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Friday, July 6, 2012

Today's Organizing Tip- Sort Through & Clean Your Jewelry & Watches

My mission for you today is to get your jewelry items in order. You don't have to get this all done in one day. But I would like you to sort through your jewelry if it's been awhile since you've done so, and if you own quite a few pieces. Spend fifteen minutes at a time on it, utilizing a timer if needed. See what pieces are broken & need to be fixed or tossed (if they'd be of no sentimental or financial value even when fixed, throw them out or donate them now). Check & see if watch batteries need to be changed, and go to a jewelry store to get that done- it's a nominal cost, usually $5 to $10, to get a watch battery replaced. Watches with a scratched face or bad band, with pieces sticking out (like metal mesh that can damage fabric or any other flaws), should usually be gotten rid of. Bands can be replaced, but it may not be worth the time & cost. If they were made of gold or sterling silver, or possess gems in them, you may be able to get money for the watch.

See if you need any replacement earring backs, either in metal or plastic (both kinds are available on www.amazon.com in several different versions & colors of metal). If you've lost one earring, and it's been a long time since it happened, I recommend selling it's twin which has been sitting all by itself. If it's gold or silver, you can sell it to a gold/silver buyer & get some cash for it. Same thing with broken necklaces- toss, repair or sell. That should, in fact, be your mantra- TOSS, REPAIR OR SELL BROKEN OR UNWORN PIECES. Obviously, if they have deep sentimental value to you (like a deceased family member's ring), by all means keep it. If it's in decent condition but doesn't fit you because it's too big or small, see what you can do to alter it. Or you could wear a ring guard to make a too-big ring fit your finger. Some rings can be re-sized by thinning the metal, to make it bigger, if needed. This usually works if the rings only have precious gems in them- if they're semi-precious or "soft" stones (pearl, turquoise, etc.), they cannot handle the process of a band-thinning. I had a friend who converted a deceased family member's ring into a beautiful pendant- it had diamonds & some other colored stone (I think it was sapphire). The setting which was originally on a ring looked great as a pendant. Or maybe you have a jewelry object could be made into a brooch. If it's a ring, you could just wear it on a platinum, gold or silver chain (as applicable). If you're selling your jewelry, please be sure to check out the company's record with the Better Business Bureau (if you reside in the U.S.) Thoroughly research online to get reviews from people who've used the company & see how long they've been in business- the longer, the better. The following site is for a company I've used & had no issues with whatsoever.

www.sellyourgold.com

If anyone else has worn any of your earrings, sanitize them with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball, as putting on earrings worn by someone else without cleaning them can possibly lead to an earring hole infection of your skin. If you've loaned somebody a piece or set of jewelry & they're done needing it, ask for the jewelry & get it back now.

A tarnish-removing plate is a great investment if you own a lot of sterling silver jewelry. All you have to do is put the plate down in a sink, plug the drain, put in a small amount of Borax (which is a laundry additive typically) & fill the sink up with some hot water. Be aware that this treatment DOES NOT work on softer stones like turquoise, lapis lazuli & pearls. It will loosen the glue holding the stones in place & can disintegrate the stones themselves. However, it works safely & well for precious gems, which would be rubies, sapphires & emeralds; semi-precious stones such as amethyst or any form of topaz; sterling silver household pieces like flatware & tea pots. I've used it many times, always astounded at the tarnish that comes off & how much my items get brightened with it's use. Rinse VERY well afterwards with lukewarm water, dry with a lint-free cloth as much as possible & them lay on a cloth for several hours to make sure that they dry completely before storing them again. Here's the link to this brightening & restoring product below:

http://www.metalbrite.net/products

If you're hunting for a jewelry box, keep in mind what you own carefully in terms of volume & metal. Jewelry storage options are practically infinite, so I can't address every single one made here. But I can advise you on which type might be best for you. Jewelry trays are available which you can put in a drawer. This is a great option if you lack surface space on your dresser or in your closet, but have a drawer in your dresser that you can put them in. If you have strangers or acquaintences come in your home frequently (such as members of a maid service), I strongly suggest that you invest in a locking jewelry box. It'll cost a bit more at the outset, but it is worth it for the piece of mind. Keep the key with you if at all possible, not out in the open where it can easily be used by the wrong hands. The same thing applies if you have small children who get into everything- it's safer for them & your jewelry if the kids can't get a hold of the pieces! Here are some examples of modern jewelry boxes:

http://www.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx?view=2&app=detail&params=item^H164549,RecTypeInd^IOFFER,navlist^H193897*H01966*H164549*,cp^detail,tmp^related,cpprod^H165020,cm_scid^dtlr&walk=&cmtags=

http://www.amazon.com/Axis-3331-Jewelry-Organizer-Catch-All/dp/B002BZL44I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341585066&sr=8-1&keywords=jewelry+tray

http://www.amazon.com/Axis-3321-Jewelry-Organizer-Earring/dp/B002BZEJ4K/ref=pd_sim_hg_4

http://www.amazon.com/Axis-3322-Organizer-Necklace-Bracelet/dp/B002BZZUUM/ref=pd_bxgy_hg_img_b

http://www.amazon.com/Smaller-sized-brown-leather-Designs/dp/B000VH7IXO/ref=sr_1_172?s=jewelry&ie=UTF8&qid=1341585955&sr=1-172&keywords=jewelry+box+with+tray

