Sorry guys, today’s post is pretty much meant for the ladies since I’m going to be talking about ways you can organize your jewelry. Have you ever gone to grab a necklace from your jewelry box, only to find that it is tangled up into a knot with another necklace? Do you ever have just the right jewelry in mind to wear, but you can’t find it? Does your husband give you looks every time he passes by your pile of jewelry boxes that seem to take up more space than his clothes? Ah, jewelry…we love to wear it because it might be that perfect accent to our outfit or a special memento from our grandmother. But let’s face it, without a little organization, our jewelry collection can quickly turn into a mess! So that’s why today I’d like to offer some creative ideas for how you can better arrange your collection, find what you are looking for more easily, and save a little space in the process.
Every little girl should have a jewelry box
Or should they? I had a pretty little pink jewelry box when I was a young girl and I loved it. It played music, it had cute little pictures on it, and did I mention it was pink? But when I was old enough for my ‘organizing’ genes to start sending up red flags, I soon realized that my nice box wasn’t very practical. Necklaces would get entwined, rings would scratch up against one another, and there really wasn’t a whole lot of space–even though the box was designed to have various compartments, they were more for show and less for functionality.
Graduating to plain individual boxes
Boring! Yes, but a step in the right direction. After moving on from my girly pink jewelry box (*sniff sniff*), I switched to just using the boxes that the jewelry originally came in. That way I could keep everything separate and even label the boxes. I used one of the drawers in my dresser as my ‘jewelry’ drawer. But there came a problem. No offense to my mom, but she loves jewelry. Most of my jewelry at the time consisted of gifts or hand-me-downs from her. So needless to say, around the time I entered college, I had accumulated a sizeable collection, which meant I had lots of bulky boxes that no longer fit into my dresser drawer, let alone my dorm room. I ended up leaving most of my collection at home until after I finished school. But when mom came knocking and wanted me to get all my stuff out of her house, I had to come up with a new plan.
Discovering the mini-baggie
While a functional (pink) jewelry box or several individual boxes might work for you, especially if you don’t have much jewelry, those solutions were not working for me and my limited space. I needed to come up with a better idea. As I was walking around one of my favorite stores one day (Michael’s), I noticed that they were selling these mini-baggies, or ‘bagettes’ as they were called. A light bulb went on in my head and I bought a package. Why use bags? First of all, they’re clear, so you can easily see what’s inside—there’s no need to label the bag. Furthermore, bags take up a fraction of the space boxes do. Finally, you can safely keep all your jewelry parts and pieces separated and free from tangling and scratches. When I got home I excitedly began the organization process. Yes, I was excited. But that’s just me. Here’s what I did:
- Remove and sort. First I took all my jewelry out of their boxes and laid them out onto a table. I then sorted them into various categories, like necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings, etc. This step is easy and actually kind of fun. You get to discover treasures you forgot you had!
- Decide what to keep and (gulp) what to get rid of. This is a critical step. All your jewelry is sitting before you so now is the perfect opportunity to do a little de-cluttering. Do you really need to keep that necklace from Aunt Betty you have never worn? Give it away. Are you seriously going to wear that choker straight out of the 80’s? Take it to a thrift store. Do you really need that much jewelry? Sell some of it at a rummage sale. I can still remember my roommate really liking this step of the process, because she got a few presents that day.
- Bag, bag, bag. Next I opened up my new package of bagettes and began bagging. It’s not exactly the most thrilling activity (and it might take a while!), but it’s satisfying when it is all done. How you decide what to put in each bag is entirely up to you and your collection. For example, if you have a lot of sets of jewelry (e.g. a necklace with matching earrings) you can keep sets together in one bag. But if you don’t have sets (like me), you can just put individual necklaces and bracelets, etc. into their own bags. I don’t wear too many earrings (and they are tiny) so I actually just put them all into one bag.
- Find a creative way to store your collection of bags. I didn’t end up with very many bags at the end of all my sorting and organizing (hurray for getting rid of stuff!), so I just bought a small box and put them all inside. Since I had trimmed down my collection pretty significantly, I also didn’t really need any further way to organize the bags within the box—I knew what I had and everything would be easy to find. But what can you do if you have a larger collection? Just throwing all your newly bagged jewelry into a large drawer or box (or multiple drawers or boxes) won’t suffice because you won’t know where anything really is. You need to figure out a way to further sort your bags. You could decide to store them in a box or drawer with various partitions and then separate your bags out into categories. One group of categories might be by jewelry type: necklaces, earrings, bracelets, pins, rings, or sets. Another group of categories could be by material: silver, gold, beads, or cloth. After you choose your categories, separate your bags and put them into their partitions. Then when you go to put on some jewelry (whether you know what you want or not), you can have a much easier time finding it. And don’t forget to put everything back in its place when you are done wearing it!
Using clear baggies is just one of many possible ways to organize your jewelry collection. Do you have any creative solutions you’d like to share?