Friday, February 13, 2015

Packing Jewelry for Travel

Jewelry is the quickest and easiest way to jazz up an outfit. It's especially important when you're trying to pack light and you've planned on reusing and remixing items of clothing. Jewelry helps make an outfit seem brand new.

But, jewelry is delicate so it needs to be coddled, it's small so it's often misplaced, and the chains can get tangled. I thought I would share my favorite techniques for packing jewelry for travel.
I'm always more interested in saving as much room as possible whilst protecting my jewelry in the most convenient way possible.

use a dedicated travel jewelry case
This is my travel jewelry case. It's only 4 inches across so it's pretty tiny, but it's rigid and it takes up more space than I would like.
The best thing about having a dedicated jewelry case is the fact that everything is in its own compartment.  The goal is to give each piece its own space so that nothing gets tangled (which is the biggest annoyance) and so you can see and grab your jewelry with ease.
use a straw to keep chains tangle-free
Necklaces with delicate chains - which are always classic - are the best and they're the worst. I love their simplicity and I think they're gorgeous. However, the delicate chains are so easily tangled. They get twisted around other necklaces and worse, they get twisted around themselves. One solution for preventing them from tangling is to thread the chain through a straw (I like paper straws) and then clasp the chain closed. The best part is that you can trim the straws to suit your needs.
use tissue paper to keep chains tangle-free
The downside with the straw technique is that it can take up quite a bit of space, even if you bend the straw. Tissue paper is a great alternative. I like to start with a square that's just slightly shorter than the necklace. I lay the necklace flat at one end and start to fold it up. Once it's folded over a few times, I tuck in the ends and continue rolling it up.
The best part is that the tissue paper tube can be folded up a few times into a neat little package. And the second best part is that you can pack a few extra pieces of tissue paper, in case of any rips or maybe if you plan to purchase some jewelry on your trip.
use a microfiber cloth & safety pin to keep charms protected
Chains are really delicate but so are charms. If you have a necklace (or bracelet) with a pretty gem or charm or stone, you want to keep it protected too. I place the charm on one end of a small microfiber cloth. I fold it over once and wrap the chain around the cloth and then fold the cloth back over until there's no more extra cloth. Then, I just use a safety pin to clamp the whole thing in place so it doesn't unravel.
It's such a simple way to package and the microfiber cloth can be used to shine up your jewelry.
package jewelry in individual baggies
90% of the time I buy jewelry, the store gives it to me in a mini zip-top baggie. I always save those baggies and reuse them when I travel. I don't like to use these baggies for my delicate chain necklaces because, as I mentioned above, those G.D. things often get tangled with themselves. I like to use these baggies for bracelets, earrings, and rings.
keep rings organized on a safety pin
I've lost many a ring in my travel bag. I tuck them into my jewelry case or a pouch and somehow, they slip out and end up at the bottom of my carry on. Now, I like to string my rings onto a safety pin, which keeps them secure. Plus, I can easily grab the lot and pick out which ones I want to wear instead of digging around my jewelry pack looking for my favorite one. Sometimes, I have one safety pin dedicated to gold rings, one for silver, and a third for midi rings.
keep earrings (and chains) secure on a piece of cardstock
Earrings are pretty cumbersome because you want to keep the pairs together. I mean, what good is one earring going to do you? So, I like to grab a thick piece of cardstock or chipboard and poke a few holes in it. Then, I just put the earring through and then pop the backing on. This is how earrings come when they're sold so why not pack them up the same way? This works for stud earrings and dangly ones.

The holes can also be used for threading bracelets and necklaces through.
So, we go from this pile of jewelry...
... to these neat little packages. This may seem like a lot of jewelry to some and a pathetic amount to others. For me, this is a week's worth of bling. There's a good variety of neckwear, earwear, and sparkle for the hands, a mix of silver and gold, and a mix of fun and elegant pieces. Just do what works for you and if you need a bigger container, go for it.
And, as I mentioned above, I'm not always a fan of my dedicated jewelry case because it's bulky. Most of the time, I just use this tiny little pouch (which I got when I bought a piece of jewelry from J. Crew and I'm sure you have received plenty of free pouches with jewelry purchases too) and drop all of my packed up baubles right in.
It fits! And everything is safe and sound.
Happy (and sparkly) travels!

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