How to organize an obscene makeup collection when you live in a small space

Now, I love the whole keep-it-only-if-it-brings-you-joy concept, but what if all my beauty products bring me unbridled happiness and supreme enlightenment? As a beauty editor and a general makeup and skin care enthusiast, keeping my collection tidy is something that I’ve struggled with. It’s hard for me to get rid of a beauty product I love, even if I’m not using it every day.

Even worse, I’m terrible with keeping products in place. Some might say…I can be a little bit messy. However, the thought of having my beauty products neatly organized was enticing. I admit, I’d get a thrill whenever Khloé Kardashian would post videos of her expertly arranged fridge, which means there must be something in my astrological chart that has a strong desire for organization. So, I tried to tap into that.

Since I don’t have an extra room in my apartment that could be dedicated to an entire beauty closet, like YouTubers and beauty influencers do (the dream), I had to make use of what I did have, which was an Ikea desk, the bathroom, and a couple of shelves in the hallway closet. Which, honestly, was more space than I had in my previous home, so I couldn’t complain too much. Now that I knew where I would keep my products, I had to put a plan in place. Below, my tips on how I keep my millions of products organized.

1Don’t fear the purge

One of my biggest issues, when I tried to organize before, was that I’d easily get overwhelmed and anxious, intimidated by the task at hand. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can recommend for overcoming this specific type of anxiety aside from just preparing yourself mentally to do it, and not being afraid to ask for help (especially from your most organized, Virgo friend).

First I sorted products into three piles. stuff I’d keep, products that were old and needed to be thrown away, and ones I would give away or donate. Next, I sorted them into three categories: makeup, skin care, and hair care. From there, I’d separate by product type; so for makeup, I’d separate lipsticks, base makeup, eye and brow, and palettes, etc., and then do the same for skin care.

2Use dividers to separate products in drawers


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Next comes the fun part, putting everything away. I decided I would use my desk, which is the Ikea Alex system that most vloggers use, solely for makeup. For a long time, I would just throw everything in there without rhyme or reason. Lipsticks were carelessly tossed into the drawers; eyeliners and palettes were mixed up and scattered. The result was I’d never find the lip color or eyeshadow I wanted and would end up using the same ones every single time. That’s fine, but not ideal for someone who wants to give all of their products equal attention. If I’m going to keep this lipstick, I should be able to enjoy and use it, right? I use these dividers from The Container Store to organize each drawer so the inside contents aren’t rolling around. It is a JOY to see all my products lined up together like little soldiers.

3Be transparent (when it comes to storage bins)

I know it’s tempting to use cute shoeboxes or decorative fabric bins to keep your products in, but the problem is you won’t be able to see easily what’s inside of them. Instead, keep your products in transparent bins. These see-through shoe and sweater drawers are especially good for storing larger products, such as skin care.

4Find creative methods for storage

I don’t have counter space in my current bathroom or even a mirror cabinet (RIP, shelfies!) so I had to create my own storage. The good thing is, places like Target and Ikea have a lot of options for standalone storage, like this Ikea shelving unit that fits perfectly between my bathroom heater and sink. And don’t be afraid to think outside of the box for potential storage solutions for products, such as tiered cake stands, utility carts, and old candle jars.

5Label everything accordingly


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I used to organize my products via brand, which, looking back, wasn’t the most efficient way. Now, I keep similar products together. Once you have all of your products separated by type, use a label maker or pre-made stickers to label accordingly.

6Create a process and stick to it

Sure, you can implement these organizing tips and rules, but if you don’t find a way to make them a daily habit, all your hard work gets thrown out the window. It’s important to find a strategy works for you. Is it simply putting everything away once you’re done with it? Weekly check-ins and concrete cleaning dates? Once you figure out a way to keep organizing a part of your regular routine (just like your 10-step skin care regimen), you’ll be able to fully enjoy your beauty obsessions in no time.