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Lots of Jewelry - What to do?

Q. I have a ton of jewelry. No, I am not rich - most of it is costume jewelry but I like it. I've also accumulated a lot over the years from relatives and friends. I am overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of items so I always wear the same one or two pieces. Can you recommend a strategy so that I will know what items I have and be able to choose something? Thank you.

Reply: My first suggestion is to lay out all of your pieces on a large flat surface and sort by body part, ie, put all of the earrings together, etc.

This will give you a bird's eye view of your collection, which simplifies the next step, which is to decide what to keep and what to donate or throw away. Have a spare box on hand for the pieces to be donated so you can move along without delay.

Complete one body part before going to the next, so that if you must stop and come back later, you will have a logical interruption point.

Keep the remaining jewelry sorted by body part and store in such a way that you can see all of your options when searching for something to wear. Many discounters and home stores sell a variety of containers in which to keep jewelry.

You could also make something. Consider decorating a cork board with a pretty fabric. You can use push pins to hold your watches, necklaces, bracelets and anklets. Your brooches can be stuck directly into the cork, as can your earrings (keep your earring backs in a small container-you don't really need to worry about matching up the right back, since most are shaped similarly).

That leaves rings, which can be threaded through a thick ribbon and secured to the cork with a push pin. You can keep your cork propped up or adhere it to the wall with mounting tape.

That way, you can see your collection in full splendor!

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Jill Ellen Shankar
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