Jewelry Organization

Jewelry Organization: Organize Your Work Jewelry, Fun Jewelry and More2016 Update: In addition to the below discussion on jewelry organization, you may also want to check out our discussion of jewelry-related closet organization hacks.

How do you organize your jewelry (work jewelry and fun jewelry) at home? Reader L wondered:

You recently posted about traveling with jewelry, which is really helpful as I’m traveling more for business. However, storing my jewelry at home is another beast altogether. Jewelry boxes don’t do it for me (too many funky/chunky costume bracelets and cuffs to fit), and I hate the formal, old fashioned look of jewelry armoires. My jewelry collection is comprised mostly of cheaper costume pieces, though I have some legit antiques and also quite a few mid-price (for me) bracelets/earrings/watches from Kate Spade/Tory Burch and the like, so I don’t want to throw everything haphazardly into a drawer just to get tangled/scuffed/scratched/lost/forgotten. Please help? Thank you!

I’ve been rethinking my own jewelry organization, so this is a great time to discuss. As Reader L notes, the easiest solution here is the jewelry armoire, and you can find freestanding pieces of furniture as well as mirror armoires (both freestanding and over-the-door). These look like they would be great for someone who is starting totally from scratch… but I kind of like some of my older solutions better, and I don’t necessarily have the space/need for another piece of furniture or another mirror, so fortunately for Reader L, I have some other ideas… Some of my older solutions have been working for me, and some of them haven’t, so I can’t wait to hear what readers say. (Pictured at top: the Acme 16000 Teresa Jewelry Armoire, Java Finish, for $122 at Amazon.)

Necklace Organization

I have a multi-pronged approach to necklaces…

  • For long-term necklace storage, these hanging jewelry bags are great. I feel like they keep my necklaces where I can see them, untangled, and I haven’t noticed any ill effects on my fine jewelry. (I do keep my very-silvery jewelry in a special bag, and obviously I keep my good pearls in their original velvet case.) I like to wrap delicate necklaces around cut-up old business cards — I always smile when I pull out a friend’s old card.
  • For recently worn or often-worn necklaces, I love these acrylic hooks from the Container Store — I have two sets of them and put delicate, short necklaces on the top, and longer necklaces on the bottom. I can see everything, and if I’m doing a good job of moving necklaces from short-term to long-term storage, nothing gets tangled or lost.
  • For really recently-worn necklaces, I’ve gotten in the habit of hanging day-of necklaces on towel rings or looping them over the knobs on my bedroom furniture. BAD! I feel like this is a growing problem since I’m wearing more delicate necklaces. I think my first two systems should work if I’m using them properly, but I have been eyeing this cute glass bottle necklace holder at Uncommon Goods for a possible solution to keep on the bathroom counter. This more traditional necklace stand at Container Store is also very nice, or there’s this fun jewelry case for the Doctor Who fans among you.

Jewelry Organization for Earrings and Rings

  • I tend to keep both of these in one of two places: a velvet-lined jewelry drawer that came with one of my bedroom pieces, or these little plastic containers from the Container Store. (I would definitely get these Tarnish Inhibitor cases today, though. Hmmn, maybe I need these.) The pros to the plastic containers: they’re cheap, they keep everything separate, and all I have to do is hold them up to the light and look at the container from the bottom to see what’s in there. The cons: they aren’t the sleekest things, are they? I’ve also been thinking about leveling up to this nice black velvet tray at Amazon.
  • I also tend to keep a little tray on my bedside table for earrings and the like. I just got a little geode tray from Bauble Bar (now sold out, apparently), but almost anything would work here. They also make ring holders, both fancy and simple — Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s both have some blingy crystal ones — but of course the iconic little cat ring holders still exist too.

Bracelet Organization

My system hasn’t been working at all, here, which may explain why I rarely wear bracelets: I’ve been throwing all of them into a square makeup case that I got years ago (this LeSportsac Train Case is similar to what I’ve been using). I like the look of this possible solution: a three-tiered organizer for bracelets and watches. My main concern with rarely worn bracelets is that the whole system would gather dust — but I can’t seem to find a covered one. Note that they also make separate watch cases that might be great if you have a lot of watches or fluid bracelets (i.e., not bangles). I’ve also kept some of my more fluid bracelets (tennis bracelets, charms, etc.) in the same jewelry-hanging case with my necklaces; I’m not sure if that’s working or not.

