Every woman’s had it happen to her: the necklace forgotten on a hotel bureau; a favorite earring lost during a spectacular night of dancing; a ring perched on the edge of the bathroom sink for just one millisecond….and down the drain the next. I speak from experience. My college boyfriend’s father was a jeweler. For my birthday one year, he gave me a beautiful ring that went rattling down the drain of my bathroom sink (I’d removed it to wash my hands), lost and gone forever. I’m still not over it.
Jewelry is expensive. And fun to wear. It’s also, unfortunately, among the easiest of things to lose track of. Why? Because as a woman’s jewelry collection grows over time, her system for keeping it organized doesn’t always keep pace. It’s easy to forget what you have or simply lose items, when your collection is scattered among random jewelry boxes, drawers and pouches.
Wrangle (and yes, untangle) your baubles in a few simple steps:
Step 1: Regroup. Almost everyone makes the mistake of organizing their jewelry by when they get it (new bracelet goes wherever there’s enough space). Instead, organize your jewelry by how you wear it. There are a few simple options: by occasion (e.g. office appropriate vs. black tie event), by color (e.g. all turquoise together, all orange together) or by type of item (rings together, necklaces together, etc.) Whatever groupings you choose, designate appropriate containers for each category. Re-purpose existing jewelry boxes, drawer dividers and wall hooks to corral each collection logically.
Step 2: Secure. Take the time to get your most expensive items and heirlooms appraised, and then keep them under lock and key. Not only will it deter theft, it will give them the place of honor they deserve. Look for clever home safes (if I told you what they looked like, that would defeat the purpose), and learn to use the hotel safe when you travel. Go online in search of “earnuts”, which are rubber, metal or magnetic security backs that keep earrings where they belong, in your lobes!
Step 3: Park safely. When going about your daily business, stop taking your jewelry off and setting it down in any old place. Develop fool-proof habits that make it impossible to leave your treasures behind. If you’re out in public and must remove a piece of jewelry, keep it on your body: stick it in a pocket, place it in your wallet or even tuck it in your bra. If you’re sleeping away from home, stow jewelry in a special travel pouch in your bag, instead of on the nightstand or vanity. And at home, for each sink, place a beautiful bowl designed just for this purpose, to hold items whenever you take them off, so they don’t go swirling down the drain.
Simple tools, simple rules…making sure the adornments you adore, stay yours forever (or at least as long as you treasure them). And when you take good care of your jewels, it’s much easier to make the case for why (and how) you should add to your collection.