How to organize your jewelry

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pixies2.jpgKelly and Katie McMenamin are two sisters who run a home and life organization service called Pixies Did It. Their philosophy: if your life is not organized around your own habits and personality, it won’t run smoothly. Here, the Pixies talk about how to organize your jewelry according to your personality type…

Who are you?

Your personality tells you more about how you should organize than you think. Use your natural strengths to get a quick Pixie Fix and bring order & serenity into your life. We offer online Myers-Briggs personality assessments through our business, PixiesDidIt! You should recognize which fix is for you without taking the test, but if you want more personality specific organization help, give us a call or an email.

When it comes to jewelry, we break the 16 Meyers-Briggs personality types into four major groups, NJ, NP, and SJ, SP. What unites us? We all need more space for our baubles!

Click through to read the fixes (and see pictures!) for realistic decision makers, visionary decision makers, adaptable realists, and adaptable innovators…

Above all else, SJ’s love crossing things off their lists. So here’s the list; you do the fun part:

1. Go through your jewelry and get rid of anything you don’t wear or that doesn’t have sentimental value.

2. Buy or find a big enough box in which you can easily see and get to everything you have. If it’s a jewelry armoire or a classic jewelry box with lots of interior storage, just be sure to have more room than you need. Or, consider gathering an array of coordinating boxes. Corral boxes you already own from around the house. If the boxes don’t go together think about painting them all the same or similar shades. If you need more boxes or want a fresh start, check out these sites: for traditional try, for eclectic try Pier 1 or Target, for streamlined try Pottery Barn, and for frilly/preppy try Pierre Deux. If you don’t like the look of multi boxes, clear out a top dresser drawer & fill it with jewelry trays from The Container Store.


3. Organize what’s left, keeping like with like in a way you think works best (rings with rings, bracelets with bracelets Kelly even separates beaded necklaces from other necklaces to eliminate the annoyance of chains tangling up on a string of beads/pearls). Separate out unworn keepsakes into their own home (this is for things you can’t part with but never wear).


4. Have at least one open bowl on your bureau for those times when you’re too tired to deal. None of us are perfect!

5. Realize that even when you create a perfect solution, you’ll need to reassess every once in while as your collections grows and changes. Kelly is planning to add another box as she got quite a few necklaces over the holidays.

NJ’s like crossing off lists as much as an SJ, so the organizing techniques we’ve described above should work nicely. What’s different, however, is their visual N, so they’ll need some homes for their jewelry that aren’t hidden.

One idea is to forage through cupboards for mismatched china like tea cups, bowls, and plates it’s a tweaked version of the SJ’s little boxes, but without the visual impediment of lids.


Another idea to consider is a nice looking bulletin board and push pins from or these funky round ones from Little Pretty Studio, or just grab some hooks from the hardware store and screw them into a wall or shelf. You can also find a nice array of jewelry trees on Amazon. For your valuable pieces, a good visual idea are hinged shadow boxes, like ones from Dynamic Frames. This turns your jewelry into a cohesive piece of artwork, but won’t let it tarnish.

Because SP’s are realistic and usually willing to adapt to other people’s structure, most systems will work for them, but for two exceptions. The system needs to work for their lifestyle and it has to have more open space to dump jewelry at the end of the day. They need more of this kind of storage whether it’s a bunch of open bowls or a row of hooks because it’s not as easy for the P part of them to put stuff away at the end of the day, nor will they be dutifully going through their jewelry as often as an SJ or NJ.

With no need to reinvent the wheel, an SJ can adapt to the system that makes the most sense for their type of jewelry. If you have valuable jewelry we know it’s already insured, but if it’s out in the open, isn’t worn all the time and can tarnish it’s just not practical or realistic. So, depending on your lifestyle, we recommend at least one closed piece of storage, either an organized box, an expensive wall safe, a cheap clever one, or that cool hinged shadowbox from Dynamic Frames.


NP’s will probably try every organizational solution there is, because they’re energized by any new idea and usually disappointed when reality doesn’t live up to the ideal. Because it takes time for their new ideas to take shape, they often settle for systems that turn into a twisted mound of jewelry, forgotten pieces at the bottom of a box, or just avoid the detailed bother of jewelry in the first place! But if they’ve got the goods, then most of the visual solutions we’ve outlined for NJ’s will work for them as long as they can make it their own. Their only downfalls are clean, open surfaces and closed unclear containers.


It’s also important for NP’s to make storage solutions part of pre-existing routines, like keeping jewelry where you actually take it off not where you think it’s supposed to go. In general, closed boxes are best for long term projects like tangled and or broken jewelry that needs to be fixed or re-imagined as something else. Some NP’s will be able to adapt to a closed box or safe for valuable jewelry, but others will need to keep their big ticket items on their body or dump them in a jewelry cleaner tub before wearing. And of course, Dynamic Frames is always an option!


We hope you find something that works for you here and would love to hear about the organizational solutions in your life that are easy and work. Personality preference isn’t about who you aspire to be or even who you can be when you have to (ie. at work, managing kids’ schedules, dealing with family) it’s about your shoes off self and it’s as innate as being right or left handed. So when it comes to keeping organized, take the easy route. Learn who you are, find the solution that works for your type, and let life be easy!

4 thoughts on “How to organize your jewelry

  1. I see that I am managing my jewelry as you would suggest/expect: in boxes, in a convenient drawer, in categories. It’s not perfectly neat but there is a system.
    Looking forward to your thoughts on organizing my photos – since 1985. Up to then is in order – thank you to a good daughter. She’s still good, but the photos are a mess. Nice idea to blog. I’m a fan.

  2. This is wonderful advice. As I’m reading I keep thinking – “How do they know that??” My boxes can now be sorted and mixed with my open bowls and I don’t have to wonder why I don’t do one or the other.

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