10 Ways to Organize Your Makeup + Beauty Supplies With Items Around the House
Before you buy expensive organizers to sort out your stash of makeup and beauty products, raid your home for items you can repurpose.
Shadows, sprays, gels, powders, lipsticks, polishes. With the huge selection of makeup and beauty products available these days, even a modest collection can quickly get out of hand and take over an entire bathroom. Luckily, the right organizers can help tame the mess — and you may be able to get them for free. Tidy up your beauty supplies by upcycling these items you may already have around the house.
Marko Metzinger/Studio D (styled by Karin Olsen)
Keep your entire supply of nail polishes handy by storing them on a lazy Susan, as seen in HGTV Magazine. You can display it on the countertop for a splash of color, or stash it under a cabinet and still easily find any shade you want.
Cups and Glasses
The Makeup Julep Cup
Any cup-shaped vessel can hold your stash of makeup brushes. But not every cup will be the right height so you can see what's inside or sturdy enough to handle a blush brush without toppling over. A silver plated julep cup is just right. Try a julep cup in the bathroom as a shiny storage solution for the top of your vanity. Design by Laura Fenton
Photo courtesy of Laura Fenton
If your kitchen cabinets are overflowing with drinkware you hardly ever use, put some of it to work on your bathroom countertop. Here, a pretty julep cup holds makeup brushes, lip glosses, an eyelash curler and more. It’s the perfect height so you can see everything inside, and it’s heavy enough to handle a blush brush without toppling over.
Test Tube Rack
Vintage Wood Rack Holds and Organizes Grooming Accessories
A vintage test-tube rack keeps all your grooming tools neatly in one place. Brushes, nail polish and nail files fit perfectly in the test-tube compartments, giving your bathroom an organized look and keeping everything conveniently at your fingertips.
Photo courtesy of Melissa Hruska
Okay, so you may not have a vintage test tube rack lying around the house, but it shows how you can get creative with storage in the bathroom. Scour your home (as well as vintage/antique stores, thrift shops and estate sales) for unexpected containers that can beautifully corral your beauty supplies. Here, brushes, nail polishes and nail files fit perfectly in the test tube compartments, keeping everything neat and easily accessible.
Melissa George, Polished Habitat
Use a tiered spice rack to organize beauty supplies under your bathroom sink. You’ll easily be able to see what’s in each row, so you’ll never have to hunt for hairspray again.
When designing a smaller bathroom for kids, smart details like this pullout stepstool can help save valuable floor space. Placing the sink off-center allows for three vanity drawers, space under the sink and maximum counter space. Design by Amanda Richards of Burlap & Denim
"It doesn't cost that much more to build organization right into a cabinet," says interior designer Angela Todd. For this master bath, Angela turned the bottom portion of the countertop tower into clutter-free cubby storage for hair-styling tools and other toiletries, complete with a flip-up door and interior electrical outlets. The top part of the tower houses a small stereo and iPod docking station, while the bottom has wide, full-extension drawers that hold brushes, curling irons and other bathroom necessities.
Cabinet Storage Tower
Sleek vanities in custom finishes make this smaller-scale master bath feel larger. The room required more storage, so designer Bea Pila placed a tower cabinet between the two sinks. With its combination of adjustable enclosed shelves on top and pullout drawers below, the furniture-like tower offers a place for everything.
Floating Vanity Storage
Despite its small size, this contemporary floating vanity designed by Anna Marie Fanelli packs plenty of clever storage. The vanity's large center drawer houses a custom laundry hamper, while the drawers on the left feature dividers for easily organized creams, toothbrushes and more. "A hanging vanity makes the space appear larger, and makes it easy to clean the space," Anna Marie says.
Sleek Open Shelving
Open storage in a sleek, contemporary-style vanity adds a spa-like feel to this master bath. "Instead of hiding your things, expose them for appeal," says Bea. While the shelves are perfect for towels or baskets, drawers are useful for stowing away personal items and beauty products. The single-sink basin provides more counter space to house everyday essentials.
Sleek, modern lines and a surprising amount of storage make this floating vanity an ideal choice in this small bathroom designed by Candice Loren. Three large drawers conveniently hold hair-styling tools, cosmetics, towels and other essentials, making it easy to achieve a clean, uncluttered look.