Organizing Your Brooches, Barrettes, and More

  • I’m always a fan of brooches, both for workwear and weekend wear — so I’m happy that they’re trending again. Most of my brooches have been thrifted (and were costume jewelry to start, I think), so I keep them in the same jewelry-hanging thing with everything else.
  • Finally, I almost never wear them anymore, but I still have a lot of headbands and barrettes that at one point at least, I paid a lot for and really liked. Again, I keep barrettes in the same hanging jewelry organizers that I keep the other stuff in, and I keep the headbands in a separate bin. (It’s actually just one of the Ikea Skubb bins — I am apparently incapable of leaving Ikea without buying at least one pack. Oooh, and they’re also on Amazon.)

jewelry-organization

 

Pictured: 1) Jewelry armoire, $122 at Amazon. 2) Hanging jewelry organizer, $11 at Amazon. 3) Acrylic necklace rack, $10 at Container Store. 4) Jewelry in a Bottle necklace container at Uncommon Goods, $58. 5) Tarnish Inhibitor case at Container Store, $8-$13. 6) Black velvet earring tray, $13 at Amazon. 7) Orrefors Stripe Crystal Ring Holder, $25 at Nordstrom. 8) Three-tiered bracelet organizer display stand, $17.50 at Amazon. 9) Black faux leather watch display case, $25 at Amazon.

Ladies, what are your best tips for jewelry organization? Do you have a favorite armoire? A system? Or do you have a multi-pronged approach like I do?

Psst: we’ve talked about how to build a jewelry collection for the office with lots of pictures of my own pieces, as well as how I organize my closet. Corporette commenter Kanye East also gave us a great guest post with advice on how to buy jewelry for women.

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Comments

  1. I’ve had my eye on the mirrored over the door jewelry cabinet on Overstock for awhile. It seems large enough to hold substantial pieces and less obtrusive than the stand-alone armoires.

    • This one: http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Wooden-White-Over-the-Door-Wall-mount-Jewelry-Armoire-Cabinet-with-Mirror-Storage-Wallmount-Case/9320785/product.html?searchidx=1

  2. Senior Attorney :

    I have various decorative hooks on my bedroom wall for my necklaces. And I have this ceramic egg crate I bought at Anthropologie (they don’t have it any more but there are lots of knock-offs available) that I use for earrings and other small pieces: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/385902261798197141/

    I have a Waterford crystal ring holder where my everyday rings and watch live. And I have this jewelry chest (which I painted to match my dresser, coral with gold top): http://www.qvc.com/Luxury-Silver-Safekeeper-Deluxe-Jewelry-Box-by-Lori-Greiner.product.H165020.html?sc=H165020-Targeted&cm_sp=VIEWPOSITION-_-2-_-H165020&catentryImage=http://images.qvc.com/is/image/h/20/h165020.001?$uslarge$, which I love because it holds a lot of different kinds of pieces.

    And my bracelets live in the drawers of my dressing table, although at one point I was stacking them on marble paper towel holders until I got tired of having to take them all off to get to the one I wanted.

  3. I don’t have a ton of jewelry, but this is what I do and it works:
    1) push pins in the wall around the mirror in my bathroom (my bathroom has an oval mirror hanging on a wall) for my necklaces.
    2) a hanging thing (like 2 above) for earrings and the few bracelets I have.
    That way I can see everything. Otherwise I forget what I have and never wear it.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Push pins on a cork board has worked wonders for me organizing my necklaces. Somebody here recommended it. It is completely customizable so it works for both my dainty and statement necklaces.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve got a big cork board in my walk-in closet that I also use for hanging necklaces, plus, I ordered a bunch of different sized plastic zip-lock baggies from Amazon for my earrings/bracelets/rings and hang them on the board also. Easy to see everything at a glance, easy to put things away, easy to organize!

      • Anonymous :

        https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/dd/83/c0/dd83c0fed54969200e00e080e3a6af09.jpg Like this, except mine isn’t nearly as neat!

  4. My fear of losing all of my jewelry from a break-in keeps me from buying the pretty jewelry display and organization boxes, but I love how they look. Instead, all my nice jewelry is hidden away while my cheaper costume stuff is out. I wind up forgetting about nice pieces for long periods of time because I’d have to plan to wear them. I wish I could think of a really secure, but elegant and convenient, way to store jewelry all in one place so that I could look at all my options while getting dressed. I love the pinterest ideas of having hidden storage built into a wall with a mirror covering it (but even that seems hard to seamlessly disguise). Any ideas?

    • Dowager Countess :

      Your ladies’ maid should make sure it is locked up in the silver pantry each evening.

      • Ha! I wish! Honestly my nicest jewelry is probably stuff most people on here wouldn’t worry about, but I’ve had several friends with apartment break-ins who lost favorite pieces. The item I’m most protective of probably has no value, but was a gift to my grandmother on her wedding day and I would be devastated if it was stolen.

      • I only have a watch, some bangels and some cheep stuff that Sheketovits got me from CVS which is wortheless so I just leave it in my top draw. I do NOT ever wear Sheketovits junk jewelry either. FOOEY!

