How to Organize Your Vintage Jewelry and Keep Your Favorites on Hand

by Nicole in Comment — Updated November 27, 2023
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You own an elegant jewelry collection. You have a statement piece for every occasion and an accessory for every outfit. Except, you don’t really. Every pair of matching earrings appears to be “on a break.” Your best friend keeps borrowing your best bracelets. And you don’t have time to untangle that jumble of necklaces before the Uber arrives.

When you budget time to get ready, your jewelry or pearl earrings needs to fall into the “slip on” category. Not filed under: “search for, sort through, put-back-together.” Now that you’ve shimmied into that cocktail dress and wrangled your hair into semi-respectable shape, you don’t want to be squeezing behind dressers or rifling through couch cushions. That’s just jeopardizing the jewelry you already have on!

Another way to approach it, is to invest in a few versatile pieces, like a stunning pair of gold earrings . Gold earrings are timeless and can effortlessly elevate any outfit, whether it’s a casual day look or an elegant evening ensemble. By having a reliable go-to pair of gold earrings, you can simplify your accessorizing process and ensure that you always have a chic finishing touch at your fingertips.

Seriously, it’s like your sofa has developed a taste for halo style engagement rings (though who could blame it?). Here are a few tips on how to organize jewelry and keep your favorites on hand.

Ready in 5

“Ready in 5” is a phrase that we hear a lot lately, with minimalist makeup sets that have you out the door in no time. If you are able to achieve the five-minute face on the regular, let your jewelry tag along. Toss your tried and true, go-with-anythings on a tray next to the Ready in 5 makeup set.

If you have a cup on the bathroom counter that holds your standard gloss/blush/eyeliner combo, situate your staple earring set off to the side. That way, it’s just grab and go. Or if you are worried about losing an earring to the wash basin drain (valid), drop those earrings in a vintage bowl next to your perfume.


This is key. Investing in jewelry means investing in jewelry-specific storage. Consider clear acrylic jewelry organizers — you can see everything easily and it looks pretty on the vanity. If you do keep things in a drawer, make sure you have individual compartments — otherwise, it’s all going to run together. You don’t want to break your mother’s heirloom broach trying to yank free the pendant you need to return to your roommate.

Make sure you keep roll risks like rings and stud earrings together in a drawstring jewelry pouch. For necklace storage, the best options are either hanging (purse hangers are a great in-closet option) or keeping in separate little spaces like cubbies.


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Polish or Purge

As you organize, be ready to clean up or clean out. As you put things away in those storage containers, you might rejoice at rediscovering old favorites. Before you tuck that long-neglected necklace back in the drawer, maybe give it a good dusting — that’s definitely not something you are going to have time to do when you are getting ready in a hurry.

Or you might run across some pieces that you’ve never worn. Perhaps for good reason. Think back. If you are consistently wondering “Where should I put this stack of bracelets?” and the answer is never “On me,” maybe it’s time for them to find a new home.

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Stop-Gap Solutions and Travel Tips

Are you looking for a few hacks to keep things from getting jumbled while you are on the go (or just in the middle of reorganizing/waiting for the containers you ordered online to show up)?

  • Avoid Necklace Jumbles: Thread one side through a drinking straw so it can’t get twisted. Or wrap them in cling wrap or ziploc bags.
  • Prevent Errant Earrings: Stick studs into erasers, wine corks and styrofoam plates. If you want to make a good sorting station, grab a cheese grater and start putting earrings on the grid until you can match them all up.
  • Miscellaneous Magic: Bracelets can wrap around toilet paper rolls and rings can rest in socks. And if you aren’t using that old fishing tackle box or contact lens case, bring them back into play until you come up with something permanent.
  • Travel Tips: Use a soft jewelry case (or that drawstring pouch) to make sure everything stays separate and isn’t harmed in transit. Those soft pouches also slip easily into other toiletry carriers. Know what jewelry will set off metal detectors (anything made from a magnetic metal). That way, you understand what you can wear on the plane and what you should probably just stow away in your luggage.

Incorporate Jewelry into the Decor

You know one way to make sure that your jewelry isn’t exiled to dusty corners or forgotten in junk drawers? Put it on display. That keeps it at the forefront of your mind too. After all, it’s meant to be decorative — no need to save that glamor for your wrists and collarbone when your living space could use a bit more spice anyway. Hang necklaces on walls of the apartment for that boho look. If you have pets or kids, just make sure those leather earrings don’t get conscripted as chew toys and those bracelets don’t get thrown into a game of ring toss.

Save Your Jewelry!

Jewelry is all about pleasing arrangement and light-catching spendor. So don’t relegate it to a bin full of broken staplers or a precarious heap on the back edge of your night stand.


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