Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Decluttering My Jewelry

I have been in the mood to get rid of all the excess stuff I own.  I would love to live like Francine who has a 390 square foot 1 bedroom apartment that she shares with her husband.  I've been taking baby-steps to declutter my house and get rid of anything I don't need or absolutely love.  I've always been a routine purger, so I don't have years worth of old clothes, shoes, or magazines lying around that I don't use.  Still, I could be making a greater effort to minimize what I have.

My first stop was my beloved jewelry box.  I am very attached to much of my jewelry because many items were either given to me by friends and family, or I picked them up somewhere during my travels.  In fact, jewelry is often the only souvenir I buy when I visit someplace new.  It takes up less room in my bag and I know it is something I'll make use of in my daily life. 

To start, I placed a blue ribbon on top of my dresser.  Then I emptied out all of the drawers in my jewelry box.  On the left side of the ribbon I placed everything I was getting rid of.  All the keepers when on the right side.

After much deliberation, this is what I ended up getting rid of.  

Some pieces were easy to get rid of.  Like this gold flower ring that is way too big for any of my fingers.  Whenever I wear it the ring spins around on my finger and I end up taking it off before the day is half-over. I also had no problem getting rid of these hoop earrings.  In college I wore them often, but they now hurt my ears so I avoid wearing them.  Why hold on to earrings that I like but never wear?

Other pieces were harder to part with.  The silver disc earrings were sent to me by my parents when I lived in Germany.  They were in a care package along with other goodies that I loved.  Over time and much use, the earrings are beginning to tarnish.  There are spots on them left from hairspray and perfume. I love these earrings and I love the memories they bring, but now that I no longer wear them they just take up space.  I have many pictures of me wearing those earrings as I adventured through Europe so they will not be forgotten. I don't need these tangible things to remind me of the generosity and love that my parents show me everyday.

These earrings have hung around in the corners of my jewelry box for longer than they should have.  I bought them in Venice, Italy in November 2006.  They came with a matching necklace.  When I purchased them, I never had any intention of wearing them, I really just wanted the gorgeous necklace.  I wear the necklace often, but I have never worn the earrings.  However, I could never bring myself to throw them away before simply because of where they came from.  But really, I have the matching necklace to remind me of my time in Venice and I think that is enough. 

This necklace was also picked up in Venice. I've worn it maybe a total of 10 times.  I think it is beautiful, but it feels very awkward on and I fidget with it throughout the day.  I hate doing that so out the door it goes.

These are the pieces I decided to keep. Almost everything here I wear on a regular basis.

These ruby studs used to belong to my Little Grandma and I wear them often.

These gold hoops are one of the only things I kept for sentimentality even though I don't wear them. They were a gift from my dad to my grandma. She gave them to me at the same time as the ruby studs above.  They are too precious to get rid of.

The following earrings I picked up in Chicago, Vienna, and Paris.  They will all be staying in my jewelry box a little while longer.

Here's the final shot of how the top of my dresser looked when I had everything divided.  Even though it seems like I didn't get rid of as much as I had originally planned, I no longer have to use my massive jewelry box.  I now have all my pieces displayed in pretty tea cups and dishes so that I can easily see what I have. 

I bought my old jewelry box in Flagstaff while in college.  I can't bear to part with it quite yet, so I am going to put it aside from the time being.  If I was a real minimalist it would be in the Goodwill donation box right now. Baby steps. Hopefully one day soon I will be able to donate it.

I gave my mom the bag of jewelry that I was getting rid of so she could go through and pick out any pieces she wanted. She then got motivated to go through her jewelry.  She put her unwanted pieces in the bag and gave the bag back to me. I made the not-so-smart move of looking over her items.  After picking out several necklaces and pairs of earrings I think I now have more jewelry than I did to begin with!