When we look at our bedrooms or bathrooms, we tend to focus on the big things: clothes, the bed, towels; and the other items that we consider part of the room like lamps or alarm clocks. When we decide to clean or organize these rooms, we then spend most of our time dealing with these big things.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but you can often save more space by organizing the little things. Things like jewelry, cosmetics and toiletries all end up taking over sections of your counter because individually they are pretty small. But if you look at the amount of space that these items take up as a group, then you realize that you are actually losing a lot of space.
Cosmetics are a perfect example of small items taking up big space. I don't want to single out women, so we can also include guy's stuff like men's cologne and moisturizer in this group. If you take a look at your bathroom counter or the top of your dresser, you will probably see a lot of these things just sitting there. Usually these things end up where they are because you used them one night and then didn't properly put them away.
3 Steps to Organize Cosmetics
- Pull everything together -Take a basket (or even a bucket) and put all your makeup into it. Now look at what you've got and decide if all these things should be grouped together. If you have dozens of lipsticks or use perfume regularly, then you might want to have a separate space for them.
- Sort the good from the bad-How much of your makeup is so out of style that you know you'll never wear it again? How many almost-empty nail polish remover bottles did you find in the back of the bathroom cabinet? If you can't use it or you have more than you need, then either throw it away or give it away.
- Get a cosmetics organizer or a drawer organizer that you can use to keep this stuff together. Your best approach is to have a small organizer on your counter or dresser for the things you use regularly (e.g. favorite shades, brushes, hair dryer) and then a larger organizer or multiple organizers for the stuff you only need occasionally or seasonally. The larger organizer can be put in the back of the closet.
If you have completed all 3 steps, then you should have a smaller and well-organized cosmetics collection. If you can be consistent about putting things away and repeat these step 2-3 times per year, then you'll find that your bathroom and/or bedroom is much more organized. Imagine how much time you'll save over the course of the year if you don't have to scrounge around in drawers every time you need mascara.
Organizing your jewelry is doubly-important because it has real value. You lose some makeup, then you are out may $10 or $20 dollars, but you lose earrings or a bracelet and you could be out hundreds. Jewelry tends to be better managed than cosmetics, but you will still leave it all over the place and it will take up space over time. That's why you always seem to be missing a couple of earrings (no, it's not jewelry gnomes) and you may have a hard time accessorizing your outfit.
4 Steps to Organize Jewelry
- Sort everything: take the time to sort your earrings into their proper pairs, to put sets (e.g. necklace & earrings) together and then lay everything out on a table or dresser.
- Differentiate the precious stuff from the everyday items. You can do this by cost, but also think about the pieces that are most important to you--just because its costume jewelry doesn't mean it's not an important piece to you.
- Clean everything. I know this doesn't seem like an organizing step, but trust me that cleaning will help you really appreciate your collection. If you take the time to use the proper cleaning supplies and then looking at everything in good lighting, then it will make you feel good, teach you how much jewelry you have, and probably give you a new appreciation for some older pieces.
- Put it away: This seems simple, but having the right home jewelry storage is essential. If you wear jewelry regularly, then look for a clear case so you can find things quickly. If you have a really large collection then consider a jewelry armoire or a wall rack if you don't have a lot of space. Some types of jewelry like watches have their own special cases. And very expensive pieces should either be stored in a home safe or a safety deposit box at a bank.
When you've completed steps 1-4, you will have a beautiful, well-organized collection that is easy to browse and also takes up less space. Make it a point to put things back in the correct organizer when you come home and you may only have to go through this process once or twice per year.
You'll notice that my tips are not very exotic. It comes down to knowing what you have, taking care of it and putting it away. It's a very simple formula, but it makes life a lot easier. You will find that by reducing small clutter, you have more room for you and your stuff. You can also apply similar thinking to any room in your home (take a look at your kitchen).