How to Organize Your Beauty Products
Consider this your step-by-step guide for how to organize your beauty products, whether they’re tucked away in a bin, out on full display, or scattered across your bathroom.
Figuring out how to organize your beauty products is no small feat, least of all because everyone has different collection sizes and storage opportunities. Beauty product collections run the gamut from a essentials-only kit to an abundance of creams, mists, brushes, and more, so there is no one-size fits all answer for how to organize your beauty products.
Fortunately, there are ways to make every beauty product mess more manageable, and over the years, Real Simple has written about almost all of them. Our best-ever tips for how to organize your beauty products can help you cut down on clutter and streamline your morning routine, all in an afternoon’s work.
Step 1: Clean Out Your Beauty Collection
As with any good organizing project, you’ll need to start your beauty collection clean-up with an old-fashioned purge.
First, take every beauty product you have out of its drawer, bin, cabinet, etc. (Yes, that includes the items you keep in the shower.) Spread them out and get rid of duplicates—you really don’t need five gray eyeliner pencils—expired items, and products you never use, including those that have gone out of style.
Set a limit for how many of a single kind of item—body lotions, eyeliners, mascaras, etc.—you’re allowed to keep. Base this off how often you use each product and how much space you have. If nail polishes are your passion, keep all the bottles that are still good to use … but maybe promise yourself you’ll practice a one-in, one-out rule from now on.
Step 2: Sort Everyday Items from Specialty Items
Once you’ve pared down your collection, the next step for how to organize your beauty products is to separate the items you use every day from the items you use only occasionally.
The top-notch products you save for date night can be stored in a pouch or bin, so they’re all together; travel toiletries should be kept apart, as well, so you don’t need to dig through everything the next time you’re packing.
Step 3: Evaluate Your Space
Next, take a hard, honest look at how much space you really have. Do you have one shelf in a bathroom you share with your roommates, and the rest of your beauty products live in your bedroom? Do you have a massive vanity all to yourself? Adjust how many items you keep in your everyday pile and your specialty pile accordingly.
If you have limited space, look for creative solutions, such as over-the-door caddies, rolling storage carts, and multi-tasking mirrors. To buy: mDesign Over-Cabinet Hair Care Tools Holder, $16; amazon.com; Mind Reader 3-Shelf Metal Mesh Storage Cart, $21; bedbathandbeyond.com; Elle Lacquer Beauty Storage Trifold Mirror, $75; pbteen.com.
Step 4: Set Your Space Up
It’s time to put everything in its new home. Arrange the items you use every day front and center, on a pretty tray on the counter or in an organizer that keeps bottles and brushes upright on a shelf (in a medicine cabinet or otherwise). To buy: Black Marble Tray, $60; cb2.com; InterDesign Clarity Cosmetics & Vanity Organizer, $19; containerstore.com.
In drawers, if you have them, use clear, shallow trays to corral small items, always keeping like with like (think hair ties and clips in one, nail tools in another). Layer these trays within the drawer to make the most of your space; you’ll be able to see through to the bottom to easily find whatever it is you’re looking for. To buy: Amac Box Clear (1” x 2” x ¾”), $1; containerstore.com.
If some of your every day beauty products come in enormous bottles (there’s no shame in buying in bulk), decant the product into pretty bottles that fit neatly on your shelf or in your drawer. The same goes for cotton swabs and cotton balls, which can go into vessels that double as décor. To buy: 4 oz. Mini Jar with Plastic Top, $2; containerstore.com; Pink Canister, $8; cb2.com.
Set all those specialty and non-everyday items in bins or drawer organizers and tuck them away, whether that’s under the bathroom cabinet (try an organizer that fits around those clunky pipes) or on a high shelf. To buy: Lynk Professional U-Shape Slide Out Under Sink Drawer, $62; amazon.com.
By giving every item a defined storage space—a home, in professional organizer–speak—you ensure your countertop won’t become a huge, cluttered drop zone. Consider your beauty products organized.