Plenty of Storage
Designer Christine Suzuki built plenty of storage into this expansive lake house bathroom, designed to accommodate large groups of people coming in and out of the house. The vanity features abundant closed cabinet storage, while the grand apron-front sink helps protect the cabinets from water. The open cabinets above offer easy access to beach towels and other lake house necessities.
Small But Mighty
Squeezing extra storage into a small vanity can be a challenge. Designer Christopher Grubb chose a vanity with a bottom drawer to store hair styling and toiletries. A vessel sink allows for a more storage inside the vanity.
Buffet Table Turned Vanity
Denise Duffy of Bella Dreams turned this antique buffet table into her dream master bath vanity. A clever combination of interior shelves and door-mounted organizers allows her to conveniently store towels and daily essentials.
Less Is More
In a small bathroom, sometimes less is more. Why crowd the space with a vanity cabinet when even a small-scale piece can be functional? Designer Elizabeth Swartz used a custom-designed furniture piece as a vanity for this petite powder room. "The combination of the open base and tall legs helps create a lighter, more open feel," she says. Using a vessel sink means the drawers underneath remain spacious enough to store soaps, guest towels and extra rolls of toilet paper.
Elizabeth used a combination of open and closed storage to provide efficient organization in this master bath. Open shelves offer easy access to towels, while pullout drawers, a tall cabinet and a full-height pullout cabinet conveniently store toiletries, beauty items, cleaning products and everyday essentials.
Customize Your Vanity
Designer Jamie Gold believes in incorporating as much functional organization into a vanity area as possible. These days custom vanities can feature tilt-out trays, drawer dividers and hair-dryer racks. In this master bath suite for two with his-and-her vanities, one of the tall cabinets houses a wardrobe area, complete with a bar for hanging clothes. A drawer opens to reveal a built-in laundry hamper alongside the other vanity.
Extra Counter Space
In older homes, master bathrooms often have limited space, so building as much storage right into the vanity is essential. That can often mean scaling down from a double sink. "We've been noticing a move away from the need to have multiple sinks in smaller master bathrooms and a focus more on storage," says designer Jason Ball. Using one basin opens up extra counter space and provides extra storage — including pullout drawers on either side of the sink and a tilt-out center drawer to store toiletries.
Storage for Two
"These clients had quite a list of specific needs for their master bathroom," says designer Kurt Hakansson. To create separate storage for each person, Kurt added two top wall cabinets on each side of the double vanity with adjustable shelves and convenient outlets. In the center, base cabinet drawers offer storage for common items. Towel bars placed under each sink provide easy access with a shelf below for extra towels.
For this home, designer Laura Meyer balanced open sinks by incorporating tall cabinets on either side to hold towels and personal items. Laura maximized the under-sink storage by adding deep shelving, as well as metal bars for hanging towels.
Mason Jar Storage
One of the challenges of converting a dresser into a one-of-a-kind vanity is the limited drawer space. To accommodate the under-sink plumbing, drawers end up being shallow — often about 8 inches deep. Designer Leslie Hart-Davidson takes a creative approach to that storage challenge. She used wide-mouth Mason jars to hold cotton balls and swabs, while votive-sized candleholders store makeup brushes.
Medicine Cabinet Storage
When working with a small space, every bit of extra storage counts. Designer Pangaea installed a custom double-depth medicine cabinet in this contemporary bathroom. The recessed cabinet offers valuable interior storage, along with electrical outlets for charging toothbrushes and razors. "You can recess one of these on any interior wall as long as nothing else inside the wall is in the way," she says. Other space-saving features include a 36-inch counter and a vessel sink, which allows for more storage underneath.
Sleek and sophisticated, this custom vanity is stocked with storage options. Designer Tracy Black designed this elegant, oversized piece, which measures an eye-catching nine feet long and 25 inches deep. "A vanity is so much more practical and functional with deep drawers instead of just doors," she says. The roomy drawers and center cabinets easily accommodate bath and beauty products, hair-styling tools and more. The lower open shelf is a practical spot for storing towels or baskets and prevents the vanity from overpowering the room.
