Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How I'm Doing: Organization

Two days ago I organized my jewelry. I have two jewelry cases, neither of which were used to their potential. One held the necklaces, but it's four drawers were empty or filled with stuff I never wore. The other held the earrings, all stuffed into one compartment. I was forever untangling necklaces and pulling out handfuls of earrings to find a matching pair. It also held all my rings, again jumbled into one spot.

So, Sunday afternoon, I pulled out all my jewelry, laid it on the floor (which Friday loved), and organized it by type: Earrings a) studs, b) small dangles, c) hoops, and d) large dangles; Necklaces a) silver, b) gold, c) other. I was surprised at how many bracelets I had as well. Now that I work on a laptop most days, and bracelets scrape against the keyboard, I don't wear many bracelets. But there they were.

I paired up all my earrings, then put each pair onto a button (the posts through the holes of the button). I'd started this method awhile back, but hadn't done it to all my earrings. When I use a pair, I leave the button on the dresser, then refasten the earrings onto the button at the end of the day. I did have to take off several of those clear plastic shields that are on lots of earring backs. They covered the buttonholes so I couldn't get the other earring in. And usually, they were small earrings that didn't need the shield anyway. For the few pairs of large earrings with shields, I left them off the buttons, but they are so few that it will be easy to pair them up when needed.

I put the four categories of earrings into the four unused drawers. I put my bracelets into another drawer and separated my rings out into the two ring holders, one in each case. That left the necklaces.

I spent quite a bit of time untangling necklaces. Then I paired up chains with some leftover pendants I had. Any other pendants left over, I put into a compartment in my jewelry case. Total, I have almost 50 necklaces, all of which I like and would wear if they were available. I couldn't imagine fitting them back into the small hooks for necklaces in my jewelry case. There had to be another option.

I remembered reading in a magazine about putting cork board on the wall with straight pins to hold each necklace. I mentioned that to Jon, and he thought it would look tacky. He offered to put something together with a wood board and pegs, but we just couldn't see where we could put it. So...I started searching online. My friend The Container Store didn't offer a whole lot of help, nor did a "how to make necklace holder" google search. Hm.... I realized I was coming to a time crunch (almost time for evening service), and I could only keep the cat out of the bedroom so long. The necklaces were nicely organized, but still on the floor. What to do.... Well, I decided what would work in a pinch. I took a pants hanger (the kind with the cardboard rod), pulled the wire out of one end of the cardboard, slid each necklace on, keeping them in their categories, and put the wire back in. Voila! Only one of my necklaces does not have a clasp; all the others can easily be taken off and put back on by unclasping them. The other, I'll move toward the end where I can pull the wire out and get the necklace off that way. I have a decorative thing hanging above the dresser, so I pulled it off, hung the hanger over the nail, then put the decoration back.

Sure, it's ghetto, but I was actually surprised that it didn't look TOO bad. (And yes, you can laugh at my obvious low standards.) And it was free! So I'm thinking I'll see if I can make it look a little better. Wrapping it in something...painting it.... We'll see what happens.


  1. Good idea! I don't think it would look too bad if you covered the wire with something. :)

  2. Wow, I am impressed by all the categories and such! I too always have a hard time with necklace tangling. I even have a tall jewelry box with a rotating hook in the top. But when I rotate it, the bottoms of the necklaces get tangled because they all drag the floor.

    The only concern about the hanger is, if it tips to the side, will all the necklaces slide down to the end of the hanger and get tangled again? The tacks and corkboard doesn't sound too bad, but it could get big if you space out the necklaces. Oh the dilemmas we face! :)

  3. Hey, the button idea for earrings is cool! You know those little mini plastic baggies that buttons come in? I've heard that you can put your necklaces in those, each in a separate one, and it's supposed to keep them untangled. Now, obviously they won't tangle with other necklaces this way, but I'm not sure if it keeps it from knotting itself.

  4. It will keep them from knotting IF you leave 1/2" of the necklace on the outside of the bag; in other words, drop the pendant inside, leave a 1/2" of the chain hanging outside, then press the little bag closed. The chains will NEVER tangle this way. (This hint came to me from my jeweler BTW.)

    You can get the little bags at the Container Store, I think, as well as at craft stores.

    Congratulations on the organization!

  5. I thought about the baggy idea, but I don't think having 50 baggies would help me find my necklaces.

  6. Don't you just LOVE organizing things?? It's such a good feeling. And I love the button idea.

    I'd wrap the hanger with a wide satin ribbon all around and maybe tie a bow at the top.

  7. One thing you could do is glue some ribbon on either side of the hanger and make a bow at the top.

    Then to keep them from sliding, you could make a notch in the cardboard with a knife or box cutter.

  8. I've used clear pushpins to hang necklaces on. It's still a little bit ghetto, but not too bad.