7 Expert Ways To Organize Your Vanity

by Toria Sheffield

For some inexplicable reason, my makeup collection devolves into a sprawling monster on my dresser every two weeks or so, no matter how much I strive to keep things neat and tidy. Needless to say, I'm in perpetual need of tips for organizing my vanity. Because whatever I'm doing ain't working.

I'd say the worst thing about my disorganized makeup collection is that I genuinely don't even really know what I have, since so much of it is hidden or buried behind other products. And when I'm really honest myself, I genuinely only use about a tenth of the products I have. Yet, I can't seem to fix the problem.

After reaching my wit's end, I emailed Professional Organizer and founder of Organized Space Works Annie Lieber for help. "People lead busy, complex lives and don’t spend the time to organize, yet organization saves time," Lieber says.

If you're also completely exasperated with your makeup situation, here are Lieber's top seven tips for a perfect vanity.

1. Don't Toss Things In Drawers

"Many people toss products into drawers and shelves and they become a jumble," Lieber says. "It’s easy to forget what you have and overspend on buying extras. Products are used halfway and then are abandoned until they get old. Use it up and save your money."

2. Get A Silverware Tray

Expandable Bamboo Flatware Tray, $29.95, Crate&

"A cutlery tray or bamboo drawer dividers are easy to find, and keep makeup, eye and lip pencils organized inside drawers," says Lieber. This will help prevent your makeup from rolling around into a jumbled, disorganized mess, or from taking a ton of surface area.

3. Containerize

DIY Cookie Tin, $14.99,

"Extra makeup and hair items are easy to access when stored in transparent plastic shoe bins stacked on a shelf. Rollers and hair bands can be stored in a clean round cookie tin," Lieber says. She also notes that, "Pretty tins can be found at thrift shops and flea markets for a few dollars. Be sure to add abels. The label is your friend."

4. Get A Lazy Susan

French Kitchen Marble Lazy Susan, $99.95, Crate&

"Inside a cabinet, revolving lazy susans keep bottles and jars handy," says Lieber. I personally think a lazy susan could look super cute on top of your dresser or vanity as well, and would be especially handy if you reach for your lotions and moisturizers daily.

5. Upcycle

Lieber stresses that a lot of times we already have a ton of containers that we can be using to organize our makeup. "Look around your home. Many containers are available to store makeup items attractively," she says. For example, "recycle transparent plastic cherry tomato trays and see your lip glosses stack like little soldiers in an orderly row," or, "recycle two clean food jars to hold cotton balls and cotton swabs. Use matching jars with a plain metal cap and soak the labels off."

5. Use Antique Cups Or Glasses

Antique Hammered Barrel Copper Mug, $15,

"On top of a vanity, antique glasses and tall cups are attractive, easy to find at flea markets, and hold makeup pencils and brushes you use every day," Lieber says. Adding, "A small square glass vase filled with clean round pebbles will hold brushes upright and provide a natural touch."

6. Review Your Makeup Seasonally

This is perhaps the tip I most needed to hear. "Review makeup every season just as you do your closets," says Lieber. "Look at expiration dates and note that most products expire within one to two years. Mascara can be harmful after six months as bacteria develops." I'm almost afraid to even look at how old most of my products are...

7. Invest In A Tool Box

Aluminum Makeup Case Cosmetic Train Storage Trays Lock Jewelry Black, $36.99,

"Of course," Lieber adds, "if you’re a rock star and need eons of makeup looks, a pretty feminine toolbox will hold all your products." This is the perfect solution for anyone who can't bear to part with most of their makeup and like to have a wide variety of products at their disposal on a daily basis.

An organized vanity mostly just seems to come down to having a place and container for everything — from lip glosses, to hair rollers, to makeup brushes. This will ensure you don't get the "makeup sprawl" so many of us are affected by, as well as ensure you don't forget about the products you actually own. So go forth, and get organized!

Images: Pexels (2)