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Mallory’s Jewelry Storage Problem + A New-Found Solution

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Serious question: Why is jewelry so hard to store?? Jewelry boxes are too small to be actually useful and if you go BIG, jewelry armoire storage is generally too skinny and awkwardly sized to make a cool statement in a room (unless it fits PERFECTLY in some architectural corner or nook). Herein lies my current jewelry storage agony. So, should I hang my jewelry like everyone says?? And if that is the case, how do I make it look cool on the wall? If one more DIY site tells me to put a bohemian branch on the wall with dainty chain necklaces dripping off it, I might lose it. My necklaces are not leaves, and I want my wall space back. So if those options are out, then what’s left? Now what? NOW WHAT I SAY?!

Whether your jewelry is small and dainty or chunkier than a double chocolate chunk cookie, jewelry storage poses a problem for everyone. I didn’t understand the depth of my jewelry storage frustration until I started writing this post, so after days of tirelessly researching, I think I’ve figured it out for all of us.

THE PROBLEM

The reason I’ve been thinking about jewelry storage a lot more now than I do on a regular basis is because I just moved into my first real apartment that I care a lot about and I have nowhere to put my jewelry. It’s a studio apartment so I have minimal wall and counter (and floor) space, plus my jewelry is mostly just uninteresting, cheap necklaces & earrings that aren’t that awesome to look at (unless paired with a cute outfit, of course). So any exposed jewelry storage options are out for me (although if you have the space for it it’s great, keep reading, I linked the best ones below). Now I’m left with the question AGAIN: NOW-FRICKEN-WHAT? Excuse my language. Here’s what we want to avoid…

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING. I cannot express the immensely traumatic feeling that overcomes my body when looking at the photo below:

Image Source


Shivers were just sent down my spine. I’ve lost hours of my life trying to untangle these monsters. Today it ends.

Now I’ve had LEGIT jewelry boxes with the whole necklace hanging compartment and the sides that open and whatnot. Trust me, this thing had ALL the bells and whistles. But you know what? Somehow, someway my necklaces always ended up looking like this. Unless you’re staring at your necklaces 24/7, you won’t even realize that over time this will happen whether you’ve stored your jewelry in a box, a tray, a bowl, drawer, etc. If you own any jewelry at all, this is your fate. In fact, it’s your destiny.

So why then has no one seemed to figure this out? I took matters into my own hands.

When I moved back into my parent’s house after a 6 month stunt “trying out” New York City post-college graduation (that’s a blog post on it’s own), I had no job and therefore, a lot of time on my hands to figure out seemingly meaningless (but also vastly important) stuff like this. For 21 years I had been trying to figure it out, and then one day I cracked the code. MY ART EASEL. YES. I had this art easel (from back when I wanted to be “an artist” in the second grade) that I think has so much potential to be an awesome piece in my still unfinished childhood bedroom. It’s unconventional –– I know –– but it really, really worked PLUS it’s meaningful to me.

When you get past the fact that it needs a lil sandblasting, repainting, art, not to mention the room in general needs a rug, more art, a different blanket, OKAY WE GET IT IT’S NOT BLOG READY AND I’M SORRY. But this is real life and is for the people. Basically, I thought I had it all figured out…then I moved into a studio with my boyfriend and now the problem has come back to bite me since my easel would take up too much of our precious square footage. In true EHD fashion, I turned my hunt into a blog post so we can hopefully all benefit from these jewelry storage solutions. May we never see another tangled necklace wad for as long as we live.

THE SOLUTIONS

EXPOSED JEWELRY WALL HANGINGS

photo by tessa neustadt | from: sara’s bedroom reveal

Wall hangings are solid no-tangle necklace storage solutions because you’re staring at them 24/7, so you can stop any necklace knots that might otherwise happen if you are storing them in jewelry boxes or drawers.

Hot Tip

If you don't have enough wall space for these in your bedroom, don't forget about wall space in your closet. Utilizing vertical space is KEY when you're organizing and this way it's hidden away!

These are some of the most stylish wall hanging jewelry storage options out there:

1. Urban Outfitters Jewelry Storage Hanging Mirror | 2. Pottery Barn Wall Mounted Jewelry Organizer | 3. West Elm Hanging Shadow Box | 4. Anthropologie Jewelry Hook Rack | 5. Anthropologie Jewelry Organizer | 6. Etsy Wood Jewelry Organizer

STYLISH ENOUGH TO PUT ON YOUR VANITY OR CREDENZA

photo by tessa neustadt | from: sara’s bedroom reveal

This is the cousin to the wall hanging jewelry organizer. The only major difference between the two is that these go on a flat surface like a dresser, vanity, or bathroom countertop. There is something VERY important to note with these (which is true for the wall hanging category too): they both typically work great for necklaces, bracelets, and dangly earrings, so if you own an excessive number of rings and stud earrings, opt for putting those in a separate bowl or tray OR going with an option like #2, which has a place for them already built-in. Another tip to note is that these exposed storage solutions work great for people with smaller jewelry collections. If you have A LOT of jewelry (especially a lot of big, chunky jewelry), head to the next section for some concealed jewelry options.

