Vanity + Wearables + HOUSE: New Mexico #3

Jewelry organization.

Organizing jewelry with the Umbra Stowit and Muuto Dots hooks

I don’t own a ton of jewelry, but I almost always wear jewelry. Earrings every day, for sure, and if I’m leaving the house, a couple of rings and a necklace…and maybe a pin. The only type of jewelry I never wear are bracelets, because I inevitably want to remove them the moment I need to use a computer or do pretty much anything with my hands. Wearing jewelry helps me feel put-together. I like being decorated.

Until recently, my organizational strategy for my jewelry was a series of small bowls on the dresser, which was less than ideal. Necklaces got tangled immediately, and everything was always dusty. I was forever having to dig through a bowl to find an earring’s partner, and I wound up defaulting to whatever I could find quickly and not wearing a lot of the pieces I love.

Organizing necklaces on Muuto Dots hooks

My solution for necklaces was easy: Hang ’em up! I’ve had these yellow mustard-colored wooden Muuto Dots for years (these are the small size, about 3.5″ in diameter), and they’ve been sitting in a drawer waiting for the perfect spot. This is it! I love how happy the color is, and the shape is just so pleasing. I also like how they subtly complement the birch cabinet knobs in the kitchen.

The hook on the left is for chunkier necklaces, and the one on the right holds more delicate pieces. It’s so nice to be able to easily choose whichever one I want to wear and lift it off the hook with no tangling. And they look pretty hanging, too! The key was using hooks that make more of an immediate visual impact than the necklaces themselves—I didn’t want to just have a couple of clumps of necklaces on the wall. The Muuto Dots make them into a sunny focal point.

Organizing jewelry with the Umbra Stowit

Organizing jewelry with the Umbra Stowit

Umbra’s Stowit jewelry box was recommended to me by Lauren, and after watching this demo video, I was sold. I went back and forth between the mini and the full-size Stowits, and while the mini probably would’ve been capable of holding all of my jewelry, I wanted to be able to spread out what I own and not just recreate the chaotic bowl system I had going previously.

Organizing jewelry with the Umbra Stowit

The lid slides open halfway to reveal a velvet-lined compartment for rings and other small items. For me, the ring slots work better for pins! I let my rings roam free, because most of them have bands that are too thick for those slots. I haven’t tried it yet, but I might see if I can use some pushpins in the open area so the rings have something to keep them from shifting around. If I’m mindful when I open and close the lid, though, they pretty much stay put. The important thing is that I can always find the ring (or pin) I’m looking for.

Organizing jewelry with the Umbra Stowit

Organizing jewelry with the Umbra Stowit

All of my earrings are in the velvet-lined lower drawer. Again, some small pins would probably help keep them tidy, but they stay where I put them for the post part. I had to train myself to take care when putting my earrings away at night, and to not just open the drawer and toss them in. I try to keep Marie Kondo in mind and let everything have its own spot. (Alright, we all know Marie Kondo would never just let her earrings float around like this. She’d have an individual compartment for each pair of earrings. But this is working for me, and I’m sure Marie would agree it’s better than throwing them all in a bowl together.)

I do keep all of the tiny earrings in a little box together, and that’s also been working out well. I don’t wear them often—usually only when I feel like putting extra earrings in (I have a lot of holes in my earlobes, most of which go unused but for a few days a year). I’m a big earring kind of gal.

Organizing jewelry with the Umbra Stowit

OK, this is the best part. A SECRET COMPARTMENT!! The right side of the upper level of the Stowit is occupied by a little slide-out drawer. I use this cute spot to stash special, beloved pieces that I don’t wear that often (but should). Hand-painted plaster of Paris brooches made by my aunt Joan and a little mesh jewelry box holding a very special silver bracelet, both of which belonged to my maternal grandmother. I feel good knowing that these things have a place now, and that they’re still accessible while being a little tucked away.

What else? The wooden horse was made by Karl Zahn for Areaware, the vase is from ¿adónde?, the mirror is from IKEA, the macrame plant hanger is from CB2, the perfume is Queen Bee by Good Chemistry, and the little bowl (where my Fitbit and hair ties live) is from Marimekko. There’s too much jewelry for me to link to everything, but please feel free to ask about specific pieces in the comments if you’d like to know where something is from.

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  • Reply brenda April 29, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    your restraint is commendable + giving each piece its space – ahhh – it lets it all shine

    I took a jewellery-making course 2 years ago and haven’t let anything I’ve made yet go + I love so many other jewellers works – aghhhh – but this shows me a way forward at least … to put things on rotation. Well done!