If you own a good deal of silver jewelry, then I highly recommend storing it in a specially-designed box or bag lined with tarnish-resistant qualities. I've owned the following box for about seven years, and I can attest to the fact that my silver hasn't tarnished at all, and there are plenty of times I don't wear silver, so it's just stored in the jewelry box. Also, this holds a good amount of items:

http://www.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx/view.2/app.detail/params.item.H01966.desc.Gold-and-Silver-Safekeeper-Petite-Jewelry-Box-by-Lori-Greiner

If you own a lot more pieces, have plenty of necklaces & can afford it, another box with the same lining is available here:

http://www.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx?view=2&app=detail&params=item^H165020,RecTypeInd^IOFFER,navlist^H193897*H165020*H164549*,cp^detail,tmp^related,cpprod^H01966,cm_scid^dtlr&walk=&cmtags=

http://www.amazon.com/Leather-Jewelry-Holder-Classic-Black/dp/B004FDY1TO/ref=sr_1_38?s=jewelry&ie=UTF8&qid=1341586101&sr=1-38&keywords=travel+jewelry+tray

If you only own gold jewelry & want some elegant storage options, I recommend these:

http://www.amazon.com/Crocodile-1-Drawer-Necklace-Earrings-Organizer/dp/B007MF7AO0/ref=sr_1_70?s=jewelry&ie=UTF8&qid=1341585813&sr=1-70&keywords=jewelry+box+with+tray

http://www.amazon.com/Mele-Giana-Plush-Fabric-Jewelry/dp/B007I2EQ62/ref=sr_1_90?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1341585346&sr=1-90&keywords=mele+jewelry+box

If you have a gargantuan amount of jewelry, consider storing it in an armoire:

http://www.amazon.com/Antique-Black-Petite-Jewelry-Armoire/dp/B002Y2XZUO/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1341587365&sr=1-2&keywords=jewelry+lock

http://www.amazon.com/Nathan-Direct-Morris-Jewelry-Armoire/dp/B0047FAMC0/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hg_3

http://www.amazon.com/Coaster-900144-Jewelry-Armoire-Cherry/dp/B004T3596O/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hg_23

You can also choose to hang your jewelry in the closet or on a doorknob, too. This is especially nice for situations when you don't have surface space for a box.

http://www.amazon.com/Richards-Homewares-JWLRY-BLACK-Satin/dp/B001H2LVXU/ref=wl_mb_recs_16_dp

http://www.amazon.com/Household-Essentials-80-Pocket-Accessories-Organizer/dp/B0010XX7ZQ/ref=pd_sim_hg_39

If you're a very visual person, someone for whom things are "out-of-sight, out-of-mind", a jewelry display holder can be the solution to this organization goal.

http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Jewelry-Earrings-Necklaces-Brecelets/dp/B001KKYN2U/ref=pd_sim_hg_35

For travel, these are good options for safe storage of relatively small amounts of jewelry:

http://www.amazon.com/Mele-Co-Josette-Leather-Jewelry/dp/B007470BLU/ref=sr_1_126?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1341585412&sr=1-126&keywords=mele+jewelry+box

http://www.amazon.com/Conair-Travel-Smart-Ts900jr-Jewelry/dp/B004HCI9JQ/ref=pd_sbs_hg_55

http://www.amazon.com/Prezerve-1029584-Jewelry-Organizer-Black/dp/B002N23SHA/ref=pd_sim_hg_3

http://www.amazon.com/Jewelry-Combo-Purple-Household-Travel/dp/B006BQUJ44/ref=sr_1_69?s=jewelry&ie=UTF8&qid=1341586202&sr=1-69&keywords=travel+jewelry+tray

I clean my jewelry every morning right before I put it on (excluding my watch, of course!) I plug the drain of my bathroom sink, put the jewelry in my sink, grab a firm toothbrush which is solely reserved for cleaning jewelry, put a little water & some plain old liquid hand soap on it (I use Dial). I scrub each jewelry piece front & back for thirty seconds or so, then rinse thoroughly. I dry them with a clean washcloth or white cleaning cloth. This daily cleaning ensures that my jewelry always looks it's best on me. I've already put on my body lotion & perfume, plus have already styled my hair completely when I adorn myself with jewels. Jewelry should be put on after grooming, as moisturizers, sweat, body oils, perfume & hair-care products (especially hairspray) dull the finish of the jewelry & take away from their sparkle. If that happens on a long-term basis, it can cause damage to your jewelry if they're getting hit with this products. Another reason why I put on jewelry last is because it can snag bras, panties, socks, any seams or lace in your clothing & it is especially brutal to hosiery if it catches the fabric. Jewelry with any edges like what you'd find on a ring holding a stone will catch on things even if you're very careful, and no one needs additional hassles when they're trying to get ready for the day ahead.

(Again, I must always say that I officially do not endorse any products whatsoever, nor am I under contract to sell any of the items listed here, and all information given in this article is for informational purposes only.)

Here's to being a bejeweled organized minimalist,
Liz

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