Storing & Organizing Nail Polish

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Don’t you just love a fresh manicure? I stepped up my manicure game when the pandemic hit and I had literally nothing else to do. Over time, I’ve also built up quite a collection — and when you have a collection of something, you can’t truly see it or enjoy it unless it’s organized. Let’s talk about organizing nail polish!

Organizing nail polish is a quick and simple activity.
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Nail Polish Organization

You can organize nail polish in three simple steps. Let’s dig in!

Step 1: Gather & Purge Nail Polish

Nail polish is a great way to express your style, but don't let your hobby turn into clutter!

As with any organizing project, your first step is to gather all the nail polish you own in one place. Look through your collection carefully and toss* anything that’s crusty, dried out, goopy, poor quality, or doesn’t mix well.

Consider your wardrobe and your style when purging. Would you still wear that neon yellow nail polish? It’s okay that you’ve grown and changed. Let go of anything that’s no longer up your alley.

Check for duplicate colors. I had quite a few in my collection.

*I say “toss” but that doesn’t literally mean toss. Nail polish is a hazardous waste, so please dispose of it properly. Never pour it down the drain. Here are some guidelines. In the future, consider purchasing environmentally friendly polish.

Step 2: Sort the Nail Polish

Now that you’ve narrowed down your collection and you know you’re keeping, you can start organizing your nail polish by sorting it. I recommend sorting first by brand and next by colors within the brand, but each collection is different and, therefore, may need to be sorted differently.

Sort by Brand

Most brands stick to the same nail polish bottle shape, therefore when you line up the bottles from the same brand, they look nice and neat. Sorting polish by brand will help you easily find the bottle you’re looking for.

Grouping nail polish by brand reduces visual clutter since all the bottles are shaped the same.

Sort by Color

Once you’ve organized your nail polish by brand, go a step further and organize it by color. This will make it even easier to find the color you want, plus it’s pretty. I sort mine into rainbow order because, why not?

Step 3: Contain

How you contain your nail polish may depend on how many bottles you’ve got and what kind of space you’re going to store them in. There are many nail polish storage, containment, and display options. Choose one that works for your space and works for your collection.

Nail polish can be a work of art in your bathroom closet.

Nail Polish Storage & Containment

Wall-Mounted Shelves

If you’ve got some extra wall space in your bathroom or closet, consider displaying your nail polish like they do at nail salons. Wall-mounted acrylic racks are inexpensive and let the beauty of your nail polish shine. This solution is ideal for large and small collections — assuming you’ve got the space!

Cabinet-Mounted Bin

If you’re super tight on space and have a smaller nail polish collection, use your door!

These Command Strip Caddies adhere to cabinet doors with sticky pads. They’re perfect for using otherwise wasted space!

Tiered Rack

If your organized nail polish is going on a shelf, a tiered acrylic rack is helpful, since it allows you to view all your colors at once. This solution doesn’t use space efficiently, so you won’t want to do it if you’re tight on space or have an extensive collection.

Organizing your nail polish into a tiered acrylic bin makes them easy to see!
It’s like a little work of art in your bathroom closet.

Nail Polish Caddy

If space is tight or if you like to do your nails in different places, consider a nail polish carrying case. Organizing nail polish into one of these cases, and adding some additional supplies, will make it easy to grab and go. A case like this can sit on a shelf, in a vanity, a cabinet, a drawer, or even under the bed. It’d be perfect for a college dorm!

Nail Polish Drawers

Make yourself a nail polish drawer to organize your collection. Grab some stacking acrylic drawers like these from m-design and use that vertical space. The acrylic keeps your polish easy to see and the drawers keep the polish contained, but accessible. These are perfect for small to medium collections.

Nail Polish Bin

Never underestimate the power of a bin. Sometimes the simplest solution is best. Storing nail polish in a bin will not allow you to view it all at once, and it may be more tedious to find the color you’re searching for, but it’s inexpensive. If you have a large collection, consider purchasing a few matching bins with lids. Organize your nail polish by brand or color as mentioned above and stick a category in a bin. Stack bins on top of one another and label them accordingly.

Organizing nail polish doesn't have to be more complicated than lining up your bottles in a bin!

Nail Polish Organization & Storage

Home manicures can be quite fun, but don’t let your hobby become a cause for clutter. Organize your nail polish so you can see it and grab it when needed!

What’s your favorite way to store your nail polish?

Nail polish organization and storage can be a fun project that highlights your collection.

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