1. Etsy Marble Ring Holder | 2. Urban Outfitters Jewelry Organizer | 3. West Elm Shadow Box | 4. Urban Outfitters Wood Hand Ring Holder | 5. CB2 Jewelry Organizer | 6. Anthropologie Stackable Dishes | 7. Kendra Scott Necklace Organizer | 8. H&M Metal Jewelry Stand | 9. Jewelry Supply Ring Holder

CONCEALED JEWELRY STORAGE

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our closets, designed and styled

So, like I said, although I understand the lure of a cool wall hanging option or a beautiful tray, those options don’t work for my current situation. I knew I wanted some concealed storage options, and after hours of searching, I think I’ve found the one. THIS IS THE ANSWER TO MY PRAYERS. MY PERSONAL JEWELRY STORAGE PROBLEM IS SOLVED!! I generally don’t want to look at my jewelry unless I need it because I have too many random necklaces and earrings that are not cute but are too sentimental to get rid of, so I have no choice but to hide it all away. As a reminder, the challenge is that I have no drawer space for #1 (below), which would be ideal, and not enough wall space for a jewelry box/full-length mirror-like #6, BUT I have some pieces of art I’m planning on hanging in my studio apartment (as one does). That’s why I’m planning to go with something like #3 which fronts as picture frame. I’ll probably take out the mat board (which has slots for a bunch of small photos) and just have one big piece of art instead, but that’s the basic gist. Here are all of the amazing concealed jewelry options if you’re in the market for secret jewelry storage:

1. Etsy Drawer Jewelry Storage | 2. Pottery Barn Storage Mirrors | 3. Overstock Art Frame Jewelry Storage | 4. Amazon Closet Hanger Storage | 5. Pottery Barn Storage Mirror | 6. Wayfair Infinity Mirror Jewelry Storage

Jewelry Trays + Bowls

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a small, awkward bedroom makeover with a diy custom headboard

I’m no stranger to the tray and bowl life in fact, it’s what I’m using right now. It’s very ideal for the rings, earrings, and whatnot that you need to throw somewhere before a shower or while washing your hands 50+ times a day. Basically what I’m saying is even if you’re going to go with a jewelry mirror, wall hanging or whatnot, I HIGHLY recommend grabbing one of these IN ADDITION to any of the jewelry storage options. It will serve as a “catch-all” for those little jewelry pieces that lurk around the bathroom or on your nightstand so you don’t lose them like I do. But here’s a hot tip: don’t store too many necklaces in here if you’re also traumatized by the beginning photos. Here are the best lil trays and bowls:

  1. 2 Tiered Poise Tray Brass | 2. Urban Outfitters Bowl With Lid | 3. Target Terrazzo Tray | 4. Target Grid Tray | 5. Foundations Bowls| 6. Urban Outfitters Rattan Catch-All

JEWELRY STORAGE CABINETS:

If you have the space (and LOT of jewelry), don’t worry I won’t leave you high and dry. There are some super chic jewelry cabinets that will fit all your storage needs. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Rachel Zoe Jewelry Vanity Floor Tower | 2. Gallery White Jewelry Storage Cabinet | 3. Carson Carrington Nykobing Jewelry Armoire

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? Is my solution a good one? How do you store your jewelry? Is there a better way to fix this problem that I didn’t include? Please join this essential conversation in the comments. See you guys down there xx

Opener Image Credit: photo by Tessa Neustadt | from: Our Master Bedroom Reveal + Get The Look

Fin Mark

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Sarah M.

The ALEX IKEA drawers are great for closed jewelry storage…just put in some velvet or a storage organizer inside. https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/alex-drawer-unit-with-9-drawers-white-50192822/

Tamara

I have always had a problem with the length of necklace holders (not long enough). So, when I moved to a place with a walk in closet I “made” my own. I took a balsa wood yard stick from Home Depot and tapped in a finishing nail at every inch. I painted the whole thing the color of my closet and hung it up with a couple of screws. Super cheap, and I love how organized it all is.

E

We did more or less the same thing – it works great

Molly

You guys are hitting all the “big” home issues, thanks!

