When you own valuable and sentimental jewelry, it is important to take good care of your pieces. With proper cleaning and storage, your jewelry will stay looking beautiful and last longer.
With our hectic schedules, it can be hard to find the time to properly sort and store your collection. Many of us are guilty of taking off jewelry and tossing into a large box where it comingles with other items.
To keep your jewelry organized, clean and secure, here are four helpful tips:
Over the years, you may have built a nice collection of fine jewelry, as well as accumulated costume jewelry. But many of us are guilty of taking off jewelry and putting into a large drawer or cluttered jewelry box. This can lead to an unruly collection and even damage your items.
In order to organize your jewelry, you need to know what you have. Spend an hour or two laying all of your pieces out on your bed and separate the valuable items from the fun, occasional costume jewelry. With your fine items, create groups of similar pieces, such as earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets, so you can sort and store them. Also, take pictures of your valuables, so you can easily remember what you own.
When it comes to storing fine jewelry, the most important things are to keep the items dry and separated from other pieces. Generally speaking, avoid heat, moisture and sunlight. Moisture can cause metals to tarnish, and softer gemstones and metals can easily be scratched by other pieces.
To avoid damage, it is important to give each piece of jewelry its own “home.” That can be a fabric pouch, tiny cardboard box with padding, or the original box from the jewelry store. To help keep track of each item, write the name of each item on the box or, even better, use a label maker.
Once you have each item secured, put those small packages inside a larger box, such as a shoebox or clear acrylic box, or in a drawer. You can even use several boxes and divide them for similar baubles, such as one box for rings and another for bracelets. The more you can sort, organize and divide your collections, the easier it will be to quickly access your pieces.
When it comes to proper storage, some jewelry requires extra care. Silver jewelry, for example, tarnishes easily when exposed to air and moisture. There’s nothing more frustrating than going to wear a silver piece and finding it dark and tarnished. To minimize that effect, store silver in a box lined with felt, which helps absorb moisture and prevent tarnishing. Larger pieces can be wrapped in a silver polishing cloth.
Pearls also need special attention. If they are exposed with plastic or moisture, pearls can be damaged and discolored, so it is best to store them in velvet pouches or felt-lined paper or wooden boxes.
For gold jewelry and softer gemstones such as opals or amber, that scratch easily, it is important to store items separately. Opt for fabric-lined containers or velvet pouches.
Once you’ve sorted and stored your baubles, pick the best spot to house your collection. Ideally, you want a location that is dry, dark and cool. That’s often a closest or interior space away from windows and vents. If you have an extra drawer that you can line with fabric or felt, that is an excellent place to house jewelry. You can also use a large wooden jewelry box and store individual items inside. For items that you wear every day, consider a separate, smaller wooden or acrylic box to keep on top of your dresser for easy access and safe storage.
With a little planning and work, you can create an organized and secure storing system for your jewelry. That will keep your pieces sparkling and safe, and probably encourage you to wear them more.