Welcome to week 6 of the 12 week Get Organized Plan for 2009. I started this 12 week plan because I realized there were some problem areas in my own home that needed some maintenance. “Maintenance” is what we organizers call the revising of systems that aren’t quite working as well as they should and also the ongoing “cleaning up” we do to keep the system working at its best. In the past several weeks we have talked about the kitchen, the entryway and all kinds of papers. Today I realized the jewelry “situation” needs maintenance. Sure, women have more jewelry than men but everyone needs a place to keep their rings and watches. Where do you keep your jewelry?
I have three places: the bathroom (where my everyday earrings and watch live overnight) a jewelry box for less frequently worn items and a drawer in the closet that has a specialized insert designed for jewelry. Although this might sound like a great idea, the compartments are very large and even when grouped similarly it is difficult to find what I am looking for (and I don’t have a lot of jewelry). The jewelry box, which is kept in a dresser drawer, has two removable inserts but you need to open the lid and pull the top insert out before you can reach the other one. I like things quick and easy and this is just too many steps for me.
The first thing to do is analyze the situation and figure out what the options are. In my case it’s easy. Redo the drawer in the closet and make it function efficiently. I sized up the drawer and tried to estimate how much space I needed for my jewelry. Then I bought four different sized inserts that fit perfectly in the drawer. One holds necklaces and two others hold earrings and the other one holds larger pieces like bracelets and watches. The two larger units fill the bottom of the drawer and the smaller ones slide back and forth on top of them. There are many options now from hanging plastic bags to different sizes, shapes and colors of drawer inserts as well as jewelry armoires. Find what works for you.
Step two is to sort and examine all the jewelry. Clean it if it needs it, repair it or toss it and pair up any earrings that may have lost their mate over the years. If you haven’t worn it in a while another option is to sell it at a jewelry store. Many jewelry stores are paying cash for gold.
Lastly, organize it. Group like with like so you can see how many different categories of jewelry you have. Then you can decide how you will place the jewelry into the inserts. Will you put all your favorites together, or group all the gold in the first row and silver in the second? Make it easy on yourself and design a system that is simple and easy to remember.
Be flexible, if it doesn’t work after a week or so, change it around. It is often hard to predict the best way to organize something on the first try. The key is to watch for what happens and adapt the system if necessary. Once you have it working it will take about three weeks before it becomes a habit. Don’t confuse “forgetting” with not working.
These same three steps of analyze, sort and organize can be used for organizing other areas of your home such as your dresser drawers, kitchen drawers or a DVD collection. The key is to have your home function for you and the way you live. Make it easy on yourself.
March 19, 2009: Tackle and Tame Your Mountain of Paper Presentation begins at 7pm at the Norwell Middle School Community Room in Norwell, MA. Register to attend this free presentation and learn tips and tricks for organizing the papers of your life. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to register.