Ask An Expert: Courtney Petersen

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Creative makeup storage

Q: Hi Courtney, I am trying to organize my makeup, which is pretty much just scattered all over the house. I know there are makeup organizers on the market, but they are usually pretty expensive. I am wondering if you can suggest a few ways to store makeup and skincare products without breaking the bank too much? Thanks! - Priscilla-

A: Hi Priscilla, Makeup storage doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, some of the best organizing solutions are often things you already have in your house or are something you can make yourself! Here are just a few ideas:

A small sheet of metal attached to a pretty frame can easily become a wall-mounted storage unit. Glue small magnets (which you can buy in large quantities at craft stores) to the backs of your makeup containers and stick them to the framed unit. This solution means your counter tops and drawers stay clear and all your makeup is easily laid out for you to see (no more rummaging around for eye shadow!).

Makeup board
Image: Laura’s Thoughts

Decorative cups and bowls arranged in a drawer can turn chaos into organized bliss. Assign each cup/bowl a category (eye shadow, eyeliner, blush, brushes, foundation, etc.) so your makeup doesn’t get mixed up. When you open your drawers you’ll be able to quickly find exactly what you need.

Household objects make great skincare product organizers. For instance, a spice rack seems like it belongs in the kitchen, but if installed in bathroom shelving it becomes the perfect place to put bottles of lotions and face washes. Hope that helps!

Spice rack
Image: EasyClosets

Innovative solutions for handbags and shoes

Q: Courtney, I’m pretty short on space for my shoes and bags. I’m tired of hanging my handbags on doorknobs and aligning my shoes and heels with my wall. Do you have any creative suggestions to put those shoes and bags in their proper place. Thanks! -Kavie-

A: Hi Kavie, I have two words for you, Kavie: vertical storage. If you’re short on space, you want to organize up instead of out to preserve every precious inch of floor space in your home. Tall shelving in your closet is the key to making space for your wardrobe.

Shoe shelf
Image: EasyClosets

Give shoes their own special storage space. A shoe shelf in a closet gives footwear plenty of room to be organized and frees up space on the ground. Use a tall shoe shelf instead of a long, wide one to save space. Again, you want to use as much wall space as possible instead of floor space so you’ll have more room.

Wire baskets
Image: EasyClosets

As for handbags, baskets and belt racks are your friend. Slide-out baskets installed in your closet hold handbags and will protect them from the everyday damage of hanging on a doorknob. Another option is to use a belt rack for purses. These aren’t just for belts –you can also use them to safely hang your handbags out of the way.

Belt rack
Image: EasyClosets

Solutions to artwork and oversized vases

Q: I have decor ADD, so I change out my accessories and artwork throughout the house all the time. I’m sick of some pieces of art & oversized vases but can’t bear to get rid of them (what if I want to use them again some day?!). Any storage tip or solutions for an accessory hoarder? -Mindy-

A: I hate to say it, Mindy, but first you need to pare down your accessories! It’s easy to let a lot of stuff accumulate, but organizing is easier when you have less to organize. If it’s not something you love or need, donate it or pass is along to someone you know will use it. Don’t waste space or spend time organizing things that won’t get used (because let’s be honest, if you don’t want to use it now or in the very near future, you never will).

Vertical Shelving
Image: EasyClosets

Ok, now that the painful part is out of the way and you’ve (hopefully) parted ways with a few unused belongings, we can work on storing the things you truly love and use. Like I told Kavie in the above answer, vertical storage is your friend. Don’t take up floor space with objects you don’t use every day. Find a spot in your home with available wall space that you wouldn’t otherwise use and install tall, sturdy shelving. Arrange your vases with the heaviest on the bottom and the smallest, lightest on top. Deep shelving means vases won’t teeter on the edge and possibly fall. I like the photo shown because it’s an example of how versatile vertical shelving is and how it can be used for storage of miscellaneous items, like your home décor.

Tray divider
Image: EasyClosets

When it comes to artwork, stack them sideways in a drawer like you would files. If a drawer is too small, a tray divider will work. Just like with trays, a tray divider will keep artwork neatly stacked side-by-side and will keep individual pieces from falling over onto each other.

This Week’s Ask an Expert: Brittany Watson Jepsen

Brittany Watson Jepsen

Brittany Watson Jepsen is an American designer and crafter who studied textile design at the Danish Design School. She currently runs her own blog and an Etsy Shop where she sells her home accessories and paper flowers.

Brittany will be answering all your questions about furniture selection. Ask your questions here!

1 Comment

  1. Hi Courtney,
    I have a red tufted sofa in my living room and I have been trying to find other seatings to pair it with along with carpet but i’m not sure what colors would work well together…any suggestions.
    Thanks Yvette

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