Marko Metzinger/Studio D (styled by Karin Olsen)
Separate a mess of hair accessories by color and style using a muffin tin, as HGTV Magazine did here.
Or, store hair accessories in one compact spot with a binder ring.
Vanity Organizing 101 02:58
If unused desk organizers are taking up space in your home office, tuck them in a vanity drawer to sort lipsticks, eyeshadows, makeup brushes and more. Watch the video above for even more tips on taming a messy vanity.
Paper Clip Holder
From the Office to Your Hair
Raid your desk for an everyday office supply that will make it easy to have hairpins on hand for your next updo. A paper clip holder makes a clever magnetic container for storing bobby pins. Add fabric to the outside of the paper clip holder using Mod Podge. Then, simply wrap the fabric around the container like and cut to fit.
Photo courtesy of Kitty Vogt
With its magnetic top, a paper clip holder can also be used to keep bobby pins organized and accessible. You can even pretty up the container up by coating it with Mod Podge and wrapping it with fabric.
Shoe Caddy Provides Storage for Toiletries
"Hang a shoe organizer on the bathroom cabinet door," suggests Courtney Fernan of A Thoughtful Place. It's more convenient to open the door and easily find everything from nail polish remover and bronzer, to new razors, hair spray and more. "I got in a habit of keeping things on the counter, but now it is all tucked away."
Keep your bathroom counters clear by stashing extra supplies in an over-the-door shoe organizer. The pockets are the perfect size for everything from nail polish remover to hairspray to shampoo bottles.
How to Remove Candle Wax 00:58
Have a pretty candle jar with a little wax still stuck inside? Watch the video above to learn how to remove the wax, then see five ways you can repurpose the container (including as a handy makeup brush holder).
Raise the (Shoe) Bar
Shoe clutter and closet disarray is an all-too-common problem for those of us with shoe addictions. Janet Lee conquered the dilemma of storing her abundance of shoes in a New York City apartment by creating a chic shoe bar that puts her favorite pairs on display and offers a vertical space-saving solution. The best part? No hammering or drilling required. To make, Janet found a lightweight polyurethane decorative molding cut into 24-inch-long strips. She then painted them in a cool blue hue to match her bedroom's palette. To attach to the wall, she added removable picture-hanging strips to the back (six on each piece of molding). Each bar can hold three or four pairs of heels.
"In a small space you, have to find ways to maximize vertical real estate," she says. "Lifting a dozen pairs of shoes off the ground and displaying them on a wall turns clutter into modern art." Photo courtesy of Janet Lee, author of Living in a Nutshell: Posh and Portable Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces
Rustic Jewelry Display
To keep your bracelets and necklaces nice and tidy, look no further than the garage. You would be surprised at how well a vintage rake head keeps necklaces untangled and hanging beautifully on the wall. Kevi Zupancic detached the handle and simply nailed the rake head to the wall to create a unique and rustic jewelry holder — for free!
Ice-Cube Tray Munchies
These days, ice-cube trays aren't just for freezing water. They make excellent drawer organizers for housing tiny odds and ends, and, interestingly enough, they are perfect food separators for picky little ones. Jennifer Bishop decided to integrate this colorful and creative idea at toddler birthday parties where all the kids, picky or not, would be happy with the variety of food choices in front of them. Plus, the trays are stackable, making a cute and colorful statement on the food buffet.
Mobile and Mess-Free Storage
New Home for Magazines
As babies transition to toddler beds, the cribs inevitably make their way to the attic or garage to take up space and collect dust. Nikki McBride thought of a new use for her child's crib railing that would be functional, space-saving and stylish, too: a clean-looking vertical magazine rack. Not only can she use the rail for magazines, but also for quilts, towels and wet laundry. It has become an instant organizing accessory in her household, but if it ever needs to convert back into a crib railing, it can in a snap.
