2016 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.)
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.
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.)
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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