1. Divide and conquer. The dresser top was a breeding ground for clutter beyond jewelry, including hair accessories, scarves, and stray receipts. The first step was to separate the jewelry and categorize it by style: ethnic, pearl, big and chunky, fine and precious, and colored stones (grouped by shade).
2. Expand up, not out. Aside from the mirror, Aimee wasn’t making much use of the wall behind the dresser, so in came two inexpensive pin boards, upholstered in linen, to transform the dead space. Now home to her necklaces and earrings, the boards allow jewelry, much of it hanging neatly from sewing pins, to stay visible and tangle-free. (Bonus: Hung high, Aimee’s things are beyond the children’s easy reach.)
3. Stow occasional pieces. Besides offering instant order, the airy arrangement on the wall freed up space on the dresser for a good-size jewelry box. Lined with padded compartments, it protects Aimee’s more delicate pieces.
4. Provide access to everyday items. A small silver box is earmarked for the jewelry Aimee wears daily: her watch and wedding rings. Inches away, a resin jewelry tree catches heavier necklaces in its branches.
5. Stash hair ornaments and scarves. A few dividers in the dresser’s top drawer make an orderly hideaway and eliminate a lot of the confusion up top.
6. Reclaim. “The best part of decluttering was discovering lost treasures,” says Aimee. Found under a drift of necklaces: an heirloom plate painted with the image of a beloved family pet. Liberated from obscurity, it now hangs on the wall.