Easy (And Budget-Friendly) Tips For Storing Your Beauty Products, According to Professional Organizers
If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, then you probably know your way around a Caboodle. Inside that bright and glittery plastic wonder is where I kept my pink bottle of Love's Baby Soft perfume, body glitter from Limited Too, my entire collection of Bonne Bell Lip Smackers, butterfly clips, and the nail polish I stole from the cabinet under my mom's bathroom sink. I loved knowing that all my favorite things were in one place. Whenever I needed a touch-up of my Dr. Pepper-flavored lip, I'd just reach under my bed, open the plastic hatch, and grab the tube from it's special compartment.
But, now? I'm a far cry away from the 90s Caboodle-me. Not only am I a self-professed beauty product hoarder, I can't find half the things I hoard. It makes getting ready a nightmare, especially when I'm running late and I've wasted all my precious time digging through various makeup bags and drawers. In addition to storing products, these bags and drawers are home to foundation stains, loose powders, mascara smears, you get the picture. Not only would being more organized save me time, it would also save me money from needing to repurchase a product that I never lost to begin with. Plus, who wouldn't want their beauty stash to function and look as good as Cher Horowitz's closet from Clueless? Exactly.
If you can relate to the mess above, look no further. To help us out, I brought in the experts, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, who are the co-founders of The Home Edit, a professional organization company. They both live in Nashville, where The Home Edit is originally based, but grew their business to include a large amount of celebrity clientele all around the country. These women have seen inside the closets and pantries of celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Lauren Conrad, and Khloe Kardashian, while helping to create functional and organized spaces with their signature stylized touch. Plus, the duo has a new TV show called Master The Mess, which releases Sept. 4th on Reese Witherspoon’s Sunshine Channel on Directv! People are obsessed with them—and if you take one look at their Instagram account, it's easy to see why.
To declutter our beauty products in a way that we’ll actually maintain, here are Clea and Joanna's easy and budget-friendly tips:
TIP #1: START WITH AN EDIT
In order to create and maintain an organized space, it starts with the edit process. Start by emptying ALL of your beauty products out of cabinets, drawers, makeup bags, or wherever you stash them. If you keep things on your counter, make sure everything is in clear view. Even if it seems messy at first, trust us—this is a crucial step in the editing process. It will also give you a chance to wipe down whatever spillage you've ignored, like the remnants of your favorite bronzer that busted months ago (R.I.P.)
With the products in front of you, group items into categories (lipstick, blush, face masks, etc.) You may end up subdividing in a drawer later on, but this step helps you see what you have. In each category, start by throwing away any product that is damaged or expired. (When does makeup expire? Here's your answer.) Look for any duplicates and set those aside to toss or give to a friend. As for the remaining items, it's judgement day. Although you may think you need five lipsticks in the same color, it's only taking up valuable real estate for other products.
Once you’ve finished the final edit, take one more pass through the categories that you’ve created. For beauty categories, try not to get overly specific so everything has a home. (Example: Nails, Hair, Skincare, Body Treatments.) Remember that you will create sub-groups within the category later. (Example: Eyeshadow, Lipstick, Hairspray, Blush.)
TIP #2: STREAMLINE YOUR STORAGE
You won’t achieve an organized space by throwing your pared down items haphazardly back into drawers and cabinets. Isn't that how you got here in the first place? Before heading to the store, measure the cabinets and shelving you are planning to use. Items like baskets, dividers, jars, and turntables will help you maximize the space you have and create a system to streamline your routine. Make sure to keep in mind that the items you use the most should remain visible or easy to access at eye level.
COUNTERTOP + Shelving:
— Acrylic modular drawers help style up a medicine cabinet or countertop while keeping items categorized and contained:
— An acrylic tray with separate compartments work well for smaller items that could get lost in the mix, like bobby pins and hair ties or for specific subgroups like nail polish, lipstick, or eyeshadow:
— A divided turntable is one of our favorite items for under-the-sink or cabinet storage. It’s perfect for beauty products because it contains, separates, and spins for easy access to everything:
— If you prefer a non-transparent option, we love these plastic storage bins in white:
For drawer storage, we like to use a combination of large inserts and test multiple configurations to come up with the smartest solution for the given space. The depth of the inserts should match up with the drawer, so make sure to measure beforehand.
— For small spaces or bathrooms without storage, take advantage of floor, wall, and door space:
— If you need to add DIY drawers, try these stackable organizers that can fit under the sink or in a closet:
TIP #3: DESIGNATE YOUR DAILY ESSENTIALS
Life becomes easier when the items you use daily are at your fingertips. Choose 5-10 items that you use the most and store them in one of the organization products above. It doesn't matter if these contents are random, as long as they are categorized and the compartment is functional.
TIP #4: LABEL EVERYTHING
Labeling has become our signature. It makes things easier to spot so you never have to waste time scavenging for it. Plus, labels can double as a guilt mechanism when you’re about to shove something where it doesn’t belong. Within a category, you can also organize by color or scent. However you decide to label, it just needs to be visible. We prefer to write the categories with a paint pen in our signature script, which we sell custom here on our site.
TIP #5: PRACTICE DAILY MAINTENANCE
The hardest part isn't the edit process and creating an organized system, it's maintaining it. However, you'll be more likely to break a bad habit once you see how much easier your beauty routine becomes. It's as simple as putting items back where they belong on a daily basis and doing a weekly edit of all your categories.
While both Clea and Joanna never advise adding in more products directly after an edit, but they're giving us a pass. Here are some of The Home Edit's must-have beauty products to shop now!