Tea Tin Herb Garden
If you happen to have any antique (new works fine, too!) tea and coffee tins around, consider repurposing them into adorable magnetic planters for fresh herbs. You can attach them to the fridge, save counter space, and always have fresh herbs to cook with! Get the full instructions>>
Entryway Shutter Catchall
Holly Marsh set out to conquer the entryway clutter issue by turning a common household item into a clever organizational system. She found this vintage shutter at a local thrift store and hung it up next to the back door where everyone comes and goes. Then, she placed S hooks and clothespins on the wooden slats to hold everyone's keys and outgoing mail, invitations and other important memos. An old wooden box below keeps often-worn shoes contained, too. Now there's no excuse for missing keys, lost invites or misplaced bills.
We can never have too many ideas when it comes to organizing and displaying jewelry. If you're not short on storage space, reserve a vanity or dresser drawer just for holding bracelets, necklaces and rings. Designer Lynda Quintero-Davids wanted to add as much style and function to her client's dressing table, so she incorporated antique china teacups and soup bowls into one of the lined drawers. Each dish serves as a perfect way to separate small pieces like rings, earrings and brooches.
Shipping Pallet Wine Rack
Pallets are an upcycling gold mine. Put a new twist on a basic wooden pallet by turning it into a rustic outdoor wine rack that can hold at least 25 bottles of wine and stemware, too. Get the full instructions>>
Ladder Drying Rack
When laundry time comes around, do you find yourself hanging damp clothes all over the house? We thought so. Rebecca Kuenzi needed somewhere to hang-dry her clothes without taking over her small laundry room. She immediately found the perfect use for an old wooden ladder she had wanted to put to use. She cut the ladder in half, painted it turquoise and screwed four hooks into the top. She then added chain links and hung it directly from the ceiling. To hang her clothes from the ladder, she added multiple shower curtain hooks to each rail. Now clothing can be hung with ease and the drying rack can stay out of the way when not in use.
Paint Can Coat Hooks
Attention home decorators: If you've been wondering what to do with your old paint cans, we have a solution that not only adds vertical storage to your walls, but adds a bit of bare industrial charm, too. In her home, Kirsten Grove repurposed paint cans into wall-mounted mudroom cubbies to help corral clutter. They make excellent storage containers for hats, scarves, gloves and other winter gear. Or you can use them to hold mail, keys and any easy-to-lose accessories. Tip: If you don't have empty paint cans, get the same look by using metal buckets.
Revamp Soda Crates
Designer Holly Mathis needed a handy storage solution for her son's favorite toys, so she added casters to vintage soda crates and turned them into under-the-bed organizers. The small sectioned compartments are ideal for storing Legos and other small pieces, and the casters make cleaning up a breeze — simply put everything in its spot and roll the crates under the bed.
Rings to the Rescue
If you're not sure what to do with those tiny nooks around your house or apartment, then we have a solution to ensure they get used to their full potential. By using a tension rod from an old window treatment and some simple shower curtain rings, you can turn those once "dead" spaces into prime real estate for storing handbags, kitchen utensils, accessories and more. Photo courtesy of Brit Morin
A fun and inexpensive way to display 8x10 photos, drawings and other crafts in kids' rooms is to use clipboards. They're easy to hang, the images can be quickly changed out if necessary and they add a playful, unexpected touch to empty wall space. Photo courtesy of Ashley Ann Photography
Attractive fruit and veggie tin cans make pretty containers for housing kitchen utensils. Choose cans that pull in hues from your kitchen or add a surprising dose of color, like these sweet blueberry tins. For a smart space-saving solution, attach them to a wooden cutting board and hang on the wall. It will free up your counter space and keep your spatula and whisk close at hand when cooking. Photo courtesy of Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil
Let 'Em Simmer
Virtually anything can serve as storage with a little creative thought, and designers Amie and Jolie Sikes, known as the Junk Gypsies, proved that by turning an old yellow pot into an attractive toy "box." The lid conceals the slew of toys, while the handle makes it easy to tote and move around. Bonus: It's cute enough to keep in the living room, we think!