    • Anna Dorfman April 30, 2020 at 11:24 am

      I tend to have favorites when it comes to jewelry, and I’ll wear the same pair of earrings day after day. I think that’s part of what makes it easy for me to resist all of the gorgeous stuff I see all the time! I’m also REALLY allergic to nickel, which cuts down on a lot of jewelry options for me right off the bat. But yes, having everything visible definitely makes me more aware of what I’m wearing—and not wearing—all the time, and encourages me to put on the pieces that haven’t gotten love in a while.

  • Reply Melissa April 29, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    Looks so clean & functional! And I really love those dots. Do you have any tips on keeping your items paired down, especially any gifted jewelry? I find that most of the jewelry my family members have given me just isn’t my taste at all.

    • Anna Dorfman April 30, 2020 at 11:19 am

      I’m not sure if I’ve really had to deal with that before! The only people who have given me jewelry as an adult are people who know my taste very well. Speaking more generally, though, I don’t really have trouble getting rid of other kinds stuff if it’s just not right for me. I try to find a friend or family member who would appreciate it more (and I always tell them where it came from, so there’s not a potentially awkward/discoverable “regifting” situation going on), and if that’s not possible, I donate it or give it away through my local Buy Nothing group. People only have so much space in their homes and so many days in their lives! I think keeping stuff around that you’re not using just because it was a gift can cause too much guilt—and it’s ultimately more respectful for the object to get use by someone else, in my view.

    • Melissa May 3, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      Very true! Only so much space and so many days… thank you, this was helpful!

    • Lesley C Ferguson April 30, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      Hi Anna, I lament not being able to wear the Gorgeous jewelry trends over the years. I have a serious allergy to anything except Solid Gold or Solid Silver……even certain plastics wud cause painful rashes/skinblisters. I literally wear the jewellery I have until it breaks and then I’ve usually saved up for or been treated to Gold of Silver replacements!

  • Reply Wendy Spencer April 29, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    Love your Vanity & Wearables posts and this one did not disappoint!

  • Reply Kim B April 30, 2020 at 12:59 am

    This is lovely, Anna. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Anke April 30, 2020 at 2:27 am

    This is perfect. I am looking for a suitable jewelry storage that doesn’t look horrible for ages. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Bernadette April 30, 2020 at 8:56 am

    Anna, this is such a satisfying post. I love how curated and organized everything looks. And there’s nothing more fun than a secret compartment!

  • Reply Shana April 30, 2020 at 10:43 am

    I love this! Those hooks are incredible. I adore the brass earrings on the bottom that look like fortune cookies. Would you mind sharing where they’re from?

    • Anna Dorfman April 30, 2020 at 11:01 am

      Of course! Those beauties were made by Fay Andrada, who’s based in Brooklyn. These are the Viuhka style, and I have had them for years.

  • Reply Kim B April 30, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Hmmmm . . . and this evening Marimekko (which I love) pops up in my
    Facebook feed with news of a sale . . . very tempting with your visual reminder here.

  • Reply Kristin Smith May 1, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    I really like this. I have a cheaper similar setup I made from one of those wooden art sets with drawers. I took out the art supplies after using them, removed the plastic liner trays, and then lined the two drawers with cork. The box set I have also had a flip up easel which was easy to glue a mirror to. It works really well for holding big earrings and little earrings, as you can push the small earrings right into the cork, and use pushpins to corral the big earrings. It also works well for pins. Plus I kept something out of the landfill. Yay!

  • Reply Lainey May 1, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Can you tell me where you got the ring that has a band and then a v-shaped second band? I am sorry I don’t know how to describe it better than that.

    • Anna Dorfman May 1, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      It’s made by Lila Rice! It looks like she doesn’t carry that ring anymore, but she has lots of other beautiful stuff!

  • Reply Katrina May 1, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Your jewelry — LOVE! Have you already written a post about where you get your jewelry??? Anyhow, I just ordered 4 of those wall hooks in gray. Such a great idea for necklaces display/storage! Happy Friday, Anna. =)

  • Reply Anke Hedfeld May 7, 2020 at 1:37 am

    Thank you again for your wonderful showcae, Anna. I ordered the storage box right away and I like it totally. Very good combination of functionality and design.

    • Anna Dorfman May 7, 2020 at 9:34 am

      Oh, nice!! It’s a practical little thing, isn’t it? I’m impressed by how much it’s able to hold and how little wasted space there is.

  • Reply Gabrielle October 1, 2022 at 10:02 am


    I find the balance between form and function so perfect than I just purchased this Umbra Stowit box. My small (but growing) jewelry collection is in desperate need of a little organization. Thanks for sharing, Anna. Also, could you please tell me where is a the little mesh jewelry box from? Is it a family heirloom or can it be purchased online? Mant thanks!

    • Anna Dorfman October 1, 2022 at 10:22 am

      Hi, Gabrielle! The mesh box is indeed a family heirloom. It belonged to my Danish grandmother, so probably from the 1930s.

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