The Importance of Being Earn–Er, I mean, Organized

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (likely many more times): beauty is fun. But you know what’s not fun? Having a heaping bin or drawer of products that you have to literally dig and sift through to find a particular item; slowing down your getting ready process because you can’t find your needed products; inconveniencing your significant other or roommates by having beauty products scattered all across the bathroom sink; not being able to achieve the look you want because you know what, you just have no idea where you put that red lip liner. None of these things are fun. Which is why, as a beautynista or even just as a woman who likes to get up and be able to find her products to get done up for the day, it is so important to keep our beauty products organized.

This may be the less fun side of beauty to talk about, but once it’s done it makes your life and your routine so much easier and you feel so accomplished. You can focus on getting your make up done, easily see what you do and don’t have, what does and does not need replenished and when, and what gaps you may have in your colorful collection. Knowing what you do and don’t have also helps you save money by keeping you from buying things which you really don’t need because you may already have something similar at home.

Whether you’re fairly organized and would like to get things in ship shape, or you’re starting with that dreaded overflowing bin of products and–admit it–you don’t even know what’s at the bottom of it, I have some tips and steps that have helped me and I think will definitely help you.

1. Come up with a system.

First things first: we’ve got to figure out how you’re going to do this. Are you going to use some sort of organizer, bags, baskets, jars, shelves, drawers? Figure it out now because you’ll need to either find the space for it or buy the appropriate tools (train cases, makeup bags, organizer valets, drawer dividers, etc.) to keep you organized. Next, think about how your mind works when you are getting ready or looking for something and what would be the best way to organize your makeup based on this. By color? By type of product? By frequency of use? Whatever you think is going to work for you, choose a system and keep it in mind throughout your process. I choose to organize mine by type of product: face products in one section, eye products in another, lip products in the third, and finally, a section for beauty tools. I find this the most practical way to do it because that’s how my mind functions: working on one feature at a time. Just choose the system that works best for you!

2. Buy What You Need

Next up is the crucial step we talked about in step one: buying or finding what you need to make this happen. Whether you use the shoe boxes sitting in your closet as drawer separators or you head out to the store to pick up a classic train case or valet, now is the time to gather these items so that your newly sorted makeup has somewhere to go right away. There are a lot of options on the market as far as keeping your makeup organized. Personally, I think train cases and fold out valets are really great options. Although valets are generally marketed for keeping toiletries organized while you travel, they’re actually an amazing option for keeping your makeup organized at home. I use one for the makeup I use more commonly and often, whereas I keep the rest in a train case. There’s tons of good options on the market, so below I have a few ideas for budget friendly cosmetic organizers to get you started in the right direction!

Hard Cases

Clockwise from Top:

Soho Tech Savvy Case – $29.99

Clear Organizer Tray – $10.99

Pink Caboodles Classic Case – $13.99

e.l.f. Large Make Up Separator – $15.00

Professional Train Case- $44.99 ..a bit more of an investment, but from someone who owns this product, it’s definitely worth it. Think about the use you will get out of it!

Soft Cases:

Sonia Kashuk Valet Cosmetic Case – $29.99

Contents Garden Variety Cosmetic Valet – $19.99

Contents Blue and Green Weekender Case – $24.99

Caboodles Letter Printed Cloth Organizer – $24.19

3. Sort it Out, Throw it Out

Okay it’s time to go through what you have. Let’s just get it over with, like ripping off a Band-Aid. Dump out the contents of that unsorted bin, empty the contents of the bathroom drawers, tip over your make up bag. It’s time to sort.

A few things to keep in mind: Take stock of what you have while you are doing this. Now is the time to take a look, while it’s all out in the open. You will realize just where that red lip liner did go and maybe that you have four gray eye shadows which are pretty much the same shade and you need to stop purchasing those. Not that that’s ever happened to me.

Next: Sort things now based on the system you devised earlier. The products don’t have to go right in the organizer right now, but definitely start separating them on the counter, the floor, the table, whatever surface you are using here, either by color, product type, etc.

Finally: Now is the time to clean house. Throw out anything that is expired, gunky, miscolored, or which you have not or will not use. Some guidelines: Mascara only lasts about 4 months, so use it or lose it. Lipstick, lip liner, and powder products usually have about two years in them; eye shadows and eyeliners, three years. Lip glosses definitely depend on the formula. Keep an eye on it and use good judgment! Nail polish technically has about one good year in it, but some can be stretched longer. If it seems funky, trash it! And be realistic about what you need. The rainbow tropical colors eyeshadow palette seemed like a great idea at the time and some people have all kinds of use for that, but if you’ve literally never used it, chances are you won’t. And that pink chunky loose glitter from Claire’s? Sure it’s still “good”, but you bought that in high school…get serious.

4. Drumroll, please…time to organize!

Go ahead, get your things organized. Choose a compartment for each and organize accordingly. Try to keep things in one layer so you can see everything you have. Arrange in your pockets, drawers, or compartments in a way that everything is easily accessible and viewable. Now is the time to put to good use whatever organizers you purchased earlier! Here is how my recently organized pile of cosmetics turned out:

As you can see, the valet system works out really well because each type of product has its own pocket, and I can hang it on the back of my door and easily access all my products. I definitely recommend taking a look at these when you are out shopping for your organizational tools.

And finally…

5. Revel in your newly organized cosmetics…but keep it maintained.

Go ahead. Take the time to feel accomplished. You just sorted through your droves of cosmetics and assembled them into an organizationally sleek, easy to use set up. You deserve to feel great about this. But one of the most important things to keep in mind is to now maintain, or all your hard work will be for nothing. Wherever you get something from, put it back there. Don’t get lazy and start tossing things wherever or scattering them across the sink again! It will only work if you keep it working. If you stay organized, you can focus on the important things…using the makeup in those pockets and compartments, buying new things, and having fun!

Happy organizing, beautynistas!