I have l.o.t.s of costume and semi-precious stone jewelry. At some point in my stressful career, found out how fun and relaxing it was to learn how to do fairly easy jewelry projects and beading necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Also discovered bead and semi-precious stone shows. Soooo fun! Soooo relaxing to go look at aisles and aisles of beautiful things to get creative with.

About the same time learned I was allergic to all fabrics except 100% organic cotton and wool, so my clothes buying options, sadly, diminished. By amping up my costume jewelry stash, I was able to pull off a lot more outfits with limited clothing options and no one was the wiser.

Since I’m not a fan of dusting around jewelry or of having lots of jewelry out, will be using some of these great ideas.

Allie K

I’m of the can’t see it, won’t wear it mindset so I store all my jewelry in/on a modified hung vintage type drawer (from my grandpas printing press). That said, I love the picture frame storage!

What I want to know is how people store post-backed hoops and dangle earrings, can’t figure those suckers out.

Amanda

I have a divided velvet-lined box that I use for rings and earrings (and even some necklaces, because if you pool it individually in a compartment and don’t move it, it won’t tangle)– I used to use one of the classic dangly-earring holders but eventually most of my earrings were post-backed instead of the curvy wire ones, so that wasn’t working. I also hated the idea of having to carefully place the backs through holes or wedge them into those velvet rolls, so just dropping them into a compartment is amazing. I use this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Y9Y75YJ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1

kim

GAH!! That video problem again!! Can’t read the post, can’t see the pictures but really really would like access to the content! Hope your tech people can fix this.

StephanieZ

I’ve pondered this over and over and never figured out a good solution for my house. Right now I have one of those big bronze trees that I hang my dangly earrings from and a ceramic egg crate that I keep my posts earrings in. The problem is that I have so many necklaces and they don’t really fit on the tree except multiples on each branch (one one side) and we now how messy and knotted that can get. I haven’t wanted to add another thing to hang necklaces from because it would compete with the tree (which is on one side of my bedroom chimney mantle). I also have a huge IKEA hanging infinity mirror on wall between fireplace and closet so no room for mounted necklace storage. Your first picture just gave me an amazing idea though. The infinity mirror is really large. I think I could mount hooks on the mirror down one side and it would allow for each necklace to have its own hook, not take away much from the bronze tree thing and still give me plenty of mirror to view my outfits. Thank you! Now on to hopefully find some hooks that… Read more »

Suzanne

Hanging necklaces is definitely the best solution. I have a ton from when statement necklaces were a thing, and jewelry boxes just didn’t work. I actually used a tie rack that matched my Elfa closet organization, and hung them on a wall in my closet.
https://www.containerstore.com/s/walnut-wooden-tie-and-belt-rack/d?productId=10005320&q=tie%20rack
I still like it, but they do get dusty if I’m not wearing them a lot (like now). I love the closed hanging storage that you found with a frame on front. What a great solution! I may try to find something that I can hang over my existing storage, because artwork would be so much more stylish in my closet. 😉

Also, if you have any real sterling silver, it tarnishes easily, and is so much better when stored in cloth jewelry bags. I just hang a few on my rack for that purpose.

Karyn

I had similar issues and had all of my precious jewelry in boxes and such so could never corral it all and hated the look of a bulky jewelry box!! I bought a hanging jewelry holder on Etsy and hung it on the space behind my bedroom door so you cannot see it at all unless the door is closed.

Karyn
Patricia

I have the Wayfair type storage; mirror that hides a ton of jewelry. And keeps it organized. I got mine for Christmas maybe 5 or 6 years ago? Love it. But doesn’t have enough space for chunky bracelets so have my extras stashed in a clear box nearby…

Martha

One shadow frame, glue, wine corks, push pins = free jewelry holder for inside my closet. Looks pretty nice and is the most functional storage I’ve ever had for jewelry. Lay most corks flat, a few on end. Hang necklaces on the ones on end and hang earrings, rings etc on the pins.

Molly

Give us a picture! This sounds perfect! I need to be able to see my stuff or else I won’t wear it. But as an obviously not big jewelry wearer, I don’t want it to be out because it gets DUSTY. I have long thought about some sort of hanging jewelry holder behind a glass door, but I thought I would have to make it myself. A shadow box is a great idea. I just want to see a picture of how you made it work with corks.

Beth

9 in 1 Adhesive Paste Wall Hanging Storage Hooks Jewelry

Stacy

I loved your art easel! So personal.

But I totally get why that won’t work now. I love your solution- also the hanging one that goes in the closet with the pouches send really practical too.

