8 Ways to Declutter Your Makeup Space – And Your Brain

by Riley Rant

naked poppy clean beauty

Fine, we’ll admit it – sometimes we don’t bother with makeup because we’re trying to avoid our messy makeup drawer. It sounds strange to say, but a disorganized space can affect our mood. It makes life seem more chaotic. It calls into question our level of control. Plus, it’s really annoying when we can’t find the one lipstick we’re looking for.

A makeup drawer is just one, tiny example of the overstimulation and disorganization we experience every day. Our brains are constantly bombarded with information and stimulation.  Think about all texts, emails, phone calls, Instagram feeds, Facebook posts, advertisements, TV shows, and people you regularly see. We’re processing A LOT of information. All of the time.

So we nerded out a bit to understand how overstimulation can affect our mindsets – and how a few simple organizations tricks can go a very long way.  

According to Daniel Levitin, a leading neuroscientist who researches how the human mind organizes information, our brains are perfectly capable of storing all of the messages and inputs we’re constantly getting. Our brains struggle, though, when it comes to calling up the right information at the right time.

Levitin believes we must organize our personal environments – our physical spaces – to help manage our minds. Genius.

In this post, we’re going to bring some of his organizational methods to your makeup drawer. Because while you can’t control the frenzy of highway traffic, or how many emails hit your inbox overnight, you can create an organized space for all things beauty to give your brain a much-needed break.

Pitch the products you don’t wear anymore – like that dried-up mascara.

Makeup products can pile up quickly, and keeping everything organized can be quite a challenge. Lose the stuff you don’t use, as having “too much” stuff not only clutters your space, but also your brain.

Take a good, hard look at your makeup collection and be honest. When was the last time you wore that berry lipstick from your wedding five years ago? Sure, it holds sentimental value, but it has 100% expired by now.

Every makeup item has a shelf life usually marked on its package. And while you've likely long recycled that, if you’ve owned the product for over a year, it’s time to let it go.

If you still have a pile of products after that initial pass, take stock of each item and ruthlessly edit your collection to keep only what you wear. Because once you’ve tossed the products you don’t use, you’ll be able to easily organize the ones you do.

Clean and declutter and breath a sigh of relief.

Neuroscientists have proven that the human brain is good at creating and thinking in categories. Our brains remember spacial location; that’s why we recommend that you sort and separate your products into designated places.

Before you do that, pull out all of your products from your makeup drawer, clear them from the countertop, or remove them from the bathroom shelf.

Now wipe down your makeup area for a fresh start.

Next, put all of your eyeshadows in one section, blushes in another, and lipsticks in another. Organizing by makeup type makes it much faster to grab the products you’re looking for rather than have to rifle through your storage area just to find that one lipliner you love.

If you like the idea of organizing your makeup by category, dividers will make it even easier to keep each makeup type in their assigned sections. Look for adjustable dividers, which can grow with your collection, or shrink when you edit down.

Put your favorite products in front.

Another way to sort makeup is by everyday looks from special occasion looks. We recommend you keep your newer or most frequently used products up front for easy access, and keep the occasional products tucked behind. As you get more products, you can rotate the older ones toward the back.

Use clear acrylic drawers for quick visibility. It’s like X-ray vision if that was actually a thing.

Consider investing in acrylic, stackable drawers to see every single product you own. Keep lipsticks in one drawer, eye products in another, hair and fragrances in another.

With stackable drawers, you can always add more. They make great use of vertical space. And when it comes to visibility, their clarity will bring you clarity.

Try a spinning cosmetic tower. It’s a Lazy Susan for makeup!

These stacked, acrylic towers are brilliant. By storing your makeup vertically, you’ll save more counter space while making it super easy to find the products you’re looking for.

Keep your to-go bag together with the products you can’t get enough of.

You probably have your favorite everyday products, and maybe you like to carry them with you.

If that’s the case, get yourself a nice little makeup bag and keep it stocked with your staples and at the ready to grab and go.

As Levitin advises, “Spend only as much time on decisions, tasks, and actions as they are worth.” You don’t need to toil over which blush you’re going to wear. Just pop one you like in your to-go bag and take one more decision off of your plate.

Get creative with storage containers. Like, really creative.

Jewelry holders don’t just have to hold jewelry. They can hold your makeup, nail polish, perfumes and more.

Spice racks are great for storing foundation, blush, and eyeshadow.

And fancy candles can transform into brush holders, or store lipgloss, mascara, eyeliner, or other makeup products that roll.

We’ve even seen women use magnetic kitchen knife strips to store metal tools like tweezers or eyelash curlers.

You don’t have to buy a bunch of gear to organize your beauty products. Just try to revisit your storage space once or twice a year to keep your makeup collection fresh and organized.

Organize your makeup area in one sitting. It’ll all be over sooner!

We tend to pride ourselves on our “multitasking abilities.” But in reality, we lose focus and momentum when we allow ourselves to be distracted.

If we’ve inspired you to organize your makeup space, we highly recommend you close the door, put your phone on do not disturb for thirty minutes, and focus on the task at hand to wrap it up – fast.

What did we miss? Drop an organization tip or two in the comments below.

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