    • No ideas, but I’m with you on this one. I did lose almost all my jewelry in a break-in a few years ago – they scooped up the organizer trays I used and whatever else they saw – so now it’s all hidden away and I forget to wear it!

    • Diane Lockhart :

      Your concern is well founded. I had a beautiful large walnut jewelry cabinet in my bedroom where I kept almost all of my jewelry. I love it — it had lots of drawers and handing areas. one day I came home and someone had broken in and taken it — all my jewelry was gone except what I was wearing which luckily included my wedding rings. It was horrible. I replaced the chest but hide my good pieces elsewhere. But even the less expensive or costume pieces were a big loss and they included beloved items picked on trips etc. When we travel, I hide the chest. The robbery though was on a weekday when i was at work.

    • Anonymous :

      If your interested in concealed mirror-covered wall storage that also locks you might consider looking into something that is designed for gun storage but be outfitted with wall and shelf based jewelery organizers. Tacticalwalls.com comes to mind but there may be other options out there.

    • As a city-dweller, I share your anxiety about storing jewelry all in one place as one-stop-shopping for a thief! I keep all my jewelry in a hanging display (like these http://www.containerstore.com/s/jewelry-storage/hanging/12). Last time we went away, I zipped the entire thing into a solid-colored garment bag and hung it in a closet in a totally different part of the house. I think it’s unlikely a thief would come across it there — at least, it gave me much more peace of mind.

      • Careful with the jewels. :

        Agree with all of these concerns about theft.

        I was recently robbed and they stole all my valuable family jewelry.

        I recommend one of those over the door storage units, but put it in an atypical closet that robbers wouldn’t generally go into… such as a front door/hall closet. Remember, these guys are in and out FAST, so as long as you make it a little challenging for them it helps.

        But remember – they look in bathrooms and medicine cabinets since they like to steal medicines. They look in all purses out in the open, and spend a lot of time in the bedroom looking for jewelry – under the bed/mattress, in dresser drawers in the bedroom and in the bedroom closet. If you have valuables exposed or in a jewelry dresser, it will be taken.

        I’ve been robbed twice. Nice areas of town, different major cities, always during the day.

    • I think my MIL uses a gun safe that she somehow modified the inside to for storing jewelry. Since it’s made for guns, it has a lock on it for securing more valuable jewelry. But then when opened up, it’s easy to see everything. I’ve only seen it once, and a long time ago, so I’m not sure about what exactly she uses, or how she had ot modify the inside of it. But the basic idea is something like this: http://www.mapletreeinteriors.com/storagemirrors.html

      The only jewelry I have of any real value is my engagement ring, which I wear every day. I have my necklaces on a corkboard (so they’re visible, and don’t get tangled in a drawer), my dangly earrings on jewelry tree, and other jewelry in small boxes and a small set of drawers, all that sits on my dresser.

  5. Bewitched :

    I have #2 for my necklaces and #5 for my earrings. I love #2 and #5 works well, although I have about 4 of them (lots of costume/lower cost earrings), so that’s annoying but I think the answer is to just get rid of some of the earrings I don’t wear. I hang #2 in my closet. It’s got the clear pockets so it’s so easy to pick out the right necklace in the morning. Highly recommend!

  6. I have an antique chifforobe in my bedroom (my late grandmother’s), which has pull out drawers on the left and hanging space on the right.

    My jewelry is kept in plastic organizer drawer inserts I found at Container Store that happened to match the dimensions of the pull out drawers.

    The top two drawers are jewelry, the second two drawers are scarves. I keep out of season shoes in boxes stacked on the right.

  7. Anonymous :

    I use something like this for my costume jewelry. Keeps it organized and takes up basically no space.

    http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/real-simple-jewelry-organizer/1042609261?skuId=42609261&mcid=PS_googlepla_nonbrand_jewelry_&adpos=1o3&creative=43742654389&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=Cj0KEQjwm4mwBRCni-ivmePYivkBEiQAdGkklv9UYkvGSRwE9E0HWpbnud7QLcBdCzeL0LVTfJi9bzMaAlQk8P8HAQ

    For the expensive stuff, I keep it in the original boxes in a small drawer in the guest bathroom.

  8. Anonymous Associate :

    I use something like this for my costume jewelry. Keeps it organized and takes up basically no space.

    http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/real-simple-jewelry-organizer/1042609261?skuId=42609261&mcid=PS_googlepla_nonbrand_jewelry_&adpos=1o3&creative=43742654389&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=Cj0KEQjwm4mwBRCni-ivmePYivkBEiQAdGkklv9UYkvGSRwE9E0HWpbnud7QLcBdCzeL0LVTfJi9bzMaAlQk8P8HAQ

    For the expensive stuff, I keep it in the original boxes in a small drawer in the guest bathroom.

