So with the little drama of my (failed) attempt to craft drawer dividers now firmly in the past, it's time to pick up the pace and get on with organizing the makeup drawer, already.
This project was so out of control, with makeup piled on the bathroom counter, makeup toppled on the vanity and crammed in the drawers, makeup stacked and tucked and jammed in any number of places, I wondered if a person in the midst of organizing their makeup had been the one to coin the term "driven to drink." Because that's pretty much how I was feeling.
Instead, I decided to push my dread aside and Just Start Somewhere. Here's some techniques that helped get me started and to build up some momentum:
Decide What Will Make The Biggest Impact and Start There
This is related to the Ground Zero approach of deciding what bothers you the most and tackling that first. Normally in a project of this type, I like to tackle a drawer first, which in turn makes room for more things to be put away, but the vanity top was so chaotic, I decided to start there.
Decide on the No-Brainer Throw-Aways
Some things are harder to get rid of than others. Whether going through paperwork, clothes, books, or cosmetics, I find the job is easier if I establish a few ground rules about things I know I don't want. In the case of cosmetics, here's my short list of No-Brainer Throw-Away items:
- Anything that has a weird smell = serious microbial infestation. This isn't up for debate, folks. Get rid of it.
- Strange textures: eye pencils that have dried up or hardened, gummy lip glosses, foundation that has developed a sludge-like quality.
- Containers that have just a teeny-tiny bit of product left to them so that using them is an unpleasant or otherwise frustrating experience. If you like the product so much, write down the manufacturer and the color for future reference.
- Just-in-case supplies I actually don't like and have never used.
- Packaging of all types: cosmetic boxes, tissue paper, advertising materials, and package inserts.
- Old eye makeup applicators.
- Sad, worn-out little freebie bags.
- Brushes that come free with blush.
- Fragrance samples (I'm often allergic and have to be careful about what I try on).
Separate out into Piles
At first I keep it simple, with three piles: throw out, keep, and "maybe".
Decide How to Deal with the "Maybe" Pile
The rejects and the keepers are easy to deal with; it's the "maybe" that tends to cause problems. Here are four ways I deal with my "maybe" pile:
- If I just can't force myself to toss a particular product, I give in and keep it--but with a caveat: I make myself wear it. Sometimes I'm surprised and re-discover an old favorite. Other times, I can't wash my face fast enough. And in this way, the "maybe" is quickly re-assigned as a reject or a keeper.
- Second-string cosmetics--not favorites but useful in their own right--make great little "kits" to store in an office drawer or purse.
- Any season-specific cosmetics--i.e. bronzing powder, the lip gloss or nail polish that looks great when you have a tan, etc., get put in it's own little season-specific bag.
- Any other cosmetics that I want to keep but I'm not currently using get assigned to group-specific bags: eye shadows, blush/power/and foundation, and lipsticks/gloss, and lip liners.
My "After" pix of the top of the vanity: So much better! (Note: the "keepers" seen here are actually going to make their way into the vanity drawer, when I get to that part of the project.)