Paula Joye explains: how to store your jewellery.

This post starts like an episode of Hoarders. I’m ridiculously embarrassed to reveal that up until five days ago THIS is what the jewellery part of my closet looked like.

Yes, ouch.


Are you still there? Or have you left? Horrified? I know my Mum has.

There are no excuses for mess like this. I have too much stuff. Some precious, some not. But I also have two daughters, two sisters, five sister-in-laws and four nieces which means I’m keeping everything. It’s my duty.

So how do you fix this jumbled mess? Storage. One thing I know for sure in life is that storage makes everything better. It just does.

Clean. Then Clean Some More.

When you’re dealing with this kind of disaster there’s only one way through and that’s pulling everything out. Everything. Every tiny little ring, every tangled cheap pendant from Japan – all of it.

I made four piles: Everyday, Sometimes, Never and Fix.

Place each piece you own into one of these categories. It took me two solid hours.


I unearthed many treasures.

The problem with letting things get this out of control is that you end up wearing the same things all the time and in my case those pieces were whatever was at the front of the pile. It was almost like going shopping – there were things I hadn’t seen (let alone worn) for years.

Cleaning, sorting, detangling, polishing is Stage One. Very cathartic.



The next step is finding order in the chaos. Simple fashion maths.

I decided to put everything into containers to avoid a repeat of the jumbled mess.

For pieces in the Sometimes and Never categories I used these plastic sewing cases.  You can use fishing tackle boxes or tool boxes  – but you want something stackable, compartmentalised and clear.


Make sure you measure the space before you hit the stores so that whatever you choose fits.


You’ll need different size compartments to accommodate different jewellery – I subcategorised into necklaces, bracelets, brooches etc. I tried to fix everything in the fix pile but for the stuff that needs a professional I used one of these cases too. Leave it out of the closet, put it on your kitchen bench as a reminder to get the job done.


For the Everyday I opted for two of these genius little contraptions with drawers and a special swing out section for necklaces. Did you hear that: a swing out section for necklaces!!!

They’ve changed my life. Instantly.


To finish I bought a couple of black velvet drawer liners – one for cuffs and watches, and the other for all my rings.


They turn your drawer into a jewellery shop.

The open access they provide has been amazing. I’m putting things away properly and using my wardrobe the way I should. There’s a range to suit every size/shape/style of drawer – you can get them with dividers which can also be helpful if you’re an earring wearer, which I’m not (I don’t have pierced ears).

Again make sure you measure the internal cavity of the drawer before you buy.


This is the finished result. It’s so calming being organised.


Paula’s inspired those of us at Mamamia to do a rehaul of our jewellery wardrobes and get organised. Send in your own photos of your jewellery and we’ll add them into our gallery:

This post originally appeared on Lifestyled here and has been republished with full permission.

Paula is a journalist and former magazine editor that has worked on Cleo, Shop Til You Drop and Madison. She has dedicated the last twenty years to fashion, beauty and style in print. This post originally appeared on her website, Lifestyled. She posts genius stuff like this every day so you really should go check it out.