Organize Jewelry with the KonMari Method
Declutter and organize jewelry and accessories with the Marie Kondo method; including how to store earrings and how to organize hair accessories. [Updated 2021]
Jewelry is a very tough thing to organize. We collect it over the course of our lives, it doesn’t tend to ‘go out of style’ and it’s small- so we justify keeping it all. But it can be a pain to store and it can easily get out of control, so today I’m going to show you How to Use Konmari to Organize Jewelry and Accessories.
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In case you’re new here! I have an entire series of Konmari blogs on various organizing and decluttering journeys. I’m a bit of a decluttering nerd and I LOVE it. I’ve been using the basic Konmari method for decluttering for years (since the first year Marie Kondo’s famed book was released!) and I’ve had a lot of experience with using it to effectively organize and reclaim our home.
Today, we are focusing on jewelry and accessories – how to declutter them and then how to store them so that you are using what you have.
Update: Note I’ve added to the FAQ section of this blog post to respond to some reader questions; and I’m specifically adding a section here about how to organize hair accessories and store them.
What is Konmari?
Konmari is the Japanese art of decluttering, made famous by author and professional organizer Marie Kondo. The method can be challenging because it forces you to examine what you own by holding every item in your hands (or touching it) and determining how much joy it brings you. If you are a diehard Konmari practitioner, you let go of everything you own that does not serve a high purpose (shelter, warmth, food, security) and doesn’t spark true joy.
How do you declutter Jewelery?
First we have to understand the basics of the Konmari method of decluttering. If you’d like to dig in, you can check out this post where I explain how I use Konmari to organize and store belts and other larger accessories, like scarves.
The challenge with organizing jewelry is two-fold. There’s a lot of it and most are small pieces.
Step one to organizing jewelry
Sort all of it. Go through all your drawers and jewelry boxes and lay out everything either on a table or on the floor. This will also give you a chance to detangle and unwind any necklaces or bracelets that might be knotted or twisted.
Continuing sorting your jewelry based on type and occasion. For example, smaller chain necklaces and chunky beaded necklaces should each be their own category.
Per Konmari method, you should touch every piece of jewelery and determine if it sparks joy for you.
What is sparking joy?
Good question. I always say I’m not here to judge you ability to feel your emotions! But I have found, over the past seven years of doing this decluttering thing and seeing other struggle with it – that joy can be a hard emotion to identify.
Most people are better at knowing was DOES NOT spark joy for them.
How I determine if a piece of jewelery or an accessory sparks joy
I first ask myself if it’s broken or beyond repair. If it is, I toss it. I don’t let my emotions make that decision.
update: when my grandmother’s silver bell earrings broke, I decided it was worth it to have them professionally repaired. This falls under the Konmari method category of KOMONO – or sentimental items. If your accessories are sentimental, then you need to consider if they are worth repairing for you OR if you will keep them even though you won’t wear them. In this case, that’s okay. Do not feel guilt over it!
I then ask myself if I realistically will ever wear it again.
Tastes change! And so when I was assessing the joy in my necklaces, I really had to be honest about where I am in my life. I used to wear chunky necklaces a lot. But now, I have two kids and a baby and it’s not realistic for me anymore.
I chose to keep my two favorite chunky necklaces and donate the rest. If I want to buy a new one down the line, I will.
My point is that when you are organizing and sorting and decluttering jewelery and accessories, it’s important to spark joy, but also be realistic.
Start your Organizing and Decluttering Journey on the right foot!
Quick Tips for Using Konmari to Organize Jewelry and Accessories
So how do you use Konmari to sort through and declutter jewelry? It’s the same basic principle as any other Konmari endeavour. Here are some quick tips to help you get started.
- Gather every piece of jewelry you own into one place and spread it all out on a table or bed (or the floor)
- Immediately sort and identify the broken pieces that cannot be repaired. Earmark them as toss.
- Sort the remaining based on what you wear often, what you haven’t worn in the last twelve months and what you never wear, but to which you are sentimentally attached.
- Donate what you haven’t worn in the last twelve months
Tips for Sorting and Organizing Jewelry
Now that you have the basics done, you need to re-sort your jewelry in order to organize it. You’ll probably end up with two separate piles. Let’s tackle the ‘sentimental’ pile first. These are pieces that might be heirlooms and that you don’t want to toss, but they don’t need to be at the forefront of your everyday organizing strategy.
You can sort heirloom or sentimental pieces in a separate jewelry case that you keep in a closet or drawer. Or you can also buy small velvet jewelry bags to keep them scratch free. Do this first, as it will help you mentally clear some of what’s in front of you before moving onto what is likely the larger pile of jewelry left to declutter.
The remaining jewelry should be stuff you wear everyday or have worn in the last year or so. Spread each piece out individually and make sure it’s all tangle and knot free. Now we are going to figure out how to store it all properly!
Organizing Your Jewelry using Hanging Storage Solutions
I think most people are looking to create more space when they organize jewelry and so, hanging it on the wall in some capacity is a great way to make more space and keep things looking crisp and organized.
I’m a big fan of Hanging Organizers. In fact, you can check out my simple DIY Hanging Necklace Organizer if you need inspiration. I pulled it together in a couple of hours, using very basic supplies. It’s hanging on the wall using Command Strips and it definitely ensures I wear my jewelry more often.
I’m also absolutely bonkers for this wood and brass version of the same type of hanging wall organizer. It’s gorgeous and bit more sophisticated than mine. It would look stunning in an urban loft or apartment, don’t you think?
If your stuff is a bit heavier (think chunky necklaces and beaded items), you might need a storage solution that can hold a bit more weight. For situations like this, I’d turn to an over the door jewelry rack or organizer like this one. It is made of metal, so it can accommodate lots of types of jewelry hooks and it will take more weight than something that is tacked to the wall.
Organizing Your Jewelry | Countertop Solutions
If you have enough space on a dresser, vanity or bathroom counter, you might want to consider using a tiered tray to sort all your jewelry. These keep things very accessible and are a great place to drop your rings, earrings and hair clips at the end of a day. I love this wood and felt tiered tray. It’s sleek and folds up if you need to clear more space!
You might also consider using a tray that doubles as a vanity or makeup mirror! I’ve got one in my master bathroom that I use to coral my everyday jewelry, hair clips and makeup. It works really well and it’s pretty to look at. For more about this, you can see how I organized my bathroom countertop in just ten minutes!
If this hasn’t been enough organizing for you – and if you have another big project to tackle, I recommend looking at your linen cupboard. It is another area of the home that gets out of control easily, but is simple to purge, sort and declutter. In fact, I did my entire linen cupboard (including installing new shelves!) in just half a day.
How do you store earrings in a drawer?
This is a popular question! I personally like to store my earrings either on a jewelry tree or in a small, clear, jewelry box inside one of the drawers.
The earrings I keep in the drawers are the larger ones, like hoops and dangling earrings that won’t get tangled.
If they are small studs or prone to tangling, then you’ll want to invest in drawer dividers and small clear boxes to store each pair of earrings individually inside your drawers.
How do you organize hair accessories?
I organize hair accessories the same way I organize jewelry. If they are small, every day hair clips, I keep them in the same clear organizing box inside drawers (things like elastics and small clips).
For hair accessories like bobby pins and clear elastics, I have an individual box or tin for those because we use them a lot in our house.
Special hair accessories are kept in a stackable, snap lid container with drawer dividers. I have two daughters, so we have LOTS of hair accessories to organize.