This week's challenge is cosmetics and makeup organization, to get yourself looking good without having to search for everything you need constantly.
Once you've completed this challenge the goal is that your morning and/or evening beauty routine will be shortened because you'll have less clutter to deal with, and can spend more time applying your makeup and other beauty products, rather than searching for them.
Some concepts covered in this challenge were already mentioned briefly in the bathroom organization challenge, but that was a while ago, and so you can probably hear a refresher anyway.
Plus, this will be geared specifically to your beauty products, and not the whole bathroom in general.
This week we will deal with organizing personal care products of many varieties, including not only makeup, but also lotions, cleansers, toiletries, nail products, and makeup applicators.
Are you new here? The Cosmetics & Makeup Organization Challenge is part of the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren't already a regular reader).
The first step of this challenge, as it is for every single challenge, is to declutter.
When it comes to makeup and other cosmetics it seems there are typically two types of people. One, those who have a ton of products, and the other is someone who is a minimalist in this category.
Congraulations minimalists, here's your moment to shine. It won't take you as long, but still do this step. You might be surprised if you don't use makeup often how much of it is past its expiration date, so this step is important for everyone.
Obviously, the more stuff you've got the longer it will take to declutter, but as far as organizing goes, getting rid of old, expired, or unloved products is the single most effective step of the whole challenge.
I could suggest to you every single cool storage solution invented so far, but if you've got too much, it won't do you any good. Getting rid of stuff will.
Prime items to declutter include those which are used up, that you don't like anymore, or that you have lots of duplicates of.
If items are unopened and not expired, go ahead and donate them. Otherwise, although I hate to just trash stuff, it is more sanitary to throw away opened products that you're decluttering.
When it comes to makeup and cosmetics, decluttering is also about your personal health and safety. That's because these products do have a shelf life once opened, and tossing too old items keeps you from getting sick.
In fact, some of those expiration dates and shelf lives are surprisingly short, especially for eye makeup (such as mascara). To help you I've written an article explaining why this topic is so important (see the link above), plus created a free printable cheat sheet (see to your right) that you can use to make sure you throw things out and replace with new products as needed.
Make sure as part of this challenge that you declutter from each of the following categories:
Once you've decluttered you need to organize what you've got left. There are two types of uses that you need to consider when organizing these toiletries and cosmetics.
First, consider what items you use everyday, versus which are only occasional use products.
Second, if you're organizing not only for yourself, but for your whole family, you need to consider what products are used only by one family member, versus shared products that several members of the family use.
Please note for sanitary reasons I don't suggest sharing makeup, but obviously many people can share a tube of toothpaste or everyone may want to use the same bottle of shampoo, for example.
Many people keep all or most of their toiletries and makeup on their bathroom counter and sink area, and things get knocked around and there is hardly any room. This is not the way to organize everything.
Instead, I urge you to clear off your bathroom sink area. Just having this space clear (or mostly clear) will allow you to go about your daily beauty routine in a more peaceful organized way.
Your goal should be to have as few things sitting out at all times in this space as possible. Some prefer nothing out, but if you do want to have some daily use items sitting there, at least keep them in a basket or otherwise corralled together so they don't spread out taking too much counter space.
I'll be suggesting several organizing and storage solutions below so you can choose the one that's right for you.
As I stated above, the first way to separate the beauty products you've got left, to get them organized, is to consider what you use daily versus just occasionally.
Whenever you're organizing anything it is important to make the daily use items much more accessible and easy to find than the more occasionally used items.
Most of the time there is just a smaller amount of daily use items. These are the only things I would suggest leaving on your counters at all, and even then you may want to consider placing them in a zippered makeup bag or in an easy access drawer.
The goal when organizing these products is to be able to find these things, and these things only, easily every day when you're getting ready. Don't keep them with your occasional use items because then the convenience factor is gone.
Instead, give them a special place all their own, and make whatever container you use to store them easy to load and unload since you'll be doing it daily.
If you've got a lot of storage space in your bathroom (or wherever you get yourself ready each day) then great, you can then designate another spot for your occasional use items in that same area.
For many of us though, this is not a luxury we have. Instead then, consider other locations to store more occasionally used items. Remember you are not required to keep all toiletries and cosmetics in your bathroom, but instead you can keep them other places as well.
