Friday, November 16, 2012

Mission Organization: Sorting the Polishes

My polish collection has been in desperate need of organization for quite a while now. The one Helmer I have has overflown a long time ago with my collection being slightly over 700 polishes. It got to the point of being out of control with polishes being stashed anywhere they would fit. A while ago I showed you this five drawer chest that I bought at IKEA for the purpose of polish organization, but I had not gotten around to filling it until now so I can show you a peek at my collection...

I mentioned earlier that the office space has recently been updated with two new tables so that my boyfriend and I could each have a proper work space. The new table happens to be MUCH smaller than my old table so all the polish got evicted to make room for paperwork and such. The good news is that the old table is now in my craft room and hopefully will be a better space for my polishes!

To start, I pulled all the polish that I could find out of my stashing places and grouped them by brand in boxes on the table. It was kind of scary to see them all in one place. Here is the table covered with polish. As for what is under the table, the Helmer is currently empty and I still have not decided what will be stored there. The colorful storage on the right side actually holds jewelry making supplies...

A bit of a close up of what is in the boxes as they stand on the table, all grouped by brand...

Ok, so finally time to stick everything into the 5-drawer chest. I had visions in my head how everything would fit and leave me plenty of room to grow. Seeing this thing almost full is quite the slap in the face. Rather than group them as I originally intended, I ended up trying to make sure it all fits. Should I be seeking support here? Is this a sign I have a problem?...

Drawer 1 contains Wet 'n Wild, Sinful Colors, Petites, Borghese, Avon plus other polishes that I only have a few of...

Drawer 2 contains Sally Hansen, Pure Ice, Ulta, SpaRitual minis, L'Oreal, Shimmer, Cosmetic Arts, Maybelline, Rimmel, Dr.'s Remedy. How do you like my tissue box dividers? Yeah, those will need to be changed at some point...

Drawer 3 is Zoya, Barielle, Essie, China Glaze, piCture pOlish... a teeny bit of room left in this one...

Drawer 4 is OPI, Nicole by OPI, Essence, Revlon, and Ludurana and Colorama beauties from Brazil...

Drawer 5 are mostly the sets including Color Club, LA Colors, e.l.f., plus some missfits...

The drawers are pretty much all full and not nearly as organized as I had originally hoped. I plan on disassembling the sets as I swatch them to make more room. Boxes kind of hinder good access to the polishes anyways. The photos are over a month old (yes, it took me that long to get around to writing this up) so there is even less room now and there are polishes on top of the cabinet that haven't found a home yet :'(

My only beef with these drawers is that they don't slide out completely (and don't fit as much as I hoped). I looked into changing the rails to full slider ones, but at $25-35 per drawer, it is just not worth it. I'm not complaining much since I'm happy to have any slider hardware at this point. No sliders/support was my biggest issue with the Helmer and a big reason why I didn't get a second one even though it is SOOO much more space efficient...

This is just step one in my organization mission. I will keep you updated as I get more stuff done, but I expect it to be a slow process, since I'd rather play with polish in my free time instead of organize it. Seeing this cabinet filled already filled up and taking so much room makes me reconsider it as permanent storage option...

Just as I was almost done writing this post, I peek on Pinterest and find this from Britta Rose Nails... So nice to know I'm not alone...

Ok, now here is the part where you tell me what you think of this... and please don't say run and seek help... I'm in deep stages of denial ;)

Thanks for looking!
Anutka :)


  1. Nice! I need to get more organized too. I wish I was OCD enough to organize by color for each brand...

  2. Whew! I'm overflowing my 2 melmers, and have a box of polishes that don't have a home. I was thinking of keeping one of my melmers and getting a Helmer. I didn't know they didn't have slider drawers.

    That's awesome that you make jewelry, you should do a post! But now that I've said that, I feel like I think I've seen a post about it

  3. Hee hee,
    my husband looked weak and pale because of this pictures :)
    Greetings from Germany.

  4. Wow! And people think I have a lot of nail polish!

  5. Well done on organising it all.

    To replace the tissue boxes, have you got these at your Ikea:

    They're fabric drawer dividers. I have some (not for my nail polish) and they're great. There are other sizes too.

