New Year’s Resolutions

With the beginning of the New Year and a new decade, many of us have been inspired to make New Year’s resolutions to improve our lives in big or little ways. We may well find that we gain a fresh appreciation of all that is good in our lives even as we resolve to make some things even better.

As we mull over momentous issues and take on potentially life-changing new habits, this is a good time to put some order and delight into our lives in small ways too. Let me offer some ideas for starting this year with a to-do list that will give you both a new appreciation for your jewelry wardrobe and the potential for a sense of satisfaction as you complete some easy tasks that will help make this year your most beautiful one ever:

1. Try out that new camera you may have received as a holiday gift or employ a reliable camera (borrow one if necessary) to photograph each of the items in your jewelry wardrobe. Assemble the photos into a photo album or digital file for ready reference. Bonus: You have a ready visual record of your jewelry for insurance purposes.

2. Reacquaint yourself with each piece of jewelry as you go through your jewelry wardrobe. Look at each piece closely. Is it in good condition? Does its clasp function properly? Does the jewelry fit you correctly? Put aside any jewelry that needs to be cleaned, repaired or resized. Start a list of these items.

3. As you go through your jewelry wardrobe, put jewelry together into outfits of pieces you do or might wear together. Don’t just stick to the tried-and-true. Experiment with creative mixes of styles and colors. Try several bracelets, brooches or necklaces in combination: such mixes are currently the height of style. Have fun! Create a list of combinations you like. Photograph the combinations if you are so inspired.

4. Determine if you are missing the earrings, ring or wristwatch that will complete an outfit, or if a new chain or watch band will give an item fresh versatility, and make a note on a wish list for future purchases. Purchasing items on your wish list will make your jewelry shopping not only optimally cost-efficient but also wonderfully satisfying as you maximize the wearability of the pieces you already have.

5. Start or refresh your look book. When you see a magazine or online photo of a jewelry look you love, cut or print it out and put it into the look book. Look for items on your wish list but also go beyond that list – this is about your sense of aesthetics, not practicality. You’ll likely start to see personal style preferences of which you might not have been aware.

6. Assess your jewelry storage. Can you find everything easily? Is all the jewelry protected from scratches and tangles? At the very least, purchase some small clear plastic bags and put each item of jewelry into its own bag to protect it.

7. Schedule an appointment with your jeweler and mark it on your new 2010 calendar. When you visit your jeweler, bring the jewelry that needs cleaning, repair or resizing, and also bring your wish list. After all, wishes do come true.