Have you ever found yourself dressed in the prettiest outfit, already late for your appointment, rummaging through your stuff to find the matching bracelets you’d swear you had but can’t seem to find right now? Read these five simple steps and you will become a queen at organizing jewelry!
Organizing Jewelry: 5 Simple Steps
Ever since I was a little girl, I was mesmerized by all the shiny, pretty jewelry my eyes fell upon. I remember receiving my first ring (a beautiful silver flower with a red stone in the middle) when I was four years old.
And I was devastated when the jeweler had to cut it open a year later because the same pretty ring had become a pinching torture device that cut off my bloodstream. Some 35+ years later you can imagine how my collection of jewelry had grown…
So here you’ll find the five steps I took to create a simple but very satisfying jewelry organizer. You’ll also find some creative and inspirational ways for organizing jewelry by displaying or storing your pieces and tips on how to re-create the look. But first, you have to declutter your jewelry!
Step 1: Collect everything in one place
I strongly recommend starting your jewelry organizing process by decluttering what you already have. This way, you’ll only organize what is really worth it… Collect all the earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, and watches you have stored in all those little hiding places in your home.
Double-check your drawers, closets, bathroom, nightstand, and even your kitchen (you are not alone, I’m guilty as charged) and bring everything into one place. Take a good look at all the jewelry you own and let it sink in for a bit…
Step 2: Declutter your jewelry
Now set aside all the pieces of jewelry and watches you wear every week. These are your (current) favorites. Start thinking about a place where you can easily access these pieces: close to your wardrobe, close to a mirror, maybe on your nightstand?
Step 3: Categorize your remaining jewelry in two piles
But before you start, check if a piece of jewelry or a watch is broken, (partly) dysfunctional, hopelessly entangled, or ugly due to traces of use. You might want to replace the battery in a dysfunctional watch to find out if it isn’t actually broken. If the watch is Swiss made, you might consider repairing it an then selling it. And if it’s a gold piece of jewelry or watch, you really don’t want to throw it away. You will find some tips below. Anything else, you may throw away.
After you’ve filtered out the junk, you can start categorizing the rest of your jewelry into two remaining piles: ‘keep’ or ‘donate / sell.
The keep pile is the fun one, am I right? Here you will collect all the jewelry and watches you want to keep. But before you start organizing them, it might be worth your time to re-evaluate this keep pile once more. Maybe you can find one or two pieces of jewelry you are ready to say goodbye to after all. Put them also on the donate/sell pile.
If you are a bit like me, you proabably kept many pieces of jewelry with a certain sentimental value. But I ask you: do you still wear those? And do you really like them?
Especially jewelry is often kept for sentimental reasons: you either love the person who gave it to you, or you received the piece for a particular occasion (birthday, childbirth, graduation, first job, etc). Perhaps the person to which the piece belonged to has deceased.
Or perhaps you wore the piece in a particular time in your life when you felt better, or when you were skinnier, or when you had this or that great job….
In many cases, memories will overflow you holding these pieces of jewelry. And you might experience real difficulty deciding what to keep and what to discard. Just take your time.
If you really want to declutter your jewelry, perhaps these practical questions will help you decide:
- Does this piece of jewelry add value to my life?
- When was the last time I wore it?
- Would I buy this piece of jewelry again?
- Do I want to use up space to store this piece in the future?
- Is there someone else who would love this item more than I do?
- What is the REAL reason I am holding on to this piece of jewelry?
Donate / sell pile
Well, you’ve done a great job so far! After re-evaluating your keep pile, you may turn your attention to the other pile. Remember, if you decide not to keep a particular piece of jewelry, you don’t necessarily just throw it away… You can donate or sell the piece! It will give you a better feeling when somebody else will wear it one day, or when you can make some money from it.
There are a couple of ways to donate or sell pieces of jewelry you no longer want to keep:
- Ask if anyone else in the family wants the item.
- Donate to your local preservation society.
- Donate to thrift stores such as Salvation Army or Goodwill.
- Donate the items to a charity auction.
- Sell items via classifieds, eBay, Amazon, Facebook, or Craigslist.
- Have a Yard Sale (here you’ll find 10 Yard Sale Tips to make this a success).
Golden pieces of jewelry or golden watches
No matter if a golden piece of jewelry or a gold watch is broken, tangled, mismatched… Your gold is worth money, nowadays even more than ever! Please don’t send the gold through the mail to a shop or person who says he’ll pay for it. This will be an absolute rip-off. Instead, ask two or three ‘We Buy Gold‘ places what they would offer and compare those offers, so you will get a feel on the going rates in the market. The gold market is really competitive right now, so this is absolutely worth your time. Also, you should prepare the meeting by weighing your gold and perhaps finding out how many carats the gold is.
Another way to monetize your old gold, is to bring it to a pawn shop. If the jewelry or watch is still in a good shape, they might offer you more than a ‘We Buy gold’ place.
