Friday, June 21, 2013

{30 Minutes or Less} Managing the Make-Up Drawer

Welcome to a new series I am calling "30 Minutes or Less."  With these posts I will be challenging you -- yes, YOU! -- to tackle one small organizing project in less than 30 minutes.  Instead of trying to organize an entire room at once, which can be overwhelming, discouraging, expensive and time-consuming (just to name a few), we are going to focus on simplifying small spaces that you can bang out in less time than it takes to watch a re-run of Friends.  This is your chance to roll up your sleeves, use a little elbow grease and in less than 30 minutes, you'll be patting yourself on the back for a job well done.   So whatdoyathink?  Are you with me? Are you up for the challenge? Are you excited and ready to work?  (This is the part where I picture you standing up, punching a fist in the air and yelling "Yes, Kristin, let's do this!!!")  Woohoo!  High fives all around!

7:33 PM:  It's Wednesday night.  The Mister is out of town for a couple days at a business conference so I have the evening to myself to organize, blog and watch girly television.  I finish tucking J&A into bed and run immediately down the hall into our bedroom to get started on my challenge.  To kick things off, a quick "before" picture.

A while back, I re-purposed some Snapware plastic food storage containers into drawer dividers.  The drawer is quite deep, so the tall containers work well for making use of the vertical space available and allowing items to stand upright.  It also just so happened that five of these containers fit perfectly like a puzzle into the drawer which brought me an unreasonably huge amount of satisfaction.   These are the kinds of things that make an organizer's heart flutter. 

7:34 PM:  Everything is out of the drawer and on the bathroom floor.  The inside of the drawer gets a good ol' fashioned washing to get rid of all the dirt and grime.

7:36 PM:  A kid is crying.  It is A.  I run back down the hall into her room.  She doesn't want me, she wants Daddy.  I tell her that Daddy isn't here tonight and only I am home.  (She already knows this, of course.  The only reason she wants Daddy is because he isn't home.  If I were the one not home, she would want me.  What she really wants is to not go to bed and crying for something that is impossible to have is a great way to stay up late).  I tuck A back into bed, tell her I love her, tell her Daddy loves her and misses her and will be home on Friday, give her a kiss and tell her "no more crying, it is night-night time" and leave.

7:39 PM:  Empty all the containers.   The bathroom floor is now littered with make-up, dental floss, hair ties, vitamins and bobby pins.   I should have taken a picture, but I was in a race against the clock, people!  I begin scrubbing the inside of each container.  They end up looking a bit better, but come on, let's get real: they are old, plastic containers that I have owned forever that are now being used in a bathroom drawer.  They aren't pretty.  They are stained and scratched and I am not going to pay money for something new when these work perfectly fine.  So, I decide to line each container with a folded-up paper towel to at least make them look and feel a bit cleaner, plus it can help catch future dirt and spills. 

7:45 PM:  Begin going through the pile on the floor.  Throw out expired make-up, empty bottles of lotion, and hair barrettes that I haven't worn in years.  Start filling up my containers.

7:49 PM:  Crying.  Again.  Not me - same kid.  Now she wants me to sing Just Give Me a Reason.  Yes, I mean the pop song by Pink featuring Nate Reuss of Fun.  She is obsessed with it.  I have sung this song once already this evening when I tucked her into bed the first time so we settle on a quick round of Grand Old Duke of York but only if she promises no more crying.  She agrees and I speed-sing my way through the song, give a kiss, remind her of her promise ("no crying!") and zip back out the door.  Doesn't she realize I have a deadline?

7:54 PM:  Crud.  Less than 10 minutes left.  Have a slight panic that I am going to fail at my first ever 30-minute challenge.  Pull it together and soldier on. I finish filling up my containers and hope there is enough light near the window to snap a few photos.  Here is how I organize things:

This first container is my everyday make-up. 

Another bonus of using the Snapware is that when it is time to travel, I just click a lid onto this container and throw it into my suitcase.  Love it.

And if you are wondering where my make-up brushes are, I keep them in a jar on the counter.

The second container is my "other" make-up. I am pretty sure every girl has "everyday" make-up and "other" make-up.  "Other" make-up is make-up that I wear sometimes, especially if I am going out for a night on the town.  It is all good stuff that I want to keep, but I like to have my everyday make-up separate so that there is less to dig through when I am doing my morning routine.  Oh, and that red cap that is holding the vertical items is the top to a can of Pam Cooking Spray that I threw out earlier in the day and then dug out of the trash.

The third container is for hair accessories.  The small square container holds bobby pins.

The fourth container is my everyday hair styling products including a claw clip that I use when blow drying my hair, my hairbrushes, some volumizing gel and a hair serum. 

The fifth and final container is basically everything that is leftover: toothbrush, AM/PM vitamin cases, dental floss, and deodorant.  (The Mister stores the toothpaste in his drawer, in case you were curious why it isn't in the photo.)

8:01 PM:  The drawer is done!  The drawer is done!  A few pictures of the completed project and I am good to go!

Phew!  I wasn't sure I was actually going to be able to complete my own challenge, but happily I made it just in the nick of time!

Looking at the before and after pictures I am reminded that not every project needs to be dramatic and monumental.  Sometimes even small changes or a quick cleaning can bring about those feelings of calm and accomplishment that come with having organized spaces.

Alright, friends, now it is your turn!  Set your timer and ready....set...GO!!!  And make sure to post in the "Comments" section below when you are done and let me know how it goes (and how long it takes you!).  I can't wait to hear about it!