For example, if you apply makeup in the bathroom, but have only a limited amount of space for it, make sure you keep your daily makeup within arms reach of your mirror and counter in the bathroom, if possible, and put your occasional use makeup, for nights out, in a different container which you might store in your bedroom.
Ideally, the container in your bedroom would be portable so you can bring it to the bathroom when needed, use what you need, and then put everything away and take it back into the bedroom when you're done. This keeps the bathroom clutter free and is most convenient, most of the time, for how your life really works.
Special care and attention needs to be paid to items that multiple people sharing a bathroom also share, and make sure it stays in a convenient spot for all those people.
However, if several people in your home share a bathroom I'm sure you're familiar with the explosion of personal care products that accumulate that only one person in the family uses. Those special creams, hair products, shampoos, or other toiletries, not to mention makeup and cosmetics can add up quickly.
Most bathrooms just aren't designed to hold that many people's stuff. It's not that you have too much in such instances (at least once you've decluttered), it is that you realistically can't store it all in the bathroom.
In those instances it is best to designate a portable container for each person's individual stuff. This can be a bag or a basket that they keep, most likely in their own bedroom. Then, when they're doing their makeup or personal care in the bathroom they bring in their basket, have all their own products at hand, use them, put them back in their container at the end, and put the container back in their bedroom when they're finished.
The system is simple, but I will grant that training people to do this, especially teenagers, can be a bit of a challenge.
But the rewards are worth it for everyone. No one's stuff gets misplaced or broken, everyone has enough space to do what they need to do in the bathroom, and there are no eye sores from overflowing countertops.
Now that you know the basics of organizing makeup and cosmetics, it's time to choose the storage solutions that will make the most sense for your family's needs.
These are perfect for makeup applicators and brushes, or other items such as cotton balls or swabs, or makeup removal pads.
They are often much prettier than the container the item comes in, and can add a decorative touch to your bathroom counter. Just use them sparingly, and only use for items that you actually do use daily. Otherwise they take up precious counterspace that you should use in a different way.
For daily use items I find a small bag or basket can work quite well.
An open basket could be kept on your bathroom counter, or a closed makeup bag could be stored under the sink or in a bathroom linen closet to be grabbed and used daily before putting the items back away.
These types of containers are also useful if you don't have room in your bathroom to store things but must transport them from another room as you use them.
Another good choice for daily use types of items are drawer dividers. If you've got a drawer to keep your makeup and other personal care items in, you know how it can easily become a jumbled mess with all those little tubes and containers sliding around in there.
Drawer dividers to the rescue. Simple dividers (such as those shown above) can keep various items compartmentalized so everything is easy to grab without pushing things aside through the mess.
One of the best types of containers you can use for a larger makeup collection are acrylic makeup organizers. They typically consist of several drawers, and some of them also have an open organizer for the top.
They are sturdy and also easy to clean, which is important when considering makeup which can easily drip or powder can spill.
Some of them are quite pricey, but pay attention at places like Amazon to both the product cost and shipping costs. Sometimes paying for shipping is still cheaper than a comparable product with free shipping.
Most of the time these are stored on either a makeup table or on a bathroom counter, so choose something that you find attractive and fits the amount of makeup you've got since it will be displayed.
Typically makeup and cosmetics are not taken into excessively wet areas, but since we also talked more generally about personal care products in this challenge I'm throwing this storage solution out there - shower baskets or caddies.
A personal shower caddy or basket may be the best solution for items taken into the shower with each family member if several people use the same bathroom. This can keep the shower from getting too crowded with products.
If you need to use this option make sure whatever container you choose can get wet repeatedly, and also has a way to drain so no water accumulates in the bottom.
I would love to know how this week's Challenge is going. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you've organized this items in your home in the comments below.
I also would love to see before and after pictures of your organized makeup and cosmetics once you've completed the challenge. Submit your pictures (up to four per submission) and blog posts and get featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall of Fame. You've worked hard to get organized, so now here's your chance to show off!
Here are some ideas that have already been submitted:
We're working on our homes slowly, one area at a time, so don't get too distracted from this week's Challenge. However, I know you like to know what is coming up, so I'll tell you.
We're still working on getting our family's clothes and accessories organized and under control, but we'll start focusing on kids' stuff for the next few weeks. Next week we'll focus on organizing the kids' closets.
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I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!