Step 4: Display your jewelry
Well done! How are you feeling? Be proud to know that you’ve already created some sort of order in the chaos…
The next step is really the most fun part or organizing your jewelry! If you are a bit like me, even holding your pieces and thinking of ways to wear them will put a smile on your face…
When you start organizing your jewelry, there are two ways to do so: you either choose to display them or you choose to store them away, for example in a drawer or a closet. As for me, I chose to combine the two by displaying my favorites on a prominent spot, while storing the rest in an (organized) drawer.
Here you’ll find some inspirational examples on how to display your jewelry. And some examples on how to re-create the same idea for your own jewelry collection.
Inspiration: organizing jewelry by displaying your pieces on a prominent spot
This is a great example of displaying favorite pieces of jewelry in an arty way in a prominent spot, to integrate them into your interior. This way you may enjoy your pieces, even though you’re not wearing them. You can re-create this idea with this beautiful Jewelry Tree Storage Holder.
Another and slightly cheaper way to display your favorite jewelry is with an (in this example golden) teacup holder where you can place any sort of (vintage) tray or saucer at the bottom.
Speaking about teacups… This is my own jewelry organizer for my favorites for which I’ve used two vintage tea sets I’ve inherited from my late grandmother (glued together with some Elmer’s Super Glue and an upside-down egg holder).
This way, I got to appreciate a family heirloom AND organize my jewelry at the same time!
Here you’ll find some tips about what to do with family heirlooms if you don’t want them in your home… Re-create this look with some vintage porcelain items you might already own and that are perfect for the job, or go to a nearby yard sale.
Inspiration: display your favorite jewelry using various heights
Another way to display your jewelry is to use various heights. You start by sorting your jewelry into categories and next, you display them in different holders with the same color. A nice tableau of jewelry…
Inspiration: display your jewelry hanging on a wall (or door)
Another great way to organize your jewelry is by creating a nice little display area in your bedroom or even in your living room. You may use a combination of hanging jewelry organizers and trays to display your favorites.
Do you see the way the real cool patterns of the wallpaper form a nice background? And the yellow and blue colors of the egg holder tray and cup match the blue and yellow necklaces and earrings.
You can re-create this crafty look with these brightly colored jewelry-egg-holders, some patterned wallpaper, and a corkboard (you might also want to paint the frame). Or with this specially created jewelry display.
But first, take a good look at the colors of the jewelry you’d like to display in plain view before you choose the color of cups and/or trays.
Or see this example of a jewelry organizer hanging on a wall? I really love the combination of (natural) wood and shining gold.
These wooden jewelry organizers you can purchase on Amazon. Another idea is to hang this organizer on the outside or on the inside of a (closet) door.
Inspiration: organizing jewelry by compartmentalizing
If you have a nice table or dresser, you might consider a vintage jewelry box to display your jewelry. They are lovely to look at and conveniently compartmentalized at the same time. You can re-create this look with this big vintage box or the smaller compartmentalized vintage glass jewelry box.
Step 5: Store your jewelry in a closet or drawer
The other way to store jewelry is to put them neatly and organized out of sight. Especially when you still have a big pile of jewelry and accessories you want to keep. For this might be the best way to avoid a plethora of colors that look like clutter from a distance.
Many closet builders provide built-in jewelry organizers for their storage systems. But in most cases, those systems are expensive and don’t fit in other drawers or closets than the brands they were designed for.
So I’ve selected some smart but simple and affordable jewelry organizers you can use in every closet or drawer.
Inspiration: organizing jewelry in a closet (DIY)
For example, these handy and practical cup/mug holders you can transform into jewelry organizers by adjusting them on a shelf in your wardrobe closet. Or use these pocket-organizers for your jewelry. You can also just screw some of these antique brass hooks onto a (closet) shelf or secure these decorative doorknobs on the outside or inside of a closet door.
Inspiration: organizing jewelry in a drawer
As for me and the organizer I use for storage of my less favorite jewelry… A few years ago I’ve found a really beautiful vintage wooden type case once used for the storage of printer’s type. It is placed in the drawer of my wardrobe closet, so I can quickly find jewelry and accessories matching my outfit of the day.
If you have a spare drawer you can transform into a jewelry organizer, you might consider these practical display trays. Or the plastic organizer box with dividers. You don’t even have to use the lid.
Note: Always store your (tiny) necklaces closed, so they won’t get entangled.
Organizing jewelry… all done!
Well, how did it go? Do you feel much better and even lighter? Take a moment to appreciate all that you’ve done and the beautiful way you’ve organized your jewelry… The key now will be to maintain your organized jewelry in the long run.
When you purchase a new piece of jewelry, ask yourself these two questions:
- Will you wear it every week? Store it with your favorite jewelry in an easily accessible place.
- Will you only wear it for a special occasion? Check step 4!
About the Author
Esther is a mother of one four year old boy and she recently joined Uncluttered Simplicity as a blogger. Esther has been living in a small home for most of her life and has had many years of experience with the need to break through the Clutter Cycle, in order to enjoy her home and family.