Maximize What you Already Have!

Maximize What you Already Have!

This has been the year to organize pantries and closets but did you go that last step and organize your jewelry box, too?  I'm guessing not.  Our jewelry boxes are so much harder to sort and purge because we have emotional attachments to many of the pieces in the drawers. We all have throwaway jewelry, to be sure, but we also have pieces that we inherited or received from dear friends.  We have bought jewelry as a memento of a favorite vacation or worn to special occasions with good memories. And we all have pieces with value that we don't wear anymore because they have simply gone out of style.  

Set aside a half day to unpack all of your jewelry and tell yourself that it will be a fun way to remember the good memories while creating a whole new wardrobe! 

Easy task first. Lay everything out on the kitchen table. 

Step 1:  Set aside the pieces you just don't like anymore.  Don't feel bad about it and don't judge yourself. These aren't your children! Just box them up and forward it to a charity or your favorite consignment shop. Decent pieces will find an appreciative new home. 

If it's a better piece find a jewelry store in your community that buys gold and silver jewelry. Your unwanted jewelry may find a home in a display of estate jewelry or could be purchased at scrap value. Gold and silver have intrinsic value, so chances are you'll get a decent check in exchange for these pieces!  

Step 2: Find some old trays and separate the pieces that you want to keep in trays by color and finish.  This is where it gets fun: Look at each tray from different angles. I bet you will see several options among your pieces you hadn't thought to put together.

Step 3: Think like a store clerk and create displays!  Start with your favorite necklaces and gather all the matching earrings, bracelets and rings around it.  Think outside the tray!  Look across the trays and watch for colors the work well together.  Find pieces in other trays that change the vibe or that can be put on longer or shorter chains to add layers.    

Step 4: Take another walk around the trays now that they are organized into vignettes and decide what you still need to complete each ensemble.  (For example, I discovered I had several pairs of hoops to go with my bright silver pieces but nothing to go with my oxidized necklaces - I started a list.

Step 5: Play your own version of The Instagram Game!  Pull your favorite clothes out of the closet and find the tray of jewelry that works best with it. Envision all the options for each outfit and how it would look if photographed together. What could you add to the outfit make your selection even more versatile?  Write it down.  It'll be fun to start looking.  

Now your jewelry is organized to coordinate with your outfits and that's when you start thinking about how to store it.  

Keep your new collections together in trays and find a place to stack them where you can slide the trays back and forth easily. I keep the pieces I wear frequently in open trays (with a cleaning cloth right there) but store the rest in individual ziplock bags that keep the pieces fresh, smudge-free and visible.  Expandable jewelry trays from The Container Store are a great option, and so are the wall-mounted jewelry organizers with shallow shelves and hooks and a mirror on the front door.  

Now, whatever outfit you choose to wear, your coordinating jewelry is all together and right at your fingertips. Being organized truly does feel good!