Life Style

How to organize your favorite jewelry (and get rid of the rest)

When it comes to storing jewelry, there is no shortage of organizing options. In fact, the choices can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, the best choice is usually determined simply by what kind of space is available.

But before you run out and purchase hooks, trays, dishes or boxes, do an inventory of your jewelry collection. Pair earrings, untangle necklaces, make sure watches have batteries and set aside those pieces you’re no ­longer wearing.

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Once you know what you have, you can consider which storage options make the most sense. As a general note, all jewelry is best kept away from extreme heat and bright light, and in a relatively dry space with a consistent temperature.

A lot of people don’t have extra drawer space, but if you do, try drawer inserts. Using drawers to store jewelry has the dual benefit of allowing you to see everything when you pull them open, but also of having things out of sight, so surfaces feel less cluttered. The key is ­compartmentalization to prevent things from getting jumbled or lost.

In smaller drawers, you can stack padded jewelry trays. In larger drawers, you can customize your storage options with different types and sizes of trays, or use an expandable tray. There are inserts made specifically for rings, earrings and necklaces, which is why you want to know how many of each you’ll need.

If you want to get creative, substitute ice cube trays for standard jewelry trays. You can also use items as fancy as antique teacups and as basic as colored or decorative gift boxes inside drawers to separate rings, earrings and bracelets.

Silver pieces are best kept in anti-tarnish bags, or in closed boxes to limit air exposure.

If drawers are not an option, there are ample other ways to creatively organize and store jewelry using empty wall space. As a bonus, you can customize them to go with your decor.

One inexpensive and trendy option is to use a pegboard to hang necklaces and bracelets. A pegboard gives you maximum flexibility for rearranging pieces or adding new ones. Similarly, try a decorative bulletin board. Pins called T-pins can hold up the jewelry.

If you’re less of a do-it-yourselfer, purchase a pre-made, wall-mounted hanger option. Open jewelry hangers are lightweight and easy to attach to the wall. They’re also easy to take with you when you move, and come in a variety of finishes and sizes.

If you would rather enclose your collection, consider a wall-mounted cabinet. Jewelry cabinets, or armoires, are available in basic designs, but others are outfitted with mirrors, LED lights, locks and even specialty fabrics to prevent tarnishing. They are heavier, however, and require more work to install. They’re also more difficult to move if you redecorate or relocate.

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If those options seem too elaborate, hooks designed to hold keys, ties and belts also work. As do adhesive hooks, which can be stuck anywhere and will not cause damage when removed. These hooks are also available in different colors, finishes and ­sizes and are inexpensive.

Using surface space to store jewelry gives you maximum ­flexibility to move things around.

Jewelry boxes range from large and elaborate to small and basic, but regardless of size, they have a limited storage capability. Other options include open-tiered stands and “trees,” designed specifically for necklaces, bracelets, watches and rings. It’s also fun to add a little personality and color by using special dishes, or even a tiered dessert stand.

If jewelry is your passion and you need things to be stored away but also easy to access, you may consider an actual piece of furniture. Jewelry armoires are available in a variety of sizes and finishes and have the benefit of not actually looking like storage.

Even the best organizing products won’t work if the contents include both your everyday pieces and jewelry you don’t like and don’t wear. Jewelry is understandably difficult for people to part with, as there’s often a special memory attached, or it just feels terrible to get rid of something valuable.

If you can’t part with particular pieces but know you’re never going to wear them, at the very least store them in a different space from where you keep your everyday jewelry.

As for pieces you no longer want, donate them. Many charities accept fine jewelry donations, including Goodwill, the Salvation Army and Support Our Troops. If you want to unload costume jewelry, look into organizations such as Dress for Success, Suited for Change and I Have Wings.

It is possible to sell old jewelry, but doing so requires substantial time and effort, including getting your items appraised. Additionally, you’ll have to decide whether you want to sell online or at a local store, which will require comparison-shopping and research.

If you’re looking to part with diamonds, an engagement ring or an expensive watch, an online auction marketplace called Worthy provides an easy-to-use platform that reaches a wide audience of potential buyers. Worthy partners with the Gemological Institute of America to grade and authenticate the pieces you want to sell, and the company works with the sellers to guide them through the auction process.

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