How to organise jewellery – 10 ways to put the sparkle back into your collection
If you’re detangling necklaces and hunting down earring backs on the reg, it’s probably time you learnt how to organize jewellery. Not only will it save you time and stress, but the best bedroom storage ideas for jewellery will keep your most precious pieces looking lovelier for longer, too.
‘Having an easy-to-keep-in-place storage system for your treasured jewellery will not only ensure pieces stay looking their best, but it also helps to avoid tangled, knotted necklaces and make it easier to find what you’re looking for, when you want it. All too often we see clients storing jewellery in one drawer or box, which often means lovely pieces get forgotten, not worn or damaged,' advise organising and styling duo, Charlotte Reddington-Smith and Gemma Lilly, more famously known as Style Sisters.
While keeping your treasures safe and secure is the priority, there are plenty of opportunities to get a little creative with your organisation. By its very nature, jewellery adds a decorative flourish – think outside of the box with your storage ideas, and you might be able to inject a bit of sparkle into your bedroom ideas, as well as your outfits!
How to organize jewellery
With so many different shapes, sizes and finishes to account for, organizing jewellery can be an overwhelming task. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to tackle each type separately, particularly if you’ve got a large collection.
‘Once you’ve sorted into categories, you’re able to better assess the most practical storage solution to use for each. What works for necklaces won’t always work for bracelets and earrings, so don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit – there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to organizing jewellery. However, I've got around this with a Stacker's jewellery box which is fully customisable so you can build it to match your collection of bling,' says Rebecca Knight, Deputy Editor, Digital, Ideal Home.
Stackers classic jewellery box | £85, John Lewis
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1. Declutter your collection
No matter how well you organise your jewellery, a cluttered collection with pieces that are broken, tarnished or that you simply don’t wear is never going to feel neat and tidy.
‘Start by laying everything out in front of you. Not only will this allow you to see everything you have, it’ll make it easier to compare between pieces,' says professional declutterer Vicky Silverthorn, brand ambassador at Vintage Cash Cow and founder of You Need a Vicky.
‘It goes without saying that anything broken beyond repair, or earrings that are missing a match, are best recycled or thrown away. After those have been cleared, go through the remaining pieces and ask yourself these three questions: Have I worn this in the past six months? Is this special or sentimental to me? Is this piece my style? If you’ve answered no to all three questions, it’s time to get rid.'
Consider donating or selling any pieces that are still in good condition. While you’re in the process of decluttering, take the opportunity to give everything a good clean, too. It may surprise you to know that certain types of jewellery you can clean with denture tablets – double check what it’s made of first though.
2. Set aside sentimental pieces
Just like when decluttering your wardrobe, decluttering your jewellery doesn’t mean you have to get rid of absolutely everything. Just like with clothes, it’s ok to keep a few items you’re particularly attached to, even if you’re never going to wear them again. Free up space by setting precious pieces aside from your current collection, somewhere you don’t need ready-access to.
For longer-term storage, experts recommend storing items in the boxes and bags they originally came in. You might also consider a safe, particularly for items of value. Investing in one specifically designed for jewellery is a good idea – they come with separating partitions, which reduce the risk of things getting damaged.
3. Group jewellery by type…
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to organizing jewellery. Effective methods for organizing long necklaces will be very different to those necessary for keeping rings neat and tidy, for example. Grouping like-with-like will make life easier when it comes to sensible storage, and you’ll know where you need to look to find things, too.
‘A jewellery box is a classic, no-fuss way to keep your items contained, categorized and secure. From bracelets to rings, watches to necklaces, choose one with dedicated compartments for different types of jewellery. Whether you own jewels aplenty or a more minimal hoard, boxes come in a whole range of styles, shapes and sizes, so you can easily find one to suit your collection,' says jewellery expert Jeremy Hinds, director of F Hinds.
4 … and by what they’re made of
Did you know that some metals can cause a chemical reaction when they come into contact with each other? This can lead to discolouration and scratching, which isn’t ideal. To be on the safe side, experts recommend grouping your finer jewellery by the type of metal their finish – gold, silver, rose gold etc. Ideally, you’d store them individually.
‘If you have the space, the best way to keep your jewellery in excellent condition is to store pieces separately. Using small containers or trays with compartments is great for compartmentalising, but there’s a few household items that work just as well, such as ice-cube trays, egg cartons, and pill boxes,' says jewellery designer, Jessica Flinn-Allen.
5. Keep everyday pieces close to hand
If you have certain pieces you wear all the time, stud earrings, or an engagement ring, for example, it makes sense to separate them from your collection – save you rifling through on a daily basis. Trinket trays or boxes are ideal for corralling smaller items and don’t take up too much surface space, either.
