Several years ago my dad gave me a very cute jewelry box, with space for rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc. It was a great jewelry box... except I had trouble fitting all my jewelry in it.
In the years following I've struggled with the best ways to store my jewelry to keep it looking nice, tangle-free, and easy to get to. I think I finally came upon a solution a few monthds ago. I was at Michael's and for some reason was in the beading section of the store, and looked at some of the bead organizers they had... and as I looked at them I thought, "Huh. You know, I bet I could put earrings in there."
Now I have most of my jewelry stored inside various bead organizers (like the one at right, $2.89). Most of them are like little tray with different sized compartments and a lid that closes the whole thing. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can find small ones or big ones to store various amounts and sizes of jewelry items. I keep small earrings in a yellow set with square compartments, longer earrings in a red set with rectangular compartments, and bigger/bulkier items like broaches in a purple box that's undivided. I got a cylindrical organizer that has sections that stack on top of each other (so one container is the lid of the container below it) that's perfect for hoops. The only thing this system doesn't work well for is long necklaces, which I keep on a bulletin board with thumbtacks puched in, and my necklaces hanging off the thumbtacks.
I love this bead organizer system, for several reasons: a) it keeps my jewelry from getting all tangled together, b) the separate boxes stack on top of each other so they don't take up tons of room, c) the tops are clear plastic so I can see them easily, and d) everything's already compact enough and compartmentalized so all I have to do when travelling is toss the containers themselves into my suitcase when travelling (occasionally shifting items from one box to another depending on what I want to bring).
The best part? These bead organizers usually cost just a few dollars, so they're an awesome bargain, and you can always go buy more when you need more storage. So go check out your local craft store and see what kind of a selection they have-- you may feel inspired. ; )