I use the bottom of empty egg cartons to store my earrings. They each have 12 separate compartments and you can store them one on top of each other if you just use the bottoms and throw away the tops.
I've found that a fish & tackle box has been the most effective thing to store my jewlery. I bought a heavy-duty one with 6 trays that have many sections, and it's ideal for earrings and necklaces so that they won't get tangled. The design of the trays allows for everything to be seen immediately. Being enclosed in a box, everything's protected from dirt/dust, and it's easily moved about without damaging the stuff inside!
For years I've used ice cube trays for storing my smaller earrings. They stack and are easily stored in a dresser drawer.
I live in the UK, and most of the egg cartons we get here are a lighter weight plastic tray and attached lid-perfect for not only jewellry, but craft supplies, hardware bits and bobs like pushpins and screws.
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