  6. @Victoria, By color within each brand would be something else. I'm not that OCD either, but it certainly would make things easier to find :)

    @Angie, I can imagine you would overflow that as well. The Helmers are just metal drawers that you can take out and insert back in. I really wish there was some support when sliding them out, then they would be perfect.
    I did show a bit of jewelry long time ago, when I did the tagging posts. :)

    @Stefanie, Yeah, I wasn't quite expecting that much either when I got it all out of hiding. Seeing that dresser full is something else. My bf is used to it, but loves to tease me by sliding a drawer out and giving me a funny look :)

    @Quixii, I love seeing people's posts on polish, especially if they have more than me. Makes me feel more "normal" ;)

    @Claire, I have some of those, also not for polish. I like them, but they are a bit too tall for what I want. The polish is hard to see from the top as it is. Thank you so much for the suggestion! :)

  7. Amazing collection, I am so envious :D Long live denial! And that last picture, so funny!

  8. Great organization!
    I've been collecting polish since December 2009, and I own now around 300 (I try to catalogue, but I'm delayed in that part, so could be less could be more). I will never think my collection is complete!!!

  9. I have the same problem you originally had- I had organised my polishes, but all the ones I got since then are just all over the place. I just don't know where to put them!

  10. Awesome organization! That Ariel graphic is hilarious!

  11. You have a lovely collection! I'd love to see your progress on organising your stash :)

  12. I am wondering why you organize by brand and not color. I would think with that many polishes it would be hard to remember what you have. Fascinating post, thanks!

  13. We're all mad here.. *smiling with the best Cheshire Cat smile* ^^
    The drawer looks great!

  14. This: is a good idea to see what the colors are!


  15. Love this idea as well: A lot of storage ideas on YouTube.

  16. Ох-х, мне бы такую организацию)) Я некоторое время купила в IKEA шкаф Billy, думала туда поставить ящики и иметь много места про запас (в моей коллекции сейчас порядка 300 лаков). Ящики поехала покупать месяца через 2 после того, как купила шкаф, купила слишком большие, в результате в Билли были выселены университетские материалы, а лаки оккупировали почетную огромную полку над компьютером, и скоро место кончится)) У меня проблема в том, что вся моя комната в светлых тонах, мебель чуть ли не белая, а все удобные для хранения лаков шкафы темные или металлические, вообще не в кассу.

  17. This should make you feel a little better :)

    Anytime I start to think my two boxes might be too much, I go see what Kas is doing, lol.

  18. Thank you for the wonderful comments and suggestions! It is nice to know I'm in such good company of other polish addicts :)

    The organization will be a long work in progress since the drawers are now filled and it is not as organized or flexible for growth as I had hoped.

    I organize them by brand because often bottles fit together better that way. I'm working on creating swatch sticks of the polishes and those will be sorted by color. I will show you those at some point as well...

    @vicerimus, ya tozhe dumala kupit' polki is zdelat' vse v otrituu. Dobavit' stupenki na kazhdoi polke i rstavit' laki. Ne uverenna skol'ko eto pomestit. V Ikea est' belie Helmer. Mozhet oni bi tebe podoshli? V nih tol'ko ploho chto shuvlyadki ne derzhat'sya a tak ochn' mnogo lakov vmeshcaut...

  19. i had a dream... one day, my stash is going to be as big as yours *.*

  20. @nail crazy, if you dream it, you can achieve it! If you told me two years ago when my stash was all of 10 polishes that today I'd have 700 I would have thought you lost your mind! Turns out I'm the one who lost mine ;)

  21. I painted the tops of all my bottles with their polish so i can choose colours from above... For light colours it helps to paint tops with white first.

  22. @systemscoach, Sorry that I'm just seeing your comment now!! I have thought about painting it! I would be a great way to see the colors for sure :)


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