Finishing our bathroom was a relief but surprisingly, the biggest relief about the ordeal wasn’t being able to finally shower in there. The biggest relief was actually being able to break down all the makeshift “vanities” lining our bedroom walls (folding plastic tables and plastic drawer units) and get moved back into proper vanity setups in the bathroom. I purged, consolidated, and organized along the way and each emptied drawer made for a more glorious feeling than the one before. And it doesn’t matter how often I discard expired products, 100% of the time, there will be at least a few things found with shelf lives that ended six years prior. Every. Single. Time. The other reason I was so excited about getting my vanities organized is that for the first time, we have actual drawers — not just cabinets! (You can find a post I wrote recently with vanity organizing in cabinet-only bathrooms around the house HERE). I was tickled to be able to do some vanity organizing in a whole new way — a preferred way. I purchased vanity organizers back when I first started the bathroom remodel (over a year ago) and a few weeks ago, finally unboxed them and put them to use. Today, I’m sharing how I’ve organized my bathroom vanity and some vanity organizing tips, too!
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Sources: Vanity | Sconce (polished nickel)| Mirror (31 x 48″ brushed brass finish) | Faucet (polished nickel) | Marble Tray | Foaming Soap Dispenser | Soap Dispenser Labels | Shower Door Handle | Black Floor Tile (12 x 24″)
If you haven’t seen the full before and after bathroom remodel, you can find that HERE.
Vanity Organizing Overview
Here’s a peek and layout of what to expect as we go through the post…
The Makeup Drawers
I was most excited to have makeup drawers in the new vanity. I had previously had a single slim drawer that I quickly outgrew and I wasn’t able to keep my products pared down enough to use it efficiently. Then, I moved back to a countertop system (see that HERE) but I hated how much space it took up next to the sink. Now, I have drawers! My vanity is 48″ with a good bit of drawer space (the drawer space and configuration was one of the selling points for me to purchase the vanities I did) but I split my makeup between the top two drawers on either side. Back stock is kept in drawers in the bathroom linen closet, right beside my vanity setup. After discarding my oldest products, I grouped like items together — eyes, lips, face, tools, etc. Then, I took THESE clear drawer organizers I ordered on Amazon last year (I ordered two sets and could have still benefitted from more), and positioned them in a configuration that both made sense for my products, as well as filled my drawer the best. Here’s what a single set looks like…
Stackable Drawer Organization Set (10 pieces) (images via product listing)
I love that these are stackable, and have edges that are straight up and down so there’s no wasted space with slanted angles. Because they’re stackable too, you can build them up when you run out of drawer space. My biggest thing with any organization project — but especially one with drawers like in vanity organizing — is to organize based on the products you have. Don’t edit down your products just because they don’t fit an ideal aesthetic. The whole point of vanity organizing is to create a systems that store and make the products you own easily accessible. While pretty drawers can definitely help motivate maintaining your system, the point isn’t to merchandise your products. Make sure you can see them, grab them, and maintain them.
Here’s my eyes and face makeup drawer…
In my last shallow vanity drawer, I used THESE drawer organizer clip labels, that clip on the sides of the clear organizers with the label facing upwards. I’d love to add those to my new vanity setup, too…
As needs shift, collections grown, etc., I’ll fine tune compartments and setups. But, this project is from about a month ago and so far, everything looks just the same.
My other top drawer is dedicated primarily to lips. I determined the face “areas” each drawer would hold with no other plan in mind, other than to separate the categories based on what I had more of and the amount of space each took up. I had THIS acrylic lipstick organizer from years ago and it still worked great with my clear, stackable drawer inserts.
Because I have so many MAC lipsticks (with several hanging out in my purse among other places), I turned those specific tubes upside down to be able to view the names. In the past, I’ve had to take each one out to find what I was looking for. I also have them in a nude to dark schematic so I know the general vicinity to look for each shade.
The Skincare Drawer
In the next drawer down, I have all my face care products. Probably more than anything else in your vanity — if you’re like me — it’s important to keep your face products within reach and easy to access, to prompt you to use them more regularly. These clear drawer compartments are actually different than the above – and I love them, too. I discovered them earlier this year (after I purchased the Amazon sets) and have been using them across so many different drawers and cabinets. You can see how I used them in areas like my office drawers HERE and my kitchen sink cabinet HERE.
By the way — I purchased THIS Bobbi Brown Enriched Face Base Priming Moisturizer (a moisturizer that’s also a makeup primer) during the Sephora sale and I love it. It was a splurge so I wanted to get it and test it while it was on sale — and I’m so happy I did. It’s actually part of the Nordstrom sale right now HERE; I just ordered two regular sized jars for less than the price I paid for this single jumbo jar during Sephora’s sale! It’s a great time to try it if you’re in the market for either a moisturizer or primer.
A couple other random notes… if you spied my Makeup Eraser towels folded in the upper left corner, they’re amazing. They come in a ton of colors but I love the black HERE. I think quitting disposable makeup wipes is what was responsible for ending my cystic acne bouts and the towels take makeup off so easily. You toss them in the wash and they claim to last for 3 to 5 years (you can use them more than once before each wash — they say 5 times between washes but I typically don’t go more than 2). You can use the wipes with only water (which I do sometimes) but I usually use them in conjunction with my Clinique makeup removing balm — also an amazing gift to myself a couple years ago. You can also find the Makeup Eraser towels HERE for free shipping.
