Is your jewelry box overstuffed?
Jewelry can be hard to minimize, because it really doesn’t take up all that much space and it often has sentimental memories attached or may cause you feelings of guilt when you consider relocating it from your life. Wedding rings, inherited jewelry, gifts from current or past partners, gifts from family members… these are all sentimentally charged articles in our jewelry wardrobe and it can be very hard to shake the sentimental ties.
I have a ring my ex-husband bought for me. I picked it out in the store and it was perfectly me. And now it’s sitting in an Altoids tin because I love it but I cannot bring myself to even consider wearing it.
You may have items in jewelry boxes like I do, relics of your past that are beautiful but that you just aren’t wearing and can’t seem to discard. Or you may have gifts from friends or relatives that just aren’t your style. How much good are those pieces really doing you?
When you consider your jewelry, think about the following:
- Do you wear it? If not, why not? Memories? They will still be with you, even without that ring or bracelet. Take a picture of it if you want to remember it specifically. Not your style? Then why does it deserve a space in your home?
- Will you wear it? Maybe you have a set you wear for job interviews or during the winter holidays. While you could probably get by with a basic pair of earrings and simple necklace for any occasion, sometimes you can justify holding onto an item if you will wear it soon.
- Is it worth something? If you’re holding onto it because it’s worth some money, sell it. If it only holds sentimental value, examine that and see if you can move past it and declutter it if you’re not wearing it.
- Is it beautiful? This one is tricky with jewelry. With other things in your minimalist life, you can justify keeping something that is not necessarily practical, like pictures and paintings, souvenirs from travels, and other such items because they are beautiful and make you happy to look at. However, jewelry is not to look at, it is to wear. If you aren’t wearing it, it is taking up valuable space that could be better occupied by pieces you are wearing. If you’re keeping an heirloom ring that you personally think is the ugliest ring in the world, it’s not doing you any good. Only keep pieces that you wear regularly, which should be ones you think are beautiful.
Anatomy of a minimalist jewelry box:
My jewelry box is not a box, really. I had a jewelry box, but I didn’t like how cluttered it was. I looked into necklace racks and earring holders and was appalled at how much they cost. I’ve always tried to be frugal, even if I spent the last twenty years accumulating stuff. I fixed my accessory needs with a trip to a DIY store and a dollar store, where I bought a small plank of wood, some brass hooks, and a $1 grease splatter guard.
The above necklace rack used to be so full I had to double up on some of the hooks. And that’s a lot of earrings! I don’t even wear most of them, but that splatter guard makes me feel so clever every time I see it, so I have kept it full of earrings. I set out to purge some jewelry I wasn’t wearing, and below are the results:
I’m now down to sixteen pairs of earrings and eleven necklaces from about twenty.
Reasons for purging earrings include:
- I don’t wear them anymore (4)
- I have never worn them (3)
- My ex-husband bought them for me (1)
- They make my ears itch (1)
- I have another pair similar to them (1)
- They are broken (1 — that one hurt, I loved that pair… sigh)
Reasons for purging necklaces include:
- I don’t wear it (5)
- It pulls my hair (1)
- My ex-husband bought it for me (4)
I am keeping a couple articles of jewelry that I have never worn in hopes that my reduced inventory means I’ll put them into a rotation more often. Being honest with myself, I really only wear a few pairs of the earrings I’ve kept and I have a small rotation of necklaces that I frequently use to accessorize. I’ll re-evaluate in a few months. I think jewelry may always be my soft spot!
What items do you have trouble purging?