How I store my extra makeup and nail polishes

On my quest to live a more simple and clutter-free life, I have also drastically reduced the amount of makeup and nail polishes I store. While there would most definitely be more space in our apartment to go loose and hoard it all, I went for a small collection of items I really wanted to keep and tossed all the rest. Which was a good thing, because I had lost track of what I owned anyways and yes, you probably see it coming, I bought things twice. Ahem.

I am now living with this new system for six months and I am really happy how it turned out. I know what I own, I can transition between every day and special occasion looks, or alternate colors according to season (hello, wine-red nail polish!) while still boil it down to a managable size.

Here are three simple steps on how I keep my extra makeup and nail polishes organized:

1) Allocate a specific spot for them and STICK TO IT!
All my things are kept in one drawer in our restaurated kitchen cabinet (that now lives in our living room / office). One drawer. Not more. If something does not fit, it cannot stay. Either, another item has to leave or I cannot buy whatever it is that I think I need. Period..

2) Organize so you can see it all. 
This is really important. Remember the old saying "out of sight, out of mind". Yes, it is true. If you cannot see all the things you have, they will eventually slip your mind making you more prone to buy similar or - worst case - the same item again. Not a wise way to spend your money.

3) Purge, regularly.
This is a step I came to enjoy a lot. Every once in a blue moon, twice in the last six months so far, I get everything out and evaluate. Do I still love it? Do I still use it? How many times did I use it before? If the answer is no to any of these questions, out it goes. 

If this last step seems too hard for you to do, try the following instead: Put all the items you doubt about keeping in a box. It has to be a non-see though box. Maybe you can get an empty carton box from your local supermarket or something similar. Put all the items you are unsure about into the box and SEAL IT. Yes, tape the thing shut. Then place it somewhere you cannot see it on a daily basis, maybe in the back of your closet. Keep it there for a month and set a timer on your phone. After one month, if the box is still sealed, throw it out. DO NOT OPEN THE BOX AGAIN. We all know how these things end. You open it, see the stuff and start doubting again. Believe me, if you have not thought about it for a month, you will not think about it later. Toss it. Or bring the whole thing to a thrift store and make others happy.

The feeling of space and order is worth trying, believe me. Positive side effect: you will make more use of the items that make the cut so the chance of stuff spoiling is smaller as well! And once you have used up that nail polish, you can indulge in buying a new one.

Now, because we all love pictures of the acutal thing, here are some snapshots of my drawer dedicated to extra makeup and nail polish: 

 This is our renovated kitchen buffet. It now lives in our living room / office. My makeup drawer is the lower drawer on the left side. Yes, it is tiny but still fits all I need. Wanna take a peek?

Voila, this is it. I used a little plastic container from IKEA to separate the drawer even more. Turns out, it is the perfect size for my nail polishes and make up utensils. Here are a couple of more detailed shots:

See? The first compartment of the container holds nail polishes.


In the medium compartment I store extra makeup like foundation I bought in Germany two weeks ago, mascara, kayal, extra lipsticks in colors that are currently not in season or more for special occasions. Also, my nail polish remover pads live there. The other outer compartment then holds some more nail polish, an extra powder puff and two eye shadow palettes. Those palettes I am not quite sure about to be honest. I love the colors, one is a blue shaded one, the other is purple and brown. However, even though I love the colors, I do not seem to use them so much. So I guess they will go.


Last but not least, there is some extra space to the left in the drawer and in the back. This is where I keep my face masks, manicure set, bobby pins in a fossil tin, hair accessories and my adapter for electric appliances which comes in handy when traveling. That's it!
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