Dish Drainer File System
Kitchen supplies have often made their way into the home office, like cookie tins for cord storage and cans to hold pens and pencils. But Brenda Pruitt really thought outside the box when she used a plastic dish drainer as a home office file organizer. The cutlery holder is perfect for housing pencils and markers, as the file folders stay straight and upright thanks to dish-drying slots. Photo courtesy of Brenda Pruitt
If you have vintage lunchboxes lying around, then put them to use by giving them a function beyond collecting dust. These clever containers are portable solutions for storing and organizing all kinds of household items, and their playful exteriors can bring an expected splash of color to any space. Fill them with electronic devices, instruction manuals and other home office supplies, and integrate them onto your bookshelves for a classic vintage look. Photo courtesy of Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil
By the Yard
Kids love to display their good grades and artwork, whether it's on the refrigerator or in their bedroom for daily motivation. Give them a place that's truly their own to showcase their proud markings by revamping a yardstick into a kids' clip-art rail. Simply add colorful extra-large clothespins to a yardstick and attach. Each pin will be easy for little hands to clip up their favorite drawings, photos and awards. Photo courtesy of Ana White
Junk Drawer in Order
Housing small items — like paper clips, rubber bands and thumbtacks — in the kitchen can be a nuisance. That's where recycled tuna cans come in handy. Nestled side by side, these short containers serve as the perfect separators for small accessories and junk drawer knickknacks. With this method, it will be virtually impossible for your drawer to slip back into its state of disarray. Photo courtesy of Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil
Recycled Utensil Storage Containers
If you hate tossing tin cans, this project is a great way to make use of your recyclables and create kitchen storage in the process. Here's how: Use a drill bit to create a hole just below the rim on the back of each can. Coat each can with spray paint. Then, embellish with washi tape, stickers or tags. Hang each tin can from an S-hook onto a towel bar. Fill with utensils, herbs or kitchen tools. Find more ways to upcycle tin cans here.
Pot Rack for Planters
When your pot rack just doesn't seem to suit the kitchen anymore, take it outdoors. Blogger Erin Lepperd revamped a hanging pot rack in her outdoor space by arranging potted plants, succulents and tea lights inside Mason jars. Suspended over her dining table, the new "chandelier" is whimsical, organic and perfect for alfresco entertaining.
Clean Out Your Kitchen
Before you know it, you have three muffin pans, two loaf pans and more molds than you can count. Recycle them in your own home by using the handy compartments as organizers for tiny craft and scrapbooking supplies that desperately need a home. Designers Amie and Jolie Sikes, known as the Junk Gypsies, gave this French cookie tin a brand-new life outside the kitchen by using the sections to hold buttons, beads, shells and other easy-to-lose craft accessories. The tin is even attractive enough to keep out in the open.
Wine Crate Jewelry Display
Don't trash those empty crates of vino: Give them a brand-new purpose by turning them into jewelry display boxes that will showcase your stunning collection and keep it organized, too. Get the full instructions>>
License Plate Room Divider
License plates can be used for a variety of things, some decorative and others both decorative and functional. In this outdoor living space, designer Brian Patrick Flynn used several vintage license plates, small metal chains and S hooks to create a colorful and eclectic room divider.
New Life for Wooden Spools
You may not necessarily have an electrical spool lying around the house, but you can easily find them, and they're oftentimes free at many home improvement stores. Wooden spools are excellent for keeping the garden hose tidy outdoors; they can be cushioned and repurposed into an ottoman, or they can be turned into a flea-style craft storage table like this.
When you're in a small-space situation, dual-purpose items are a must. Instead of using vases around the apartment, homeowners Briana and Buzz pulled in serving pitchers to hold floral arrangements. This saves on kitchen space and keeps blooms displayed in a fresh way. Photo courtesy of Brian Patrick Flynn
Just like canning jars, Mason jars and galvanized buckets, a vintage trophy can also serve as a pretty container for anything from home office supplies to small flower arrangements. Designer Genevieve Gorder set up a romantic vignette with vintage and antique furnishings, using the trophy as the focal point with old metal scissors and a fold-up ruler.
Pull Out Your Drawers
Take the drawers out of a miniature dresser and mount them on the wall to create a unique shelving solution for any room in the house. They're especially useful in the bathroom, though, where storage space is at a minimum. Designer sisters Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil suggest adding a favorite picture in each drawer for embellishment and even attaching looped pieces of wire to hang jewelry. They're thrifty and space-saving! Photo courtesy of Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil