Unexpected Financial Rewards During Spring Cleaning | Business


A half-decade quest to find a rare stone ended in a box next to my bed.

About four times a year, when the seasons change, I organize everything in my bedroom, go through clothes, keep what fits, and store out-of-season clothes in an extra closet.

Exercise surprisingly always generates significant monetary savings that are well worth the weekend day sacrificed to drudgery.

It’s one of the many simple things almost anyone can do to improve their personal finances that I’ll be writing about in the months to come. Columns will appear in the Business section intermittently, as the news cycle allows.

This practice of treasuring what you have and letting go of what no longer serves you gained popularity in 2011 with the release of Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

I agree with Kondo. It’s comforting to limit your possessions to what you have room to savor and organize. But the monetary benefits are also important.

When the faux pearl surfaced, I had already located two things I planned to buy in the coming months: a khaki skirt for work and a pair of bike gloves.

The gloves still had the tags on, but I can’t remember where I got them. And assuming I can even find a decent quality skirt that fits me, that’s at least $50 in savings there.

If that had been my only reward, I would have been happy. But the discovery of the stone placed this cycle of quarterly organization into a whole new stratosphere.

The stone is one of four that form the center of the flowers on the pendant of a precious bronze-colored antique necklace that belonged to my grandmother. Over five years ago, the stone fell, essentially ruining the necklace.

I took it to jewelers, who combed through their drawers and contacted industry experts.

They told me it was impossible to replace it due to the age of the part. Even if one were found, it probably wouldn’t match, because the one made when the necklace was created, perhaps 100 years ago, would likely have faded at a different rate than the necklace.

Jewelers suggested using a stone of another color. But I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I had too many memories wrapped in the necklace.

My mother allowed me to wear it in high school. He has a fantastic range. It makes t-shirts and jeans look upscale and formal dresses look even more elegant. I loved it so much I wore it in one of my senior portraits.

Somehow it didn’t get lost in a series of moves in my young adult life that took me from Omaha, suburban Chicago, to Window Rock, Arizona, Boise , Idaho Falls and finally Lewiston.

Each time I’ve worn it, its sturdiness and beauty have reminded me of those same traits in its two previous owners, my maternal grandmother and my mother, women I greatly admire.

After locating the stone, restoring the necklace was easy. I stopped at the Diamond Shop in Lewiston. Within minutes, Jon Copeland, a master jeweler with over 40 years of experience, glued the missing piece back into place, giving me something priceless that will last at least another half century.

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