Free Your Space: Organizing your jewelry

Spring is here.  At least the calendar says it is.  This particular spring, my closet is jam-packed.  Partially with clothing I’ve brought out in anticipation of warmer days: light and colorful tops, slacks and dresses.  And, hanging alongside this spring bouquet, its heavier winter counterparts: clothing I’m hesitant to store because of weather than can easily be categorized this year as “March Madness.”

For now, I’ll put aside wrestling with the crammed clothing bar and turn instead to focus on a different part of my wardrobe that can also be made ready for a seasonal debut: jewelry.

Not that I store certain parts of my jewelry collection to be swapped out seasonally like my clothing; on the contrary, I like to have my ornamental assortment readily available for any season or occasion.  Yet, since fashion and tastes change, it’s good to make a spring review.

Here are three considerations that will help you get your jewelry in order and ready for fun in the sun.

Quality.  Bringing your jewelry out of hiding and gathering it together can be an adventure that can turn up caches of long forgotten heirlooms.  Begin by unearthing your stockpiles and assessing your findings.  Sort out the treasures from the trinkets.  Gather backless earrings, broken chains, and bracelets with broken clasps to make a pile for repair.  If there’s silver that needs polishing, put that in a separate group.   Identify jewelry that you no longer wish to wear and set aside to sell or donate later.

Quantity.  It’s hard to arrange your jewelry into any type of useful and useable order if you don’t know exactly how much you have.  Once you’ve pulled out all your hidden stashes and separated out items you no longer want, you’ll be able to see just exactly how much space you need to store the rest.  Are there a few rings and dozens of necklaces?  Or maybe you have mostly earrings.  Knowing the types and amounts will help you with deciding on the next step: the best way to store it all.

Storage.  Whether or not you have any particular system to organizing your jewelry, there are some new options that you will want to consider:

  1. Once your jewelry is sorted out, it is a good idea to photograph it.  Digital technology and tools now so readily available can make this a snap!  This step will help you keep track of what you have and also give you the ability to include notes such as when you received it and who gave it to you.  Send a copy of the photos to be kept on file with your insurance company.
  2. Precious gems & fine jewelry worth a large sum of money, once photographed and catalogued, should be stored in a safe or safety deposit box.  It is handy to keep the photos at home with your other jewelry to remind you of what you have in storage.
  3. Keeping your baubles in their individual boxes in drawers can make remembering what you have and finding it again a challenge.  For the remainder of your daily jewelry consider options like jewelry armoires that double as picture frames or freestanding mirrors.  Another nice storage solution is a hanging jewelry sorter that has clear plastic pockets allowing for easy viewing and quick access.

Jewelry, since the time of ancient Egyptians, counts for some of our most valued possessions.  Be sure, therefore, to adequately prepare the time and space to give this project its necessary attention.  Prepare a clear table, dresser or made-bed and block out a good solid amount of time – one or two hours.  Rushing the process can lead to lost pieces and heartache.  Take your time and enjoy reacquainting yourself with both old and new designs.  Without doubt you’ll find yourself wearing jewelry that you’d long forgotten and infusing some of your day-to-day fashions with new life.  Happy spring.

* To contact Annette Reyman for organizing work, professional unpacking, productivity support, gift certificates or speaking engagements in the Greater Philadelphia area call 610- 213-9559 or email her at annette@allrightorganizing.com. Reyman is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO®) and Board Member of its Greater Philadelphia Chapter.  Visit her website at www.allrightorganizing.com or follow All Right Organizing on Facebook.

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