I was talking to a customer the other day in the jewelry department where I work and it occurred to me that many women face the same problem when it comes to the baubles we’ve collected. After a lovely conversation with this classy lady, I decided to pen this post. So pour yourself a glass of your favorite adult beverage, turn on some classic jazz like Duke Ellington, and follow my advice for getting the most out of your fashion and fine jewelry collection.
Don’t you feel great after you organize a closet in your home that has gotten out of control? I do. I have to admit that one of my favorite parts of Downtown Abbey is seeing how organized everything is—from the silver pantry to the armoires. Since I don’t plan on employing a butler anytime soon these tasks are left to my husband and me.
You will be amazed at what you will discover in your drawers and closets that you forgot you owned. As a sales associate in a jewelry and watch department, I can tell you that all jewelry, from fashion to fine, is expensive and worth your time and effort. Tory Burch and Kate Spade earrings start at forty dollars per pair. Many of the styles I am selling at work are copies of the earrings I wore in the eighties. If you are a hoarder like me the originals may very well be in a box at the back of the nightstand drawer.
- Before you dump the contents of your jewelry box and drawers and have at it I suggest you spend an hour poking around Pinterest. There are amazing ideas about organizing everything in creative and visibly pleasing ways. You don’t need to buy a book on organization. Here is a link to some of the Pins I love. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/61783826112040709/ I call this board Upcycle and DIY.
- After you’ve figured out how you want to reorganize your jewelry go and purchase your supplies. As you saw on Pinterest you can display your jewelry and see it both as art and as inspiration for a new look. Make your plan and have fun! The sky is the limit. Even if you don’t wear the earrings or necklaces at the moment they can be displayed. Some of the ideas you will find are stunning.
- Dump all your jewelry on a sheet on your bed. Begin to sort through it making piles for brooches, necklaces, earrings, etc. Place jewelry that needs to be cleaned or repaired in a separate area.
- Begin to move your pieces to the new flat organizers, plastic stacking drawers, bonsai trees, hooks, etc. Place all sterling silver pieces in the original specially treated pouches they came in, if you have them, or use an old silver chest. Silver tarnishes very easily and it is a good idea to protect it so that when you want to wear it you only need to run a special cloth over it. Only use the treated cloths, do not use any of the methods on the Internet that involve hot water and aluminum foil. This method can loosen stones and damage your fine jewelry.
- Keep all jewelry that requires deep cleaning or repair in a separate box. I take a piece of this out when I’m watching TV and clean it at my leisure. Then, I replace it with the newly organized baubles. This makes the project less of a chore. You should also keep a container of liquid jewelry cleaner like Wright’s in your closet. Do not use this on pearls or emeralds. Read the instructions carefully.
- Pearls should be stored separately in a soft, fine jewelry box.
- Make a shopping list of the pieces you would like to add to your collection and keep it on your phone. We tend to buy the same things over and over again. Having a list helps to remind us of what we need to round out our collection.
- Develop a relationship with a sales person you trust and seek their advice about what pieces you should add. One of my favorite responsibilities in my new job is to style a customer’s outfit. “I have this dress for an event…” are words I love to hear. Coordinating the jewelry and accessories for an ensemble is heaven.
Let me know how you organize your collection. Here is another photo on Pinterest I love.