Lacquer Spring Cleaning with @Banicured_
Organizing is hard. Not the most articulate introduction I could have come up with, but it’s the truth. “I have a lot of stuff.” “Where would this even go?” “But I don't want to get rid of anything,” we nag. Four years ago my polish count was hovering somewhere around 10-15. A number I would say is roughly the average woman’s collection. But that was before Instagram happened. Before my polish-obsessed alter ego “Banicured” took over my brain and eventually my floor space. I stopped counting my polish collection after I hit 685. I justified that two ways: 1) I don’t want to know that I own anymore than that (as if that number wasn’t absurd on its own) and 2) I don’t want to count anymore. Being “instafamous,” comes with several perks - one being free product, which I started receiving about three years ago. Then as a freelance nail tech, I found myself working a job and coming home with whatever polishes I used that day. In three years, not one week has gone by without a package showing up at my doorstep, containing anywhere from six to thirty polishes. Eventually my clear nail salon wall racks weren’t enough and putting boxes to the side was not a sufficient organization method. And while I enjoyed the view from my bedroom desk, I knew I needed to find an alternative workspace.
Last fall we decided to convert our bonus living room into a storage area. The room was perfect for me: controlled temperature, no direct sunlight, and white walls. I jumped at the chance to occupy a portion of the space. I headed to every blogger’s favorite storage destination: IKEA, which incidentally happens to be a great place you should avoid if you like having long nails (I learned this the hard way). But they had everything I needed. I knew I wanted my polishes displayed in a bookshelf and that I would need a much larger desk than the one I had been using. So I purchased the tall brown “Billy” bookcase, a desk top, legs, and the infamous Alex drawers (are you even a blogger if you don’t own Alex drawers?). The bookcase would display my polish collection and the drawers would be used for tool and supply storage. The case was the easiest part for me. I wanted everything separated by brand and then by color. When Banicured kicks in, my mind turns into “I really need (brand) (polish name)” for this design, and no other color will suffice,” so I knew that was the best way to organize my collection.
I also started to make it a habit to separate polishes I didn’t like, as soon as they came in the mail. I knew that If I added them to my collection I would never use them and they would make it harder for me to find polishes I actually needed. Lots of polishes went in the trash. Polishes should be thrown out once they are so thick that not even nail polish thinner will revive them. Additionally, I know my collection quite well and have a good idea of how long I’ve had each one. Three to four years is usually the cutoff for me.
When you aren’t exactly a master of organization, it helps to have friends who are (actual quote from my best friend: “I can’t WAIT to separate these by color.”). Regardless, I was so overwhelmed by the whole process- from taking boxes of IKEA furniture out of my car, to assembling them, to filling them- I didn’t even want to start. But once I did, everything seemed to fall into place. It helps to go little by little. I had my polishes in boxes (not something I recommend), so I’d empty one box, separate by brand, then move onto the next. I repeated this until my desk couldn’t fit anymore bottles. I assessed which brands I had the most of, then started filling the bookcase on bottle at a time. Every time the desk cleared up, I repeated the process until the shelves were full. I intentionally left spaces for future polishes, especially for brands I received the most product (read: OPI). The case held a lot more bottles than I thought it would, although many did not fit- those will be taken care of after another IKEA trip.
I am so happy with how my space has turned out. I’m sure I’ll tweak some things here and there as I use it more and more, but for now it is perfect. Eventually I want it to become my YouTube filming space, as well, so I can finally keep my bedroom separate from anything work-related. I know that having all my polish in the same room I film in will make filming so much easier, as well. I also get to look at all my polishes as a whole, then pick out what I want to use, rather than repeatedly using my favorite shades. Today I filmed with six polishes and four were ones I had never even opened. I even fell in love with a new top coat, something that happens only on the slightest of occasions. I can also take so much more pride in my collection. I worked hard to get to where I am in my career, and now my collection reflects that.
My advice to those looking to organize their space: start small. Sometimes when we look at the bigger picture we tend to overwhelm ourselves. Break everything down into smaller tasks, do a little each day, and donate polishes to whomever you deem worthy of adopting them. Whatever it takes to clear up your space. My most important piece of advice? Let someone else do the heavy lifting. Literally.