If you - like me - have been binge watching minimalist Marie Kondo or the organizing gurus at The Home Edit, you may also have been bitten by the decluttering bug. After a week (or three) my house is mostly in order, but I have saved the best for last: my jewellery.

And if you’re even half the magpie I am, you may well have a growing collection of good jewellery, fun and funky costume pieces, and some emotional gifts. When you take a long hard look at your “treasure chest” you may notice that some will have had their time and could go, but others are hard to let go for emotional reasons.

Remember that even small broken bits may carry significant residual value, so starting with that very satisfying step of purging your jewellery box, drawer, or safe might not be the best idea.

So what now?

Here is our 4-step strategy to get the most from your precious treasures and create and oasis of calm in your jewellery drawer:

Step 1 - Gather and categorise your jewellery.
Step 2 - Curate your collection: Restore and organise your favourites.
Step 3 - Repurpose what doesn’t “spark joy”: Gift, sell or rehome jewellery.
Step 4 - Treat yourself!

Right my dear magpies, on to Step 1 in our four-part series on how to organize your jewellery collection.

Step 1 - The first cut: gather and categorise your jewellery

Start by having a good root around the house to gather ALL of your jewellery. Include both precious and fashion jewellery, and also any broken bits and single earrings. Unless you know the contents of your safe deposit box in detail, you may want to bring those back to the house too.

Next, lay everything out on a flat surface so you can see exactly what you have.

And now for the crucial step: separate all of your jewellery into the following categories. Tip: it helps to grab a tray (or dish) for each group.

  1. Favourites - pieces you wear frequently and your go-to’s for festive occasions.
  2. Unused emotional pieces - These are items you don’t really wear but that hold special meaning to you, like heirlooms, or jewellery that marks special occasions. Make a division into items (or is it memories?) you want to keep for yourself, and pieces would like to pass on to a special person (more on this in step 3).
  3. Broken or missing jewellery - Decide what jewellery you would like to repair or replace, and what bits and pieces are "for the bin", but don’t dispose of the remaining bits and pieces just yet!
    TIP: Set aside anything that you know is made in gold or platinum - no matter how small - and pop them in a separate bag. These bits still have value and can be recycled!
  4. Ready for a new owner - Here we mean any fine jewellery but also your less important pieces or any fashion jewellery that is in good condition and might bring someone else joy (more on this in Step 3).

Left to right: 1. Favourites, 2. Emotional pieces (bottom centre), 3. Repair & replace (top centre), 4. Ready for a new owner.

You’re off to a good start. The next steps are about organizing the jewellery you want to keep. Continue reading to find out how in step 2.

October 08, 2020 — Nicole van der Wolf