As I write this post, I’m sitting and looking at my jewelry four days before movers are to due to arrive. Nothing is packed.
My collection is rather large. Some pieces are valuable, but the vast majority is valuable only for sentimental reasons. Presents from my mom, mementos of beach vacations, that kind of thing. I would like to keep all of it safe, unbroken, and untangled.
Googling “how to pack jewelry for a move” returns results suitable for only small collections (“buy a jewelry roll!”) or serious optimists (“stick it to cardboard with press-and-seal clingwrap!”). No and no. I agree on only one point, which is do not entrust your jewelry to anyone but yourself.
My jewelry storage is rather display oriented – this makes it easy for me to pick out pieces when I’m getting dressed in the morning, but it also means I can’t just close my jewelry box and stick it in a bag.
Packing this much jewelry will require either a lot of time or a lot of money (if you decide to simply buy travel cases). I choose time.
THE MISSION: Pack jewelry for a move from old apartment to new apartment without wasting money I could otherwise spend on more jewelry or damaging/losing any of said already-owned jewelry.
- Keep necklaces from tangling.
- Keep earrings pairs together.
- Prevent any pieces from bending, chipping, breaking, or otherwise suffering damage.
- Don’t lose anything.
- Retain sanity.
- Plastic drinking straws.
- Jewelry boxes and pouches saved from years of collecting.
- Paper towels.
- Some smallish cardboard boxes (shoeboxes or similar).
Thanks to Pinterest, I had the idea of stringing my necklace chains through plastic straws to keep them from tangling. Because untangling necklace chains is the bane of my existence, and I will go to great lengths to avoid it.
This only works for certain necklaces – mostly chains with pendants. If something doesn’t want to go through the straw, don’t force it.
Once all of the necklaces that would go in straws were in straws, I rolled them up in paper towels. I made sure to spread the necklace/straws out so that each one would be fpully insulated from its neighbors in paper towel. I then tied each paper towel bundle gently but firmly with string, and placed the bundles carefully in a waiting cardboard box.
NOTE: I have now learned a better way to pack necklaces!! Read all about it here.
If you wanted to make this more eco-friendly, you could use dish towels or something that you’ll use again. My dish towels were already in use padding my packed dishes.
For beaded necklaces, necklaces that are less articulated, particularly fragile necklaces, or particularly sentimental necklaces, I didn’t want to use the straw-and-paper-towel method. The ones that didn’t need as much protection went in individual pouches which I placed on top of the paper towel bundles in that box. When the box was full, I started putting the pouches into a cosmetics case to keep them together and stable.
The more fragile pieces went in individual little boxes, carefully padded with cotton or wadded up paper towels. I ended with a whole second shoebox full of little boxes.
As for bracelets: I tucked a couple of cuffs into the side of the box of bundled necklaces and put the rest into boxes and pouches.
Finally, all that was left was earrings.
I had good intentions: I was going to poke them though pieces of paper, put them in tiny boxes…MacGyver something using materials I already had. But after spending several hours stringing my necklaces through straws and rolling them up in little paper towel bundles, I caved and bought something to make earring packing easier.
These sectioned plastic storage boxes are meant for beads, but they were perfect for temporary storage of a large number of earrings. I put 1-3 pairs in each little nook, depending on the size and delicacy of the earrings. I packed my most valuable earrings separately, since the little sections are just hard plastic and I didn’t want to risk my opals and pearls bouncing around.
Once everything was packed away, I sealed up the individual boxes and then packed them into some plastic crates I had, layering the packed jewelry with scarves and sweatshirts. I tucked in a couple of smaller jewelry boxes, my tiaras, my bracelet bar, and my earring display too.
My most fragile and precious jewelry – those pieces I didn’t trust in a box or couldn’t bear to have out of my sight – went into my trusty travel jewelry cases. These pieces stayed on my person the entire move: in my purse, within my view.
After talking to a wise friend, I’ve realized that using plastic jewelry bags and carefully threading the chain of each necklace so that it fed out of the top would have been a good way to pack the necklaces; possibly even a better way.
All in all, I’m happy with the way I came up with to pack jewelry for a move. It wasn’t the quickest, but it got the job done and kept my pretties safe. Now, to optimize my jewelry storage for my new space! But that’s a project for another day.
Do you have tips and tricks for the best ways to pack jewelry for a move? I’d love to hear your ideas.
Mildred Blair says
Great article and lovely collection of jewellery! I will move abroad soon and want to pack my jewellery in a proper way. I like your idea how to do it. Greetings
Thanks so much!! Good luck with your move.
Dorotha William says
A jewelry storage bag or jewelry roll seems to be the go to choice when packing jewelry for a holiday. This is the way to go if you need to attend formal events that require you to carry along various necklaces, bangles and rings. Moreover, since jewelry storage bags are display oriented, they give your products a pleasing aesthetic appeal. Such a storage item can help keep your necklaces from tangling, allow you to store complete sets together and even ensure that the quality and design of your fragile products aren’t compromised.
Thank you, Tawanta!! I’m glad you stopped by. I hope you’re doing well!
Good information here! Way, way back in the fifties and sixties, when women wore their pendants on incredibly thin chains, my Mom threaded hers through straws. She still keeps them that way in her jewelry box, because it works and they never tangle!
I use jewelry “zip-lock”-top plastic bags for travel, leaving sections of the chain portions out of the tops of the bags. I use the same little plastic bags for my earrings; one nestled in a bag inside another bag with the match, to keep them from scratching each other but also to keep the pair together. All the jewelry I travel with goes into a jewelry roll or soft pouch, depending on how much I’ve got with me. I’ve found that as pretty and organized as jewelry travel cases are, rolls and pouches are easier to stash and take up less room in my purse or carry-on bag. And, like you during your move, I never let that purse or carry-on out of my sight!
Great tips, thank you! I can’t visualize the jewelry bag method of packing necklace chains, will you elaborate?
Jamie, I’ll try to explain as best as I can; I’m new to this blog so if there’s a way to post photos I don’t know how! But what I do when I’m traveling with any of my pendants that are on thin chains is drop the pendant portion (on the chain, not removed) into the open plastic bag. After years of buying jewelry findings, loose beads, strands, etc. I have quite a stash of “zip-lock”-type plastic bags, varying in size from 1×1″, 2×3″, 4×6″, on and on. I prize the long thin bags, about 2×6″, just for this purpose, storing pendants on chains. But you don’t need exactly that size for this to work. So, drop the pendant portion of the necklace into the bag, letting it fall to the bottom. Then, keeping the chain sections away from each other (but keep the clasp closed), let the chain come through the top of the bag. Still keeping them separate from each other, close the “zip-lock” top of the bag, being careful not to close it over the chain sections themselves; you don’t want to crush the chain. This keeps the chain from tangling, even though some of it will be hanging out of the bag, and of course protects the pendant portion as well. I always have these bags in a small pouch or jewelry roll, so they’re not banging around on the bottom of my purse or anything.
I hope that’s clear! If anyone knows if there’s a way to post pictures here, I’m willing to try! It’s really easy to understand if you could see a photo.
That’s exactly it. Thank you!
Here’s an article about how to do it – the photos explain it better than I can: http://azizajewelry.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-to-keep-necklaces-from-getting.html
Yes, that linked article explains it perfectly, Becky; thank you! And I agree with the point about the plastic bags preventing tarnishing on silver.
Thanks for the clarification! I was traveling last week and definitely could have employed those techniques. Next time!
No problem! Hope you had happy travels.
Kristen from MA says
That straw trick is fantastic!
Thanks!! I was pleased with how it worked out.