Take Control of Your Cosmetics Drawer!

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My experience with helping people organize their cosmetics began at an early age and completely by accident. When I was in middle school, my cousins and I got bored while visiting our grandmother. All on our own, we went door to door in Grandma’s neighborhood with a cardboard box, telling the neighbors we were doing a “makeup drive” and asking them to donate cosmetics they no longer wanted.

Then we sneaked back into Grandma’s house and used what we had collected to paint each other’s faces. Of course, when my parents found out what we had done, they were horrified. I’m not sure which was worse for them, their children’s greasy clown faces or the humiliation of having to tell the neighbors about the phony charity event.

Looking back, I realize we actually did those neighbors a favor. It can be hard to keep up with the clutter in your cosmetics drawer. Chances are good you won’t have any middle school girls begging at your door for makeup (and if you do, please don’t give them anything; expired products can cause irritation or infections)! But let’s talk about a few other ways to streamline your toiletries so you’re not wasting time every morning rummaging around looking for one little item.

If your bathroom and bedroom drawers are a mess, you’re not alone. And in fact, that may be a good sign. Research shows that people with more driven, Type A personalities are more likely to have an extremely messy sock drawer. Their hidden mess shows that they have their priorities straight; they choose to spend their precious time on more meaningful parts of life.

That said, you may be wasting time every morning if you have to dig through a heap of expired products to find that one eye pencil or mascara you need. Just think; 60 seconds of wasted time every day adds up to six hours in a year. It might be worth taking half an hour to get your toiletries in order today and save the extra five and a half hours for a good book!

If you have 30 minutes to organize your bathroom space, buy some clear containers and sort out what you use daily from what you only use on special occasions. While you are sorting, look for expiration dates on cosmetics and throw away anything that’s past its prime. You can usually find a logo on each item that looks like an open lid with a number printed inside it. The number is how many months the product will last once you’ve opened it. When you buy new cosmetics, take a minute to think about your pace of using them, and buy an appropriate size based on how long it will take you to get through it. If you’re regularly finding that your lotion goes dry and clumpy before you manage to use it up, you might need to buy smaller portions. Then store your daily use items at the front of drawers or in a glass jar on your countertop; tuck away the things you seldom need in the backs of drawers and cabinets.

If you’re a Type A, messy sock drawer woman who doesn’t have any time to spare for a one-time cleanout, then try these tricks to organize your bathroom as you go. First, store a permanent marker and some masking tape in your cosmetics drawer. Each time you buy something new, mark the date you opened it and the date it will expire according to the package. That will save you the headache of squinting at the tiny logo and calculating the date repeatedly in the future, which may not even be possible if you’ve forgotten when you purchased an item, like I always do!

Another organizing trick that takes zero time investment is to empty your cosmetics drawer into a large paper grocery bag on the floor. Write a date six weeks into the future on the side of the bag. Each time you use an item from the bag, put it away in the drawer. When you’ve reached the date on the bag, throw it away along with anything left inside it. Be ruthless. If you haven’t used those items by now, you probably won’t use them within the next six weeks either, and you’re certainly not going to use them up by the time they expire! Consider finding sample sizes for those once-a-year specialty items.

Don’t be discouraged if your cosmetics drawer looks like a disaster right now. That’s a good sign that you have your life priorities in order. But it also doesn’t mean you have to let a mess permanently slow you down. Just try our paper bag strategy today and find yourself with a perfectly streamlined cosmetics drawer in no time.

Sources: lifehacker.com and rd.com.