4 Steps to Organizing Makeup

As you may know, my favorite blogger is Kate at The Small Things Blog.  She started doing this thing called #freshinfifteen a few years ago, which is her way of getting herself ready to go for the day in fifteen minutes or less.  Her first attempt didn’t go so well, and part of the reason was because she couldn’t find the tools or products that she needed when she needed them.

That got me thinking… how much time could be saved (translation: How much longer could you sleep?) in the morning if you didn’t have to waste time trying to find what you need to get yourself out-the-door ready?

This blog might be called Maximizing Days, but really, I’m all about Maximizing SLEEP.  Any place in life where I can change something so that I get more sleep, I am all over that.

4 Steps to Organizing Your Makeup :: maximizingdaysblog.com

Step 1 – Purge!

Does it feel like this is always the first step to any organizing project?  There’s a reason.  Because we have a tendency to accumulate stuff that we don’t need or use.  Minimizing is the first step to organizing.

Start by being honest with yourself about what you use.  Not what you might use.  It doesn’t matter how much you spent on it or how well-intentioned you are, if you’ve owned it for more than a month and haven’t used it yet, you aren’t going to.

There’s also a pretty good chance that a few of your makeup items are expired.  I found this graphic from L’Oreal to use as a guide.

4 Steps to Organizing Your Makeup - Use this guide from L'Oreal to know what to throw away :: maximizingdaysblog.com

The same rule that goes for food goes here too:  When in doubt, throw it out.

Step 2 – Categorize

You can do this one of two ways.  You can do it by makeup type (i.e. brushes & tools, foundations, eyes, lips, etc.) or by container type (i.e. tools, tubes, pots, flats).

I find that organizing by container type is best because it maximizes space.

4 Steps to Organizing Your Makeup - Categorize what you use every day :: maximizingdaysblog.com

However, I don’t have a lot of makeup.  My husband wouldn’t agree with that statement, but comparatively, I don’t have much.  Because I don’t have much, I don’t need to have all of my eyeshadows in the same compartment to see what I have to choose from.

I have some eyeshadow palettes in one spot (flat), eyeshadow creams in another (pots) and mascara in another (tubes).

Step 3 – Get a Makeup Organizer

This can be as simple as a zippered cloth pouch or as elaborate as a rolling cart (I’ve seen both done well), and that will depend largely on the amount of makeup you have.  The organizer should be proportional in size to the amount of makeup you regularly use.

There are a bazillion options out there, but there are a couple things to consider when trying to decide which option to choose:

  1. Space it goes in – Will this be stored on a closet shelf? In a drawer?  On your bathroom counter?  If it goes in the closet, think about how easily it moves from the shelf to where you apply your makeup.  If it goes in a drawer, consider your height clearance.  If it stays on your bathroom counter, measure how much space you have.
  2. What it’s made to store – Some containers have designated spots for certain kinds of items, such as lipsticks.  This can be a great asset as it makes those items easy to grab quickly, but it also limits what can be stored in those spots.  Big opens spaces can be good if you have big brushes or large compacts, but aren’t good for containing lots of small items.

I have this organizer from The Container Store and I chose it because 1) All of my makeup will fit in it and 2) The large compartments give me a lot of versatility.

4 Steps to Organizing Your Makeup - Find an organizer that is proportionate to the amount of make up you use every day :: maximizingdaysblog.com

Step 4 – Fill the Organizer

Fill, like the put the stuff in it.  Not fill, like shove it full of so much stuff that you have to pry each item out when you want to use it.

As much as you can, utilize the compartments of the organizer to keep your categories separate.  This isn’t always possible, but start with that as the goal and go from there.

4 Steps to Organizing Your Makeup - Put each category in a compartment in your organizer :: maximizingdaysblog.com

Consider accessibility when you are choosing where to store items.  Something might fit great in a spot, but if you can’t easily grab it, then you’re defeating your purpose.

4 Steps to Organizing Your Makeup - Keep what you use & put it where you can easily access it all :: maximizingdaysblog.com

Just think of how much better you’ll look now that you’re that much more well-rested.  And maybe you can get rid of that under eye concealer because of all that extra sleep you’re getting now that you aren’t wasting time trying to find it in the morning.

The benefits of living a more organized life are a domino effect.


4 Steps to Organizing Your Makeup :: maximizingdaysblog.com








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