Pop one on your bedside table, so you can remove your jewellery safely at night, then grab and go in the morning.
6. Invest in drawer inserts
If you’re not a fan of having your jewellry on show but still want easy access, designating a drawer for storage is a sensible solution. A shallow one usually works best for daily jewellery as you can see everything at once, while deep drawers offer plentiful storage space for your lesser-worn pieces. Either way, you'll want to invest in decent drawer organizers.
‘Drawer inserts come in a huge variety of sizes and styles to fit the space you have and often come velvet-lined to prevent jewellery from scratching and moving around. If you need to maximise space, you could use stackable trays. Just be sure to keep your most-worn pieces on the top stack so they’re easy to access day-to-day,' says Vicky Silverthorn.
7. Kit out a wardrobe
When storing jewellery inside a wardrobe, investing in a few handy organisers can make for a more practical arrangement. Stackable storage containers are great for maximizing shelf space in general, but if you’re dealing with a tricky corner, invest in a Lazy Susan and load it up with trinket trays and ring holders; being able to spin storage allows you to fit more in, yet still access it quickly and easily.
If you have the budget for it, building-in bespoke storage fixtures into your wardrobe is a great long-term option. ‘Opt for easy access drawers with built-in compartments, similar to those found in a jewellery box,' says Juliette Thomas, founder & director of Juliettes Interiors. ‘That way your whole collection can be seen at once, making it much easier to make a decision on what you want to wear’.
8. Create sparkly displays
Jewellery doesn’t have to be hidden behind closed doors, in fact, it can look rather lovely out on display. Whether it’s a wall-mounted display of your favourite necklaces, or a collection of bangles, bracelets and earrings arranged in pretty trays, artful arrangements can really add to your bedroom decor, while still remaining practical in terms of storage.
Having jewellery visibly on display may motivate you to wear more from your collection, save you from over-purchasing, and help to curate a capsule collection, donating or selling items you never wear,' say the Style Sisters.
9. Let necklaces hang out
Hanging necklaces is your best bet if you want to avoid untangling them on a regular basis, and is a great way of utilizing vertical space when organizing a small bedroom.
‘It can be as simple as hanging up some hooks on the inside of a wardrobe or cabinet door,' says Vicky Silverthorn. You could also buy a corkboard and use push pins as hangers for your necklaces. This could be placed inside a wardrobe or left out on display, if it works with your bedroom décor. Be aware though, fine jewellery can be damaged by prolonged exposure to UV light.’
10. Choose clear containers – and keep on top of tidiness
Rule number one when organizing a bedroom of any size – keep surface spaces as clear as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t store jewellery on them, but you will need to be a little bit conscious of keeping it contained if you want to avoid a cluttered feel.
Clear, stackable containers are ideal for maximizing on surface space, and, because they’re transparent, actively encourage you to keep your jewellery looking neat and well-ordered. It may feel like a hassle, but regular decluttering, sorting and tidying is the key to maintaining good organization – so keep it up!
How do you organise a lot of jewellery?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you really need such a big collection of jewellery. Start with a good declutter, and have a think about areas where you could cut back a little – do you really need five pairs of gold studs, for example?
‘Be realistic about what items you’re going to wear; you’re aiming for a jewellery collection that you love to look at and, most importantly, enjoy wearing,' says professional organiser, Amy Goodwin, founder of Decide to Declutter.
Next, set aside those items that you tend not to wear much, perhaps those for certain occasions, or that you’re holding onto for sentimental reasons. Once you’re left with a curated collection that you wear frequently, it’s time to think about storage options.
Jewellery boxes come in all shapes and sizes, and are specifically designed to keep pieces neat, tidy and well-ordered. Rather than cram everything in, reserve it for dainty items that tend not to tangle, such as bracelets and rings, then consider other ways to store long necklaces and bulky costume jewellery.
‘You may want to use a variety of storage solutions across different areas of the bedroom, such as stackable, transparent boxes, or a wall-hung display. You could use hooks on the back of a wall or cupboard door, or even re-purpose a notice board and hang pieces of jewellery from there,' says Amy.
How can I organise my jewellery without a jewellery box?
For a stylish alternative to a traditional jewellery box, consider making your own wall-mounted organizer by repurposing a picture ledge. Turning the shelves upside down will double the storage space; screw hooks and eyes into the front and back edges for hanging necklaces and earrings, leaving the flat top surfaces free for organising make up and accessories.
Never loose an earring or a necklace to endless tangles again!