In another drawer — nail, and hand/foot care. I’m awful at painting my nails so I finally discarded my old, gross nail polish bottles a couple years ago and accepted the reality that regular self manis just aren’t meant for me 😉
I swear by that Bloody Knuckles hand repair cream, though. It’s marketed to men but a couple winters ago, my hands were staying incredibly dried out. I tried a few different lotions and when I found THIS one, I went back and bought several containers of it.
The Hair Product Drawers
When it comes to my vanity and vanity organizing, I’m so thankful for drawers. But, I’m especially thankful for my bottom drawers. My bottom drawers have drawer fronts that look like they’re two individual drawers. But, they’re actually just deep single drawers. On one side, I stored my collection of hair products back-stock. I used THESE bamboo drawer dividers to keep my categories separates. I’m especially a fan because they aren’t just adjustable — they’re spring-loaded to perfectly conform to the exact size you need! They come in a set of four HERE (there’s also a coupon on the listing) and this is my second time using them. I have the “natural” color, but they also come in white, gray, and black.
And then in the other deep drawer… you’ll find my hair tools. I pulled the trigger on the Dyson hair dryer earlier this year and it was a pricey investment, but I love how light weight, fast, and just good it is.
Sources: Hair Dryer
I don’t feel I need further solutions for my hot tools right now, but if you don’t have the space, I love that THIS hot hair tool organizer has the option of hanging from a towel bar, sitting in a drawer or cabinet, or on the counter. And THIS affordable hair tool organizer makes great use of the back of a vanity door. Lastly, for a really simple solution, I like THIS sleek gold hook set, meant specifically for hair dryers.
My center vanity cabinet has some fun extras but there’s also some awkward stuff going on inside. There’s power outlets (woo!) which work great for things like bathroom facial tools, but my favorite part of having in-cabinet power is that I can keep my toothbrush plugged in, out of sight. There’s also a handy in-cabinet drawer which is a cool feature. But, in addition to room being taken up by those features, there’s also some awkward plumbing, leaving only a narrow space for products. Regardless, here’s how I handled the space…
The main thing to avoid in achieving a successful organized cabinet space among the awkward plumbing and electric is not just line items up from front to back, making them difficult to see and access. For my daily items, a small, 9″ turntable (HERE) made the most sense. Depending on product and items though, the narrow space on the right side could have accommodated a few other solutions like…
- Narrow stacked drawers — like THESE module drawers I used in Eliza’s bathroom (you can see how that worked HERE).
- THESE slim clear plastic storage containers with handles, or, THESE extra slim containers with handles
- THIS narrow two-tier pull-out cabinet drawer unit
- THESE plastic handle bins (I use these all over the house)
THESE acrylic pen holder cups make great catch-alls for bathroom accessories from hair ties to makeup brushes to toothbrush holders. I use mine to house the small parts of my face tools.
This is where I house my brushes, clips and scrunchies but I also really like some of the new solutions that just came out.
- I keep my headbands in my closet but need a new solution. THIS clear headband holder from Walmart is perfect but has been sold out since I last looked. But THIS one from Amazon is almost the same price and has the option to use it traditionally, or use the clear bars to hold twice as many! It has a $2 off coupon attached to the listing right now, too…
- I REALLY like THIS all-in-one hair accessory holder with headbands on the outside, scrunchies on the inside, and hair ties/bobby pins on the bottom. Such a great space saver, too…
- THIS scrunchie holder system is just brilliant to me. You don’t have to slide off all the scrunchies to get to the one you need!
In addition to drawers and cabinets, I try to make use of the backs of my cabinet doors when I can — just as I try to make use of the backs of all my closet doors. Doors are often such an overlooked space for storage possibilities! And being able to use the backs of doors in the bathroom is an especially special part of vanity organizing. THESE clear adhesive bins come in several sizes and work great for door storage — I keep some of my quick-grab daily essentials in mine. You could also store hair accessories, sprays, etc. in them. I also have THIS version from Command that works great — it’s not quite as heavy duty but it works great. Command also makes THIS adhesive razor holder for the shower, but I use one on the back of Eliza’s cabinet door for her toothbrush and toothpaste!
Sources: Small Wall Mount/Door Mount Bin
I also have a set of THESE Command spray bottle holders currently not in use, and I’ve had it on my list to add one to the back of my other vanity door to see if it’s deep enough to hold my shower and tile cleaner.
Vanity Countertop Storage
Keeping my perfumes out, easy to access, and arranged where I can see them encourages me not just to use them, but to mix it up and use different scents often. I love that displaying them doubles as decor. And, when you don’t have to store so much on the counter, it’s easy to allocate some space for a marble tray with perfume.
Source: Marble Tray (small)
On the opposite side is where I house my makeup brushes.
I need to share some of the solutions and vanity organizing I came up with for Dave’s area, also. While I used a lot of the same organizers and pieces for his drawers and cabinet, he had totally different needs with totally different items than me. I also need to share the current state of our linen closet — you can see THIS post from where I tackled it years ago. It stayed like this for years but since the flood, has evolved a little.
Sources: Vanity | Sconce (polished nickel) | Mirror (31 x 48″ brushed brass finish) | Faucet (polished nickel) | Marble Tray | Foaming Soap Dispenser | Soap Dispenser Labels | Black Floor Tile (12 x 24″)
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