To organize jewelry efficiently, first sort the jewelry by type: necklaces, rings, brooches, bracelets, and earrings. Create separate piles for any other unusual items like hatpins, jeweled barrettes, or anklets. Now sort the individual piles. Put small earrings in one pile and large earrings in another. Chunky necklaces should be separated from delicate strands.
Separate out valuable pieces or important family heirlooms. These should be kept in a home safe or safe-deposit box. You don’t want to risk losing these precious items. Sterling silver pieces should be cleaned and polished, and then kept in velvet pouches to prevent tarnish.
As you sort, toss out any mismatches or hopelessly broken pieces. Reconsider keeping anything out-of-date or that you haven’t worn in years. If a broken piece of jewelry can be repaired and you still want it, then set it aside to fix later. Finally, count how many pieces you have left of each style and type.
With your list of jewelry styles and quantities in hand, start looking for a jewelry storage box, jewelry box, or jewelry organizer that will suit your needs. Your goal is to arrange each piece of jewelry so it has a place to go at the end of the day. Each pair of earrings should be in its own compartment or hang on hooks. Necklaces should lay flat and straight or be hung them hooks. Chunky bracelets can lay flat and loose bracelets can be flat or hung. Rings belong in ring dividers or on a ring pole. Large, stiff earrings that won’t fit into a compartment can be laid flat in the necklace drawer or the posts can be poked into the ring dividers to keep them secure.
Once you’ve gone through the initial process of organizing your jewelry, it’s easy to keep your collection in excellent condition. Put your jewelry away when you take it off at night, taking care to return it to its proper compartment. A little time now will save you extra time in the morning when you’re scrambling to find the earrings that go with your outfit.
The annual review is the second key to jewelry organization. Spread out your collection once a year and weed out any broken jewelry. You should also get rid of jewelry you haven’t worn recently or don’t like anymore. Taking an annual inventory reminds you of what you have so you can vary your daily choices. Maybe you’ll spot a pair of earrings you love, but forgot you own. By editing it annually, you’ll also keep your collection from outgrowing your jewelry organizer.
If all this seems like a hassle, consider the alternative. First, you spend ten minutes hunting for a pair of earrings you love, but rarely wear, only to discover that one of the posts is broken or one earring has gone missing. Second, it will take you longer to get dressed in the morning because you have to comb through your entire collection to find matches. Third, your silver jewelry will tarnish if not properly stored and you’ll have to spend an afternoon cleaning jewelry. Fourth, necklaces will tangle and develop unsightly kinks or knots that can’t be untied.
If you value your jewelry, you owe it to yourself and your collection to store it properly. Think how much easier it will be to find new jewelry when you already know what you have.