How to Organize Jewelry

Written by Susan Stewart of Perfectly Placed
Updated March 12, 2014
jewelry organizer
Jewelry organizers help keep necklace chains from tangling. (Photo couresty of Sara Cozolino)

Jewelry can be a girl's best friend or her worst nightmare.

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Jewelry can be a girl’s best friend or her worst nightmare, depending on whether or not she can find what she needs. Women often share with me their frustrations with organizing jewelry and how it should be stored. 

Below are four steps to help you organize and store your jewelry.

1. Gather jewelry

The first step to organizing jewelry is gathering it all together in one location. Time to clear the bathroom drawers, the bottom of your purse, the console of your car and your dresser tops. These loose pieces of treasure are finally going to have a home.

2. Sort jewelry

Let the sorting begin! Sorting can be done in a variety of ways. Most people sort their jewelry by type (earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces and pins), but if you prefer, you could sort them in other ways that make sense to you (costume vs. dressy or gold vs. silver). 

Some people wear their jewelry in sets (matching pieces that go together). If that is how you wear your jewelry, you can sort that way instead. The important thing to consider when sorting is that it reflects the way you would look for something.

3. Purge excess jewelry

Now that you can see your jewelry in groups of like items, you are likely to see some things you haven’t worn in a long time. Ask yourself if you are keeping them out of guilt, sentiment or use. If it is guilt, let it go. Nobody needs more guilt. You can donate it or sell it. 

If it is sentiment, you may want to store it in a keepsake box rather than with the jewelry you are using on a regular basis. If it is for use, then it should stay in your pile but keep in mind the 80/20 rule. 80 percent of the time, you wear 20 percent of your jewelry, so be picky when deciding what gets to stay. 

Now look for any broken jewelry or jewelry with missing parts. If it is inexpensive costume jewelry, pitch it. If it is expensive jewelry, add it to your to do list to take it to be repaired. I recommend placing it in a Ziploc bag inside your purse so you have it with you. Now that the purging is done, you know how much of each category you will need to store.

4. Contain or display jewelry

When choosing how to contain or display your jewelry, the options are endless. You will want to consider what spaces you have available (drawer space, wall space, top of dresser space, hanging in the closet space) and whether you are more interested in practicality or creativity. There is no wrong or right answer here, but knowing what you are drawn to will help narrow down your options.

If you have mostly drawer space available and tend to be on the practical side, stackable jewelry trays or ice cube trays will be good options for you. On the other hand, if you are more of a creative type and have drawer space available, you may be more drawn to using teacups or muffin tins to store them.

There are hundreds of wall space options, and the fact that most people have unused wall space either in the bedroom, bathroom or behind a door, makes this a good choice. 

A practical woman may like the simplicity of a towel rod and shower curtain hooks or the volume that paint sticks and some DIY could accommodate. The creative woman may be more inspired by a wall arrangement or repurposed windowpane.

Dresser top jewelry storage can also be practical or creative. Other practical jewelry storage ideas are mirrored jewelry cabinets, using command hooks to hang jewelry on the wall or back of a door, using a hanging jewelry organizer, or repurposing a tool organizer. Other creative jewelry storage ideas include using decorative jars, making a jewelry tree or a display like the one pictured.

As you can see, there are a myriad of options for storing your jewelry. When choosing an option that suits you best, be sure your storage option is easy for you to find what you need and inspires you to put it away.

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About this Angie’s List Expert

Susan Stewart is the owner of Perfectly Placed, providing home organizing services in Phoenix. Since 2004, Perfectly Placed has specialized in time management training, home organization, virtual organizing and life balance coaching. You can follow this #ALExperts contributor on Twitter @organizes.

As of March 12, 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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