Petit stockage par réutilisation

This is actually Small Storage via Repurposing, but I did the title in French because it sounds fancier that way. (Kind of how “French girl beauty” sounds more compelling than “good skin and not a lot of makeup.”)

We’ve all got lots of Small Bullshit that needs to be accessible, but preferably also reasonably attractive. Today, a few cheap ‘n’ easy storage options that require very little work and very little scratch. Hurrah! LET’S GO.

Are you a candle hoarder? Yes you are. Save those nice plain glass jars, clean them out (freeze, chip out old wax with a dull knife, pull out glued-down wick base with needle-nosed pliers, scrub with dish soap and hot water) and use them for hair brushes, makeup brushes, pencils, mascaras, and other tall thin frequently-used things. (You probably already do this.) If you want the contents to remain perfectly upright or stay separate from one another, put a couple inches of tiny glass stones, small river rocks, sand, or aquarium gravel in the bottom (they need to be quite small).

And if you’ve got a fancy opaque ceramic candle jar with a lid, throw half a bar of Dr Bronner’s unscented soap in it for a neat, clean, and non-hideous makeup brush cleaning station. Yes, you can use a glass one, but you’ll be able to see your makeup-streaked wodge of soap through the sides, which will be extremely unattractive, and this will annoy you. Or at least, it annoys me.

Left : Qtips in some random candle jar from probably Target. Right : this candle was like thirty bucks and it was shit, but the ceramic jar and wooden lid (which I painted white) made it PERFECT for makeup brush-cleaning soap.
Do you also hoard florist’s vases? If you’ve got any of those fancy “modern” florist’s containers around — you know, the square or round glass ones that’re only four or five inches high, but eight or ten inches wide? You might think those are unusable for storing makeup and other small easily-jumbled items. NAH, THEY’RE GREAT. The square ones are particularly good for palettes, and both kinds can be “divided” to easily store smaller things. I’ve got them on my living room end table and my bedside table, holding Important Stuff (okay and also detritus) — just grab a pack of those little clear rubber self-adhesive pads and stick a few on the bottom of a smaller glass candle jar or whatever.




Put the little jar in the big vase (the rubber pads will keep it from sliding around or scratching), put your tall skinny stuff in the jar and pack your other stuff (small compacts or eye shadow singles, post-it notes or whatever) around it. You’ll also want to put some of the pads on the bottom of your big container, so it doesn’t move around or screw up your nice table surface.



You probably don’t hoard utensil trays. But you might want to! These can actually be GREAT for nail polish storage — all you gotta do is turn them sideways and hang ’em on a wall. I’ve got two kinds mounted to the walls in my bedroom closet : those silvery metal mesh ones, which I figured would be optimal because I could easily hang them with Monkey Hooks (no drilling, no drywall anchors, easy peasy) and also when turned sideways, the dividers create little shelves that’re the perfect height for most polish bottles. If you hang them so there’s a bit of extra space above and below each one, that creates a taller “shelf” using the top edge, and your skyscraper bottles can go there. If you want something nicer and more “polished” (heh) looking, these bamboo ones are roomier, have adjustable expansion, and can be painted white (like mine). They’re more expensive, but they also hold more, so. The downside : even if you don’t want to paint them, you WILL need a power drill and drywall anchors to mount them. (This is actually super easy to do, I promise.) Whichever type you go with, just remember that they all come in various configurations, and some have extra little compartments that’ll turn into nigh-useless tall skinny nooks once they’re mounted.

Left : Bamboo expanding tray, extended all the way open and spray-painted with three coats of high gloss white acrylic. Right : metal mesh trays hung with Monkey Hooks.
STORAGE. HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE IT. Got any favorite tricks or object-conversions for keeping small stuff both organized *and* attractive? Share!