Raise your hand if you might have more than 10 lipsticks, four mascaras, three hair oils and countless eye shadows currently strewn across your bathroom. It’s going to be okay—we’re here to help! We’ve enlisted pro organizer Laura Cattano (who’s cleaned up Lena Dunham’s closet) to get your hoarding habits under control. Here are her get-organized steps:
Beauty products have a shelf life, just like most others things—that means you shouldn’t hold onto that lipstick you bought seven years ago. In general, check for expiration dates, especially on things with active ingredients like acne medications and sunscreens. And in the future, write the date you open something on the bottom of the bottom. Here’s what to toss immediately:
1. Anything that looks or smells weird (mascara have a particularly short life and should be discarded three months after opening),
2. Anything so old you can't remember the last time you used or, or even when you purchased it. For example, that peacock eyeshadow may look gorgeous in the package, but if it hasn’t appeared on your lids in the past two years, it’s time to trash it.
Maintain separate bins for daily use skincare, makeup and hair items apart from the things you occasionally pull out. “You shouldn't have to dig through everything you own to get the gloss you wear all the time,” Cattano says.
Keep products separated by category, and store them where you use them (i.e. if you apply skincare in your bedroom, store it in a bin stashed underneath your nightstand, and if you do your hair in the bathroom, keep all those items in a tray under the sink). Clear bins work well because you can easily see what’s inside them, but you can recycle old containers too: Cattano likes to repurpose old candle containers to corral makeup brushes. Simply pop the container in the freezer so you can easily scrape out any remaining wax. Limited shelf space? Try clear acrylic risers to make the most of your square footage. Cattano recommends this version from the Container Store ($4 each; containerstore.com).
Need more inspiration? See below to see some of the ways we like to store our favorite items:
Capelli Countertop Organizer, $25; containerstore.com.
Muji Makeup Box 1/2, $5; muji.us.