Start by grouping your jewellery by category. This will make it easy to see what you have and quicker to find what you are looking for. This is also a great time to assess what you really wear - is there anything that you can sell, donate or have upcycled into something you would wear.
Next think about how you want your jewellery to be stored or displayed. Do you want to keep your jewellery on show or have everything out of sight? Perhaps it’s a combination of the two. You may even need a guard!
Here is an example of a friend who keeps her jewellery stored away in the top of her chest of drawers and uses a combination of vintage jewellery trays and boxes to keep everything separated and easy to access. I love the way she’s used smaller jewellery boxes to subdivide slighter larger boxes to create her own trays.
This friend and jewellery collector has cleverly used unusual vases to create an eye-catching and personal display. The spout doubles as a jewellery hook to keep her necklaces orderly and in easy reach.
At home I display the necklaces I wear most on antique busts. For rings I use these two wonderful vintage ring trees.
You might find that you already have some interesting objects around your home that can be re-imagined for displaying your jewellery. If you want to display your jewellery but don’t have the right piece to use then there is good assortment of jewellery stands and displays available both new (take a look at Urban Outfitters and Oliver Bonas) and vintage.
Use Vertical Space
You can also use hooks or a pin board to hang pieces or even invest in a jewellery cabinet. Vintage jewellery cabinets can be tricky to find but are usually beautifully made. Places like Not a Jewellery Box sell a variety of modern jewellery storage ideas.
When I was researching this piece, I found that jewellery boxes were often favoured. They can make beautiful display pieces and keep everything ordered and easy to find.
My lovely dog Rolo has taken a shine to this handsome wooden jewellery box that I was given for my 21st birthday by my parents. It’s been personalised with the date and my initials.
Leather jewellery cases always look great whether they are modern or vintage. Car boot sales, ebay and antiques and collectables fairs such as Ardingly Antiques Fair are great places to hunt for unusual jewellery boxes.
I found this vintage blue leather and velvet jewellery box at Ardingly Antiques & Collectables Market and used it to display the collection I created for the 2020 Goldsmiths Jewellery Fair.
Divide and Conquer
This vintage Chinese lacquer box is divided into sections on the top. A great tip is to use pieces of thin fleece, felt or velvet to keep jewellery separated. In this display smaller jewellery boxes have also been used to sub divide the bottom drawer. Keeping the lids off makes it quicker and easier to find what you are looking for.
Grab & Go
If you have favourite items you wear, often choose a special dish to store them close by - it could be small saucer or a little pot with a lid. If you have a pendant necklace that you wear regularly but take off at night then hanging it on a vase or ornament will stop the chain from getting tangled.
On the Move
For travel I think it’s worth investing in a travel jewellery roll or travel jewellery case. They do not take up much space and ensure your jewellery is easy to find, separated and tangle free. I use this velvet jewellery roll with a satin lining. It has zip pockets and slim, soft satin popper down tubes that are perfect for rings and for wrapping chains to help prevent them for getting intertwined.
A Note on Care
One of the advantages of a jewellery box or closed storage is that it keeps your jewellery dust free. Keeping shiny sterling silver air tight prevents it from tarnishing as quickly - I use (and always try to re-use), small seal-able plastic bags but am searching for a more sustainable alternative. However, jewellery is easy to clean with a soft lint duster. For a deeper clean, use a paste of one part bicarbonate of soda to two parts filtered water and a very soft toothbrush.
For more precious pieces and pieces you’ve bought from me, I offer a cleaning service in my Tunbridge Wells jewellery shop and Atelier. Consider storing precious and expensive pieces in a safe.
A final tip is to consider switching around your jewellery to make the most of what you have. Perhaps you want to swap round the pieces you keep close by or have on display. I find that if I put some jewellery away, and rotate what I have on hand, I end up wearing more of what I have and find so much joy in rediscovering old favourites when I do the swap over.