In this week’s challenge we’re going to organize jewelry and other accessories so we can find what items we want or need each day, and properly care for the items we own.
This challenge continues the task we have been on for several weeks now, of dealing with our clothing items to get everything organized, so we pair down and use what we already own, and can put our fingers on any item we want to wear quickly when we get the urge.
This week we’ll organize the following types of items:
- Hair accessories
- Scarves, ties and belts
- Glasses and sunglasses
Are you new here? The Organize Jewelry & Accessories Challenge is part of the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren’t already a regular reader).
Step 1: Gather All Your Accessories & Jewelry In One Place
Often your accessories and jewelry can be found all throughout your house, especially things for your hair. The first step in the Organize Jewelry & Accessories Challenge is to gather all these items into one location.
This will help you not only see what you’ve really got, but also keep these items from becoming clutter throughout your home.
There are always exceptions to the rule, but typically it is best to have all of these like items together in one location for the best organizational scheme.
Step 2: Declutter Jewelry & Accessories
Once you’ve got everything together the next step in the Organize Jewelry & Accessories Challenge is to declutter and pair down your collections.
All the types of accessories and similar items that we’re dealing with this week are the exact types of things that we can easily accumulate too many of in our homes.
While some jewelry is quite expensive, costume jewelry, hair accessories, etc. can be readily bought for not too much money and individually the items don’t take up too much room. That somehow makes it seem OK to slowly accumulate a large amount of such things, which when put all together can amount to quite a bit of stuff.
Look with a critical eye to what you own, and save the best of the best and get rid of the rest if you’ve got too much stuff.
Here are some of the types of items you should consider decluttering:
- Items you haven’t worn or used in a year or more
- Things which are no long in style or are outdated
- Items you would no longer wear, for any reason, including that you just don’t like it very much (don’t feel guilty about how expensive it was!)
- It no longer fits (unless it can be resized, and you want to go to this expense)
- Broken items not valuable enough to repair
- Earrings or other accessories that need a match, but one is lost
Remember that both styles and personal taste can change. You should only keep items that reflect who you currently are, and not items that no longer do.
If an item you decide to get rid of is valuable you may want to take additional steps when removing it from your home to make sure it goes to a good home, or that you get compensated for its value.
Step 3: Categorize Your Remaining Accessories
Once you’ve gotten rid of the excess and are left with items you truly love the real organizing begins. In this next step of the Organize Jewelry & Accessories Challenge you should categorize the items you’ve got.
I already mentioned the broad categories of accessories that we’re focusing on during this week’s Challenge above. However, you can also break down and categorize items further, such as putting all the necklaces, earrings, barrettes, pony tail holders, bows, etc. into their own subcategories.
Further, you may want to separate out your really nice and valuable jewelry from your costume jewelry, because you may store these items separately, taking more care with your more valuable pieces.
One important rule in organizing is to keep like with like, and this categorizing and subcategorizing does this for you. It also helps you realize how much of a certain type of item you’ve got, which can help you choose the right size and variety of storage solutions to use in the step below.
Step 4: Organize Jewelry & Other Items Using These Suggested Storage Solutions
The final step in the Organize Jewelry & Accessories Challenge is to actually organize the items you’ve paired down and categorized. To do this use storage solutions to keep everything together, in one place, but still divided to keep it from getting jumbled back up.
The wonderful thing about this is that you don’t have to go out and buy items to get organized, unless you want to, but instead can most likely find items around your home, or that you can make, to keep everything where it needs to be.
Below are some organizing tips for each type of accessory and jewelry you may be dealing with in this challenge:
Tips For Organizing Jewelry Generally
Traditionally, jewelry is often stored in a jewelry box, and many of these can be quite lovely and beautiful in their own right.
The best ones have divided areas where you can hold various types of jewelry, such as your rings or necklaces, and a separate place for earrings or pins, for example.
The problem with some of these jewelry boxes occurs if they aren’t well designed, or you’ve got too many items to fit properly. Then, it is possible that such a box will not allow for enough categorization, and everything just gets dumped into a single large space. When that happens everything overflows, you can’t find both of the pair of earrings easily, and all the necklaces get tangled together.
It is best to organize jewelry by category, to keep everything easily accessible. That is why lined jewelry trays (shown below), which can be stacked, are a great resource. These shallow drawers can easily hold your items while keeping everything separate and from becoming tangled together.
If you don’t have a lot of flat space to hold these trays though, another helpful jewelry storage solution is a hanging jewelry organizer (shown to the left, above) which comes with lots of small divided compartments to keep things separated from one another.
These little compartments are not only good for jewelry, but many other types of accessories, and even other types of small items that you want to categorize and keep divided from one another.
