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Spring Cleaning Your Jewelry Box

Like your house or apartment, your jewelry box needs an annual deep cleaning, too.

It doesn’t really have to be spring to go deep on cleaning anything, but the term does apply to reviving and renewing any time of year. Just like you have to have a go at your closets and drawers to either care for or get rid of old clothes and shoes, your jewelry box can be hiding some surprises.

Storage solutions

First, if you don’t have a proper jewelry box or other storage system and have been haphazardly storing your jewelry in other ways, it’s time to get organized. Think of the time you’ll save hunting for the matching earring or earring back or untangling a couple of necklaces that have woven themselves into one.

Jewelry boxes can be found that will complement whatever your décor preference — lean and modern, simple Craftsman-style or traditional Victorian. Make sure there are separate compartments in varying sizes to hold earrings, necklaces and bracelets. If one box won’t hold your stash, there are larger jewelry “armoires.”

If you don’t have the floor or horizontal space for those options, check out freestanding or wall-hung mirrors that hinge open like a thin medicine cabinet, revealing space for your collection. You can also purchase drawer organizers and devote one of your dresser drawers. There are also freestanding “trees” you can sit on a dresser to hang necklaces or bracelets from. Don’t hang pearls — the string can stretch and eventually break.

Clean out and organize

Get yourself comfortable at a table or desk and go through your collection. This is also a great time to make a list of your jewelry — important for insurance claims in case of disaster or theft. Digital photos are also a great idea.

Pull out every piece. Check clasps and fasteners. If anything needs repair, create a space to place that jewelry. If you can’t remember the last time you had your engagement ring — or any other piece where prongs hold a diamond or gem — cleaned and checked for looseness or damage, now’s the time. Generally, with engagement rings especially, the store it came from will do the maintenance for free or a low cost — in fact, it might be part of the warranty.

Now that you’ve separated what needs to be repaired, take a hard look at what you have left. Is there something that you haven’t worn, and will probably never wear? Decide what to do with it, but first take into consideration:

  • Is it valuable? If it is, you can take it to a consignment shop and have them offer it for sale for you. If you’re comfortable on eBay, you can auction it.
  • Can it be repurposed or redesigned into something you would wear? If there’s a significant stone or stones, think of whether a ring you don’t like might become a pendant you do like, for example. Jewelers will work with you to help.
  • Does it have sentimental value or is it an heirloom? Put it aside, there might be someone in your family (maybe even someone who’s not even born yet), who will want it and love it as is.

See what you don’t have

Once you cull through your repairs and discards, take a look at what’s left. Is there something you don’t have that you’d really like? Well, you’ve just created space for it. Take a look around the jewelry store when you take things in for repair and fill up that jewelry box again!

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