Molly

But could it work, Mallory, in your current space if you use it to display some awesome art also? Maybe in a corner in the living room space? I do think this was such a great idea you had!

Rusty

This gets my vote! The art easel is si INDIVIDUAL, funky and cool!

Lisa

Ha! I‘ve done a few DIY solutions. I have a light branch under a bookshelf for favorite dangle earrings.
I love the idea of a painting on front of a storage box. I think I’d add an oil painting with a thicker gorgeous frame. It’s nice to keep my silver out of the light.

Victoria

So it’s not exactly a ‘storage solution’ but I had a bunch of jewelry from high school/ college that I will never wear but is sentimental to me. I put everything in a cute glass jar with a lid on my bookshelf. It’s totally a jumbled mess, but it stops the jewelry I wear regularly from getting tangled so I’m ok with it.

Eliene

such a recognisable struggle! 🙂 For my necklaces, I use the IKEA Stajlig Horizontal Multi-Function Hanger, doesn’t take up any space, and if you have a LOT of necklaces, just use multiples 🙂 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/110338259600850959/

NancyS

I have found that exposed jewelry is just another form of dust collection. I’m lucky that I have a LG handmade jewelry box that was a high school graduation gift. I use it mainly for my “nice” jewelry. But as the years go on, we collect! I have an old dresser & the top drawer is very shallow. Maybe someone’s grandpa stored his handkerchiefs there? Anyway I had a few of those 24 compartment egg cartons, spray painted in a nice glossy blue & lined the drawer with them. I even have room to collect more 🙂
(I’m an earring fiend)

I DIYed a similar solution to the West Elm wall option- it’s been great! I love having my statement necklaces and bracelets being a part of my bedroom gallery wall. For earrings, I keep a closed container right underneath and a catch-all dish for my favorite piece of the moment

Carol

I have a ladder leaning up against the wall next to my bureau—screwed hooks into the steps to hang my necklaces. Earrings go in a picture frame filled with construction wire that hangs in the bathroom (I only wear dangly earrings, posts make my ears unhappy.) Bracelets go in a couple bowls on my bureau, brooches are stuck into a large vintage pincushion. It generally works….

Elizabeth

Not glamorous, but easy to see what you have, keeps pieces separate and clean, takes up very little space, and easy to pack when you move: https://www.amazon.com/Hanging-Jewelry-Organizer-Pockets-Storage/dp/B01FXDZXKU/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1078M805WTHTJ&dchild=1&keywords=ohlily+jewelry+organizer&qid=1587170144&sprefix=Ohlily%2Caps%2C314&sr=8-1

My next purchase is silver tarnish paper to put in each pocket.

Erin

I built my own cabinet that fits on the wall behind my door. I was able to fit 60 cup hooks in it to hang necklaces, and put a door on it so they are hidden away from little fingers. Since I DIY’d it, it was less than $40, and has been working for 5 plus years! No more tangles!

Sahaja

The easel is such a unique idea and even better if there is art displayed on the easel!

Gosh, I have almost too many jewelry storage ideas. Shoot, this comment is gonna be long.
I can stand by those anthro stacked dishes, perfect for bigger earrings and rings. Anthropologie also has a stud earring holder that holds so many in a small space.

But you know the back of cupboard towel hangers? I used two of them – originally in a hutch that use to hold my clothes, now on the side of an Elfa unit and it is really magic to hold all necklaces in a compact spaces. They never tangle. I’m with you, untangling necklaces is THE WORST.
For dangly earrings, I hang them on the rim of a thin bowl, then put bracelets in the bowl. Also, my friend gave me a tea candle holder that looks like a little lamp. I hang them all around the bottom rung so they look like tasaels around a lamp shade.

For Harry Potter lovers, Pottery barn has a Mirror of Erised hidden jewelry. (If it’s still available?) It. Is. Glorious.

Melissa

I use ceramic egg holders, meant for storing real eggs in your fridge, for storing earrings and rings. They look like the bottom half of a cardboard egg crate. I think I got it from The Container Store. Works great.

Men’s wooden tie racks that attach directly to a wall are perfect for necklaces. The little balls on the end are ingenious for preventing necklaces from sliding off.

Ashley

My husband made me something like this but I put all my dangle earrings at the top and then have two rows of hooks for necklaces. But since it closes you can’t see them all which is great because I have a lot of accessories!
https://abeautifulmess.com/2016/01/jewelry-storage-mirror-diy.html

Jenn

I got a jewelry holder about 6 years ago that hangs over my door and has a mirror on the front. It hangs earrings, bracelets and necklaces and has compartments for everything else.

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