"I own a solid cherry wood jewelry box that my husband bought me for Mother's Day," says jewelry lover and shopping consultant Judy Mcdonald, proprietor of Finding Sophies Rubies Shopping Tours in Edmonton. "But since I own over 200 pieces of jewelry it doesn't do the work!" You may not have that many pieces (yet!), but if your jewelry is impossible to keep sorted, read on. Styleathome.com finds out how to safely and stylishly store your precious accessories.
Go for a jewelry box you love
"The first thing I look for is style," says Susan Nichols Klein, category manager for the Living division of Birks. "Is it timeless, will it look good on a dresser, and will it look good in a closet?" are three questions she asks herself when buying jewelry boxes.
"Both leather and wood boxes are the best containers," Susan says, like Judy's cherrywood box. "And the inside finish has to be perfect," she adds. "Materials should be made of soft leather, so the jewelry is not scratched."
Find something big enough to fit your needs
Susan says the box should hold a row of rings, two watches, some chains, at least three spaces for loose items, and a row for earrings. Some people love large three-tier jewelry containers, she says, while others prefer a single level. "But your minimum needs should be met. We always want the option of having to get more jewelry to put in the box!" We like the sound of that.
Keep pieces separated
Once you've found storage you love, the important thing is keeping pieces from rubbing together, says Michelle Laberge, Birks' Director of Public Relations. "You want to store items next to each other, not piled," she says. Diamonds, for instance, might badly scratch gold.
Image courtesy of Pottery Barn
"If you have silver and you don't wear it, it might tarnish," Michelle says, adding that you should hang on to the little velvety pouches you get when buying jewelry, as they come in handy for storing silver. "If you keep silver in the pouch, or wrapped up, that keeps it from tarnishing as fast," she adds. And you can use the pouch to polish the metal, too.
Keep it clean
You wouldn't store away a linen tablecloth when dirty -- the same goes for your jewels. "Make sure they're clean before you store them for a long time," Michelle adds. Birks jewelry can be cleaned for free at a Birks store near you (birks.com) she says. Many reputable jewelry stores and department stores offer the service for free if you've purchased from them, or charge a small fee.
Other tricks of the trade
When your collection grows to near-epic proportions, you'll need to expand your storage. Judy needs more than one jewelry box for her accessories. "I have four to five other jewelry boxes I've picked up at garage sales or thrift stores," she says, which helps her house a collection that also includes costume pieces. For trendy, inexpensive pieces she suggests a low-tech option: "I have a few cork boards that I hang necklaces on with push pins. This keeps them very organized."
Image courtesy of Pottery Barn