Aren’t bathroom drawers the worst?

To be perfectly honest, I have a few drawers that I need to tackle, but the worst one in my home was a drawer in my bathroom where I keep my everyday cosmetics and personal care items. It made getting ready in the morning more stressful and frustrating than it needed to be. Worst of all, I often forgot what items I already had because things got buried, so I would purchase something I didn’t even need, which was a big waste of money. This is what my drawer looked like when I got started. Yikes.

Is your makeup drawer a disaster? Brushes, skin care products and makeup can get messy!

Luckily I came up with the easiest solution EVER for organizing my bathroom drawer, which is what I am going to share with you today! It requires a trip to Target, (or a quick purchase on Amazon–thank you Amazon Prime!), and 10 minutes of your time. After you do this, you will wish you had done it long ago and will start hunting down other drawers in your home that need to be organized.

Tips for Getting Started

Before you begin, familiarize yourself with when things, such as makeup, should be tossed! Makeup can hang on to loads of bacteria, so it’s important to know how long to keep it. I was genuinely surprised to learn that mascara should only be used for 3 to 4 months because once it dries out or gets clumpy, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. GROSS! You’ll be surprised by how much clutter you can clear just by following these simple guidelines:

  • Generally speaking, eye makeup {including mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadows} should be tossed after 3 to 4 months. The reason for this is that your eyes have sensitive mucous membranes around them that can become irritated if you are using products that are full of bacteria. Worst case scenario is that you get an eye infection as a result, which is no good!
  • Foundations and liquid concealers should be tossed 6-12 months after opening. Stick concealers, on the other hand, can be kept for up to 2 years before needing replacement.
  • Powder based products, such as powders, bronzers and blush, can generally be kept for up to 2 years! will usually last really easily up to 2 years. As noted above, powder based eyeshadows are the exception to this rule and should be discarded after only 3 to 4 months.

Lip gloss should be tossed after 6 months, but you can hang on to lipstick for up to a year.

I’ve included a helpful “cheat sheet” infographic to guide you as you go through your makeup and decide what to keep and what to toss.

How long to keep makeup: mascara, eye liner, foundation, concealer, gloss, lipstick, powder, eye shadow and blush.

Other questions to ask yourself as you purge your drawer are:

When is the last time I used this? If you can’t remember, throw it out or give it away! Get rid of the clutter. If you can’t recall when you last used it, chances are you won’t be using it any time soon.

What is the expiration date? Be sure to toss any prescription and over-the-counter medications should be tossed after their expiration date.

What in the world is this???? Not every product has a printed expiration date, so let your common sense control when necessary. Eliminate products that look or smell different than when you purchased them.

Do I really need 3 of these? If you find that you have several duplicates of something, eliminate them! You don’t necessarily have to throw them away if you will eventually use them, but store them somewhere else to prevent them from cluttering the drawer used to store your daily items.

Would I purchase this if I went into a store right now? Again, if the answer is “no,” toss it or give it away! You want to eliminate products that don’t reflect your current style or taste so that you have plenty of room for those that do!

Okay, now that you know how to judge whether something should be kept or tossed, get to work!

Here is what you need:

An expandable kitchen utensil drawer organizer

{I purchased mine at Target for $12.00}

A trash bag

Start with a fresh, cleaned out drawer in your bathroom that you can use for all your toiletries.

Step 1: Completely empty the offending drawer. Liberally throw away trash and other items that are outdated and/or that you no longer need.

Fit your bathroom drawer with a silverware organizer or a set of small trays.

Step 2: Place your kitchen utensil organizer in your drawer and expand it until it fits snugly.

Divide your makeup, brushes, cosmetics and skin products into the different compartments.

Step 3: Have fun organizing! I tried to place like items with like items and tidied up my zillion teeth whitening strips by wrapping a hair elastic around them. Super simple.

A bit of an improvement, wouldn’t you agree?

That’s it! For around $20 and 10 minutes of my time, I completely organized my most problematic drawer. Now that I can see all of the items I have, I won’t purchase duplicates and waste money. WIN! What are you waiting for? Go organize a junk drawer!

An organized makeup drawer is easier to handle. You can see what makeup you have and what you need.


Is a messy bathroom slowing down your morning routine (or driving you crazy?) Don't miss these easy & practical tips for how to clean & organize your bathroom drawer (& keep it that way!)


Tasha Agruso
Tasha Agruso blogs at Kaleidscope Living, where you can find tons of thrifty DIY renovations and simple craft and home decor projects, like her popular painted vinyl floors and dotted, washable Sharpie mugs. She is also the creator of the fantastic Designer in a Binder. Which will inspire you to create a beautiful and happy home on a budget.
Tasha Agruso


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