salvation Army and Support our Troops, accept fine jewelry donations. If you’re looking to unload costume jewelry, look into organizations such as Dress for Success, Suited for Change and I Have Wings.
Selling old jewelry requires substantial time and effort, including getting your items appraised. You must decide if you want to sell online or at a local store, which will require comparison-shopping.
If you’re looking to part with diamonds, an engagement ring or an expensive watch, an online auction marketplace called Worthy provides an easy-to-use platform that reaches a wide audience of potential buyers. Worthy partners with the Gemological Institute of America to grade and authenticate pieces to sell and works with sellers to guide them through the auction process.
Nicole Anzia is a freelance writer and owner of Neatnik. She can be reached at nicoleneatnik.org.