I’ve been promising for a while now to pull back the curtains on my storage systems. What better place to start than with my jewelry? Warning: Underwear will come into this big reveal as well, but what you’re going to see is 90% jewelry–like rings, bracelets, necklaces, chokers, earrings. I’m going to throw a lot at you; nine whole shelves worth of storage. What you’re going to notice is that it’s all put away and out of sight when I’m not using it. You’re getting a quiz at the end! Study this outfit. By the end we’ll see if you can remember where the jewelry came from that I used to accessorize this shirt dress, gifted to me by J.Jill.
Follow me; I’ll show you where the magic starts.
A skinny antique cabinet holds the key to well-accessorized outfits
The first place I go to start the process of accessorizing is to this narrow, wooden painted antique cupboard that’s in the corner of our master bathroom. Before we moved to Sonoma this cupboard was in my home office. I used it for storing office supplies: envelopes, different weights and colors of printing paper, construction paper, trays that held paper clips and push pins, staplers and double-sided tape. I love the skinny shape. It measures 57x13x13 and has nine shelves.
William Morris, founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement said, “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.” This narrow, aged cupboard is both beautiful to me and insanely useful.
One little note: When we moved to Sonoma I had someone come and Feng Shui our home. It turns out that this cupboard is in an area that needs symbols of the water element. It’s already blue so that’s great. I added the hugging frogs to the top of the cupboard, a wooden fish to the side of it, and a magazine tear sheet of swimmers is inside the door.
Okay, let’s open the door and take a look inside.
Shelf #1 Leather jewelry tray
Right away you’ll notice the leather trays that have labels on them: Gunmetal, Silver, Black/Blue, White, Gold/Copper/Cognac. I arrange necklaces, chains, and various things by color in each tray. So if I’m thinking I want to accessorize with gunmetal accessories, I pull out Gunmetal. If I want to wear something in the gold family, I pull out Gold/Copper/Cognac and see if I find what I want to wear that day.
The shelves in the cupboard can’t be arranged to be spaced the same so these trays fit in where they can. Two of the shelves hold two stacked trays. The top one can only hold one tray. I easily slide a tray out and put it on the nearby vanity and ponder what I want to try first. I bought these leather-lined trays at the crack store; oh, no, I mean the Container Store.
Shelf #2 Earrings and brooches
There are two sturdy repurposed boxes on the second shelf. The narrowest one used to hold bottles of nail polish. I loved the box with the compartments and thought I could make better use of it. I use it to store my go-to earrings.
Again, it’s so easy to pull it off the wooden shelf and dig through until I find the earrings I want to wear.
Sitting to the right of the earring tray is a wooden box with a pic of old-fashioned underwear on the lid. This was a box of stationary with that underwear image on each card. Once the stationary was gone, I had to find another reason to use this fun box. I did. It holds my pins and brooches!
Shelf #3 Repurposed wire mesh baskets for large cuffs and wide bangles
On this third shelf down there are two wire mesh bins side by side. They used to hold office supplies in the same blue cupboard when I used it in my office but now they hold wide bangles and cuffs. Again, I can easily pull each tray out and look inside to see what catches my eye.
My thin layering bangles go inside these polka-dot tea cups. I don’t want them strewn about on the bottom of the mesh bin so I put the two tea cups inside the second bin. They don’t get messed up there and I can easily stagger larger bangles on top of them. So easy to see what I have, right?
Shelf #4 and #5 Leather trays for jewels and my underwear drawer
Shelf number four holds two more stacks of jewelry trays, organized by color. On shelf number five you see that striped shiny box, right? Somebody gave me cute fashion plates and they came in that round box. I had to find a way to repurpose the box because I loved it so much!
If you pull out that box, you’ll see that it’s where I store my undies! It’s my underwear “drawer”! Does that seem random, having panties in the cupboard with my jewelry? Well, I don’t own and haven’t used a chest of drawers in decades. I don’t have an underwear drawer, but I wear underwear, daily! That shelf was perfect for holding that size box and the box was perfect for holding as many pairs of undies that I want to own at one time. The lid to that striped shiny box gets repurposed on the eighth shelf. Wait for it…!
Shelves #6 and #7 More jewels
Now you’re seeing the bottom half of my blue-gray cupboard. Shelf number six holds two more color batches of jewels (mostly necklaces). Shelf number seven has two bowls which individually are favorites of mine. The “bee” bowl was a gift from my friend, Marjory. It holds my rings.
The glazed fish bowl, something I’ve had for at least thirty years, is where I hold random charm bracelets and watches. Again, these two bowls are easy to pull out and find what I want. When I’ve made that decision, I put the bowls back in their spot. A place for everything and everything in its place, right?
Shelf #8 Collar type necklaces, mostly blingy ones
Remember the striped box that holds my undies? Well, this is the lid of that box. It’s so perfect for these bulkier necklaces that hug my neck area. Just today I pulled one of them out and realized I could wear it backwards! It didn’t work for today’s outfit but you’re going to see it on me soon!
Shelf #9 Cute pouches for all reasons
You know how I use pouches to separate items inside my purses so it makes it easy to change them up? Well, this is where I go to choose the perfect pouch. They’ve come from all over: travels to Stockholm, gift shops, and gifts to me. I love them all for different reasons. They are all different sizes. I use them when I travel. Pouches bring me such joy! They’re pretty to look at! Every day when I open this cupboard, even if I won’t be using them that day, I enjoy the beauty and sentimentality of them. I want them right where they are.
Time for your pop quiz!
This “necklace” has gotten comments on Instagram. People want to know more about it. When you look close you can see that it’s not one necklace, it’s two necklaces. I took a strand of gray pearls and knotted them in the center. And then, because I just love my bee necklace that I got in Fergus Falls, MN years ago, I decided to add it to the pearls.
Well, now that you know my system, guess where I grabbed these from? The necklaces came from the very top jewelry tray labeled Gunmetal. If you go back and look, you’ll see them in one of the compartments of the Gunmetal try. The earrings came from …. yes! The box that originally held nail polish but now holds my earrings, right there on the second shelf!
And that sparkly ring came from where? The bee bowl! And the cuff came from, yes, one of the wire mesh bins.
Now when you see my pics you’ll be able to picture me reaching for my accessories to complete an outfit.
Okay, is this what you expected? How do you store your jewelry?