  9. New Tampanian :

    For my smaller items (rings, earrings, bracelets, watch) I use something similar to these: http://www.target.com/p/axis-stack-em-plastic-jewelry-organizer/-/A-15756065#prodSlot=_5_23

    I don’t stack them, I put them in my top dresser drawer. For necklaces, I have hooks in one of my bedroom closets (it’s a shallow closet – almost like a linen closet) that I hang them on.

    I have a couple of everyday pieces (a ring, necklace and earrings) that I wear more often than any other jewelry. I keep those on top of my dresser in a small ring bowl from anthropologie that I received as a gift about 8 years ago.

  10. I like the overstock thing someone linked to above! Me, I only have a few necklaces, I mostly wear earrings. So I have something very similar to the link below that I got on etsy–lots of space for post or hook earrings, a few pegs for bracelets/necklaces

    http://inspiration-workshop.com/?p=1265

  11. When we moved in together and everything was still in the process of being unpacked, my boyfriend grew frustrated with having my jewelry all over and ordered this wall organizer from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Accessory-Organizer-Bracelets-Necklaces-Accessories/dp/B00776E6BE/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1443032621&sr=8-16&keywords=jewelry+holder+for+wall). Honestly, it’s probably the best system I have ever had. I keep necklaces on the lower branches, bracelets on the higher one, and dangly earrings in the loops around the top. I keep two small decorative bowls on top–one for stud earrings and the other for extra buttons that come with coats, blazers, etc.

  12. Premier Jewelry :

    I have this in baby blue. It is wonderful because it is compact and holds a ton. And if I ever have drawers to put it in, I can do that too.

    http://www.containerstore.com/s/vanilla-supersize-stackers-premium-jewelry-storage/d?productId=10035832&q=jewlery%20storage

    • I’ll second the Stackers boxes Premier Jewelry linked to. You can buy the levels individually so you only get the type you need and they all stack neatly together. I don’t wear bracelets so I wouldn’t buy a bracelet box but I can add extra levels for earrings. The disadvantage is that they don’t lock together so you have to be careful when you move them.

  13. I’ve read that cheaper costume jewelry will last longer (i.e., not turn) if it is kept in a sealed bag, plastic or cotton. Don’t know if that’s true or not, but I’ve been sealing my cheaper necklaces in in ziplock bags.

  14. Shopping challenged :

    I love this http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/pedestal-jewelry-holder
    I think it’s pretty enough to display. I run out of my house without the jewelry, and realize too late to go back far too often. Having my jewelry there and visible would be the perfect solution.

    Unfortunately, I wear necklaces more than earrings (my ears aren’t peirced) so the closed loops around the edges wouldn’t work very well for me–three-quarters of a circle would be much better. I wrote to the maker about the possibility of getting a special order. She wrote back, asking how high it would have to be. I told her height didn’t matter, because I could loop the necklaces. She never wrote back. :/

  15. I have a couple of Indian bangle holders: http://cdn3.volusion.com/dexlc.mxapd/v/vspfiles/photos/stA-TREtwist-2.jpg?1381242506 for necklaces and bracelets.

    And in a surprising Pinterest win… we hung a shutter on the wall and all my dangly earrings are on it.

    I also use several jewelry boxes… not my favorite but gets the job done.

  16. At first I had bangles/bracelets in a container store drawer organizer that has 8 square compartments, fabric covered. I put an empty 3-month long pill bottle in each section and just stacked bracelets by color. Once I acquired more bracelets, I got rid of the bottles as posts. Instead, I stack the bracelets on their sides and the fill the compartments (also means if I buy a new one, one existant has to leave) … and I can see the patterns and colors easily.

    I have a jewelry tower and I use colored organza bags from amazon in bulk to put necklaces in… and different drawers for different colors. Earrings of a certain color all go into one bag so it’s even easier to choose. I wish the tower drawers were square to accommodate a real sorter system.

    In a nearby drawer I have some stacking containers from container store with the top one that has a lid on it. It’s for items I do not wear to work … special occasion.

  17. I have a TON of fashion jewelry. I use a pegboard hanging in my closet. Works like a charm.

  18. KateMiddletown :

    I have a fun jewelry tree from Urban Outfitters years ago (http://www.houzz.com/photos/7451488/Jewelry-Tree-Nickel-Finish-contemporary-jewelry-boxes-and-organizers) but it’s not very practical as it looks super cluttered with more than a few necklaces

    Do people keep their jewelry in the closet or on/in the dresser?

  19. For my smaller pieces, I put them in medicine organizers. That is.. my rings and earrings go into these. Each one gets a little compartment and it’s clear so I can see through it without opening it. They’re easy to organize in drawers and cheap. I buy mine from Daiso.