Project Pan Update: Makeup Re-Organization For A Small Space


I’ve written a couple posts now about my Project Pan; why I embarked on this little experiment and how it’s going so far! Well, now as a part of the project I had to do a major declutter and re-org. I, like many of you, am a complete Pinterest Junkie. I’m on that site ALL THE TIME! One thing that I noticed is when I look up “makeup storage” or “Makeup organization” I get a lot of results that seem to cater to bigger spaces or won’t encompass my entire collection. It’s hard finding that right balance for me. I’m starting to attain that balance and so I thought I’d share how I configured my makeup storage in a way that allows me to rotate through it quite regularly. Just to be up front; it’s not Pinterest worthy. It’s not even pretty! But it works for me so I’m happy.

The first thing I had to do was ask myself some serious questions so that I can purge and shop a little wiser. Here’s basically the conversation that I had with myself.. I admit that it was a little painful at times!

What Kind of Makeup Collector Are You?

  • The avid collector
  • On trend or nothing
  • Minimalist
  • A makeup mutt (mix of all 3)

In the end I decided that I was sort of a makeup mutt. I wanted to thin out my collection so that I could get to the point where everything that I owned, I loved. Nothing that was “well this works…” I want to be really excited by every piece of makeup that I touch.

What Kind of Space do you have?

  • Shared bathroom
  • 1 bathroom or large space to yourself
  • Beauty room/walk-in closet

My space is tragically limited. That’s part of why I decided that I wanted to focus on keeping only things that I truly love. Currently my collection still contains some stuff that I’m on the fence about but I’m getting better at letting things go as soon as I know that I won’t be using it again. This let’s me buy and explore for things that really speak to me and that I want to use!

What limits are you going to impose upon yourself for makeup storage?

  • Limit yourself based on available storage
  • Dollar per month
  • Certain Brands

I decided that limiting myself to a certain amount of money per month didn’t work as well as I’d have thought. I sort of did that with the $10 Weekly and found myself over flowing with makeup. Instead I’d rather stick to brands that are cruelty-free, that fill gaps in my makeup or that I just fall deeply in love with, and restrict myself to my current storage baskets. So at times, when I buy something new it means that I have to give something old away. It’s painful but it makes me think about buying new things.

How much time do you give yourself to get ready?

  • Do you only give yourself 5 minutes before work but 2 hours before going out with friends? Think about that. It might influence how you want to organize things.

I only give myself about 10-15 minutes to get ready before work. This to me meant that I didn’t want to rifle through my entire collection for things, I want them readily available in a hurry.

My limited space and the short amount of time I give myself to get ready before work put some strain on my choices for makeup organization. Basically I’m forced to live with having 2 small cupboards and baskets.


As you can see above, a lot of things are stacking on top of each other. I kept my brushes close to the front so that I can get them easily. I’m still working on a better system for brushes to make it more clear what I need to clean and when.


I decided to employ an everyday makeup basket. Basically the same principle as the everyday makeup drawer, except it’s a basket that always sits on top and only contains the things I use daily!

Above is my every day make up basket! At the time of taking these pictures, this is what the everyday makeup basket looked like! It has everything I need to do my makeup in 10-15 minutes.

I make a point to weekly/bi-weekly “shop my stash” and fill it up with something else that strikes my fancy! This has really helped me learn what I love in my collection and what I need to let go. Many of the items pictured above have been let go because I found myself not wanting to use them even when they were what was easy and accessible.

I also started discovering some of my preferences that I hadn’t realized before like a newly found love for blush palettes! It’s so easy to grab 1 blush palette and pick a shade from it instead of rifling through all my blushes.

Another bonus is that it helped me focus on using up products since I only used things from this basket. Several of the items you see above are all gone now and I’m really happy to use them up because it makes me feel like I got my money’s worth from the purchase 🙂

I have to confess that shopping my stash is a lot of fun too!

Everything else, which I call my overstock, goes in to dedicated baskets.

It’s not pretty at all but it’s the only way I can maintain a collection in such a small space. The baskets stack on each other.

Each basket is dedicated to something specific like blushes or lippie products or palettes. I’ve maxed my capacity for baskets therefore I can’t own more makeup than I do! So now I must filter out the items that I don’t love to make room for new ones that I hope to fall in love with.

As I purged my collection I noticed that I had gaps in my collection;

  • matte eyeshadow choices (I’ve since bought the Tartlette and that’s really helped)
  • variety of shades of blush
  • lip products that I love that aren’t gloss
  • oddly enough, neutral palettes

Now I can carry forward shopping and feel pretty good when I buy things because I found some holes in my collection. I’ve been trying to stick to filling those gaps or buying those special treats that I’m truly in love with! I’ve since bought quite a lot of makeup but this time around I feel really good about my purchases. The things that worked out I absolutely adore, and the things that didn’t pan out immediately went in to a basket for giving away to friends (they weren’t returnable). I’ve been doing this for about 2, almost 3 months now and it’s stuck!

Hopefully I inspire someone with small space not to covet more space but to do a little re-org, ask yourself some questions and then shop smarter. Doing so has made a big impact on me and let me make the most out of what I own and enjoy the new products that I do buy!


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