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4 Minimalist-Approved Tips To Arrange Cosmetics At Home 

Simple Minimal Bathroom Counter with Beauty Products
Image by Martí Sans / Stocksy
December 15, 2019

An orderly cosmetics cabinet is nothing short of a fantasy for most skin care obsessives—dreamy, no doubt, but unattainable. Most can attest to stashing every impulse beauty buy into various drawers, rummaging through the pile to find that one trusty eye cream you use on the daily. 

But, according to Maeve Richmond, founder and head coach of the home organization firm Maeve's Method, and Kyle Quilici, director and co-founder of design consulting firm New Minimalism, organizing your cache isn't as daunting as you may think. When there's a minimalist (or two, in this case), there's a way.

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We consulted the two on the best ways to arrange your growing mountain of products. If you're unsure just how to tackle your beauty arsenal, check out these expert-approved tips to help you get started: 


First and foremost: Toss your unused products. 

It might feel borderline sacrilegious to toss an expensive moisturizer or serum, but if you haven't used it within the last six months, it probably doesn't belong on your beauty shelf. But instead of tucking those products into drawers—never to be seen or heard from again—Richmond suggests getting rid of them entirely. 

Quilici agrees: "Organizing without first decluttering is not worth the effort." So, the first step to minimalist success is to do a beauty purge. An atrocious process (both physically and emotionally, for some people), but we promise it's worth it in the end. 

Don't know where to start? Here's Richmond's stash-or-trash advice: 

"Ask yourself: Am I willing to give this product a go at least once in the next coming weeks? If yes, put that product front and center in your life and see how it goes. If no, then accept it was not a good buy and put it in a pile to toss." Usually, if you haven't used a product in a long time, just remember there's probably a good reason.

If you just can't seem to trash a beloved brand or aesthetically pleasing bottle, Richmond suggests gifting your slightly used products to a friend or family member. "After all, one woman's beauty stash trash is another woman's treasure!" she adds. 


Follow the choreography of your routine.

To start, it's best to think about your daily beauty routine. You can even quickly walk yourself through the process if your steps can get a little extensive. 

Quilici suggests you separate the products you use on the daily and place them on your bathroom sink. Once you can clearly visualize how many products you actually use every day, notice what else is still taking up space on your shelf and evaluate how necessary it is to be front and center in your bathroom. Can you make any first cuts? 

"Drastically increase your standards of what's allowed to take up precious medicine cabinet space," Quilici quips.

Once you can identify the most-used products, you can group them by how you use them in your routine. Do you have a specific night-out red lipstick? A cream blush for work? Group your beauty products by category, says Richmond, so organizing them becomes more "intuitive." 

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Don't overfill your drawers.

The biggest mistake in terms of organizing, Richmond explains, is to stuff products deep into drawers or in the back of shelves. While your space might look clean at first glance, one opened drawer can reveal piles on piles of clutter.

"These items become out of sight and out of mind, and they eventually expire," she adds. We know how potentially harmful it is to use an expired beauty product, so tossing these items is essential to decrease your exposure to bacteria and clutter at the same time. 

If you're wondering how you can keep your drawers neat and minimal, Quilici suggests that you ensure your drawers, cabinets, and closets are only 50% full. This way, you can make sure your items will remain accessible and visible. "We often explain to clients that they need to redefine their definition of full," she says. 


Trays are your friends! Just don't rely too heavily on organizing gadgets. 

Half the fun of organizing your beauty products is in displaying those dreamy bottles on your shelf. The beauty shelf, many would argue, has become an art form in itself, and trays and bowls are a perfect way to display the more delicate products while simultaneously keeping them organized. 

"Trays are ideal for sectioning off space on shelves, dressers, and countertops," Richmond notes. 

The one caveat, however, is that you don't want to rely on those organizing tools entirely. Those organizers, according to Quilici, are pretty limiting and can actually contribute to more clutter. Instead, check your space for unused bowls and trays you can repurpose into your beauty products' new home. 

"One's Tupperware stash is usually a treasure trove of items available to repurpose—a cute jar that used to hold a candle can be upcycled to store your makeup brushes," Quilici says. 

It seems that recycling as you organize is the way to go. After all, isn't a truly minimalist beauty stash one that's sustainable and functional at the same time? 

With these tips, organizing your cosmetics at home will be a (pretty much) painless feat. Plus, a cleared-up space might even make you feel calmer, according to Quilici: "A cleared and orderly cabinet does wonders for the psyche." Consider it the opposite of retail therapy. 

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