Further, some jewelry, such as silver, can begin to tarnish with time. To prevent this it may be worth storing such items in a velvet or felt pouch which can delay tarnishing.
In addition, other fragile jewelry, such as pearls, should be kept from touching other items that could scratch them. Therefore, such items may also need to be placed in their own special pouches for protection.
Necklaces can easily get knotted and tangled, and the best way to prevent this is to hang them.
What method you choose for this process somewhat depends on how many necklaces you’ve got, and whether they are thin ropes or thick and chunky items.
Some possible ways to store them include:
- A figurine or bust which allows you to hang the necklaces on it (often a beautiful little decoration in its own right, that can be used to hold your most often used necklaces that you wear almost every day)
- Mount hooks on the wall or on the inside of a door or cabinet that allows you to hang each necklace individually, or similarly, using a wall or over the door organizer to accomplish the same thing (see example to the right)
- If you’ve got to keep the necklaces in a drawer, and can’t hang them, consider a chain keeper to keep the necklace taught and from movements which can cause tangling
How To Organize Earrings
The key to organizing earrings is to keep the pairs together. There is nothing more annoying than deciding to wear a pair of earrings, grab one and then have to hunt for the other one for several minutes.
There are many styles of earrings, and the way you organize them is somewhat dictated by the styles you’ve chosen. For example, you can hang some earrings, which is especially helpful for dangly ones that could get tangled otherwise (see example to the left).
Others are quite small and can be placed into small trays or individual bowls to keep them with their pair, and easily accessible.
Here are some ideas for earring storage solutions that may work for you:
- Earring trees
- Keep individual pairs of earrings in separate compartments of an old ice cube tray, or jewelry tray
- Pierced earring card holders
It may be best to keep each ring in the box it came in, to keep them safe and secure between uses. This is best for those rings that aren’t worn often.
Another similar possibility is placing each ring separately in a small divided space, much like you would with earrings, such as in a jewelry tray like one shown on the right.
However, many of us have rings we wear every single day, consistently, such as our wedding or engagement band, or another special ring. The best way to organize these items is to make a place for them to be held each evening as we take them off, so we can easily find them in the morning when we put them back on.
You can use a small dish, or a ring holder for this purpose.
Also, consider adding a ring holder or ring dish to any area where you often take your rings off within your home, such as in the bathroom when you wash your hands, or in the kitchen, next to the sink, while you wash dishes. This way your rings don’t get lost or go down the drain while doing these tasks.
Organizing Hair Accessories
The way you organize your hair accessories is partially based on what type of accessories you favor. For example, if you love ribbons you’ll need a different organizational plan than if you love barrettes or pony tail holders.
The key, no matter what you’re organizing, is to keep like items together and choose a way where you can grab one accessory at a time without disturbing the others.
Here are some ideas for organizing these items:
- Place all pony tail holders on a shower curtain ring, or a carabiner to keep them together
- Attach barrettes and clips to a long strip of ribbon
- Use a small basket, preferably with some dividers, to hold your most used items and to keep them categorized
- Keep fungible items, like bobby pins, in a small box with a lid (or an old Tic Tac container)
Tie & Belt Organization
If you’ve got a large collection of ties or belts, the most important thing to do to keep them organized is make sure they are all easily seen at a glance.
In addition, make sure that you can remove one specific tie or belt, and replace it when finished, without having to move around all the rest of them.
There are many types of storage solutions designed to let you do these two things, including tie and belt racks, and special hangers, which you can mount to your wall, door, or onto a closet rod.
If you’ve got a very large collection the types that rotate can be helpful, so you can easily get to the items in the back easily.
Organizing Sunglasses & Eye Glasses
Often you don’t need a large amount of these items, but it is important to find them when you need them.
Assuming you don’t have too large a collection, what you really need to focus on for them is not organizing them, but instead keeping them in a designated place at all time so you can find them when you need them.
If you often misplace your glasses go ahead and make a special place for them that is close to where you often take them off, so you can find them easily.
Further, if you’ve got several pairs of reading glasses for example, try to put a cheap pair in all the locations you often use them, and just keep them there, so you can easily find a pair when you need them. Then, before you leave the area make sure to place them back where they need to be to find them next time.
If you’ve got a larger glasses or sunglasses collection, you may need to keep them all organized in a sunglasses storage container, such as the one shown on the left, above. Whatever type of organizer you choose for this purpose, just make sure the glasses are protected from jostling to avoid scratching the lenses.
Tell Me How The Organize Jewelry & Accessories Challenge Is Going For You
I would love to know how this week’s Organize Jewelry & Accessories Challenge is going. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you’ve organized this items in your home in the comments below.