Sunday, May 6, 2012

How I organise my stash

So I have quite a few bottles of polish.  I actually consider myself a bit of a collector. I have never really felt the urge to want to have a blog sale or sell any of my polishes, as I still want every single polish that is here in my collection.  But with any collection comes the need to organise it well.  

This is my set up, and it works really well for me.  Don't get me wrong, it not always a neatly packed up collection.  My husband will attest to the fact that I usually have a lot of polish crap all over the dining table, but at least it can easily be cleaned up and put away.

The clear drawers here on the left contain all my bits.  Top left drawer has my go to polishes that I need everyday, top coats, base coats, thinner, remover etc.  Second top drawer on the left is my untried drawer - oh dear!  I have a couple of drawers dedicated to glitters and pigments for frankening, another for stamping stuff, another with decals, stickers and tattoos and one with all the spectraflair packaged up ready to sell.

The two IKEA Helmers contain all my polishes.  I still have two empty drawers, but think I will need another Helmer soon.  I sort my polishes in the drawers by brand and each drawer is labelled with what brand is inside.  On top of my drawers I have my stamping plate folder and swatch sticks box.

Here is my folder for stamping plates.  I actually have my mum to thank for this, she saw it on a blog and did it all for me.  The sleeves are collector card sleeves and each one has a piece of non-slip drawer liner cut and inserted so that the plates don't fall out.  It's so easy to flip through and browse plates to choose what to stamp.

Here is my plastic box that contains my swatch sticks. When I get a new polish, I swatch it on the stick immediately, together with writing the brand, polish name, how many coats and a number the corresponds to that polish in my spreadsheet.

I group all my sticks into colour groups and have the looped onto rings.  Then the whole group looped onto a single ring.  Here is the collection of my yellow and gold polishes.

And here is the same pile splayed out.

Silvers, includes foils, chromes, magnetics, holos and glitters.

Reds and maroons.

Oranges

Pinks

Duo and multi chromes.

With the duo and multi chromes I actually paint half the swatch stick black first.  This splay shows the side with the polish over the black half.

This is the same group of polishes, showing the clear side.

Purples.

Blues

Blacks, charcoals and greys.

Greens.

Layering glitters - those that will never achieve opacity on their own.  All colours.

The only special grouping that remains by brand.  My Lynnderella swatch sticks.

I love these swatch sticks, especially because as soon as I get a new polish I can open it up and paint the stick to see what it looks like, without the need to remove the polish I am wearing.  They are also fantastic for comparing colours and trying laying combos.

These sticks are easily found on eBay, and the rings are just document rings we purchased for$1 from the local discount dollar shop.  

I also love the fact that I have all my polishes sorted by colour on the sticks, which are clearly labelled by brand and name.  Which then makes it really easy to find the polish in the labelled drawers.

52 comments:

  1. *rolls around in your stash*

    Thanks for sharing

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  2. I am in the process of doing exactly the same with my polish stash, I think I have exactly the same swatch sticks as you! I am going to have to get the collector card sleeve for my octagon stamping plates though. I am not need a Helmer yet, but it will happen..I have only started collecting this year but I already have China Glaze OMG. I am hooked :)

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  3. I think I am going to buy those nail sticks too! It does look like an awesome way to swatch!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!

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  4. Wow, that is an incredible collection. Such an organised way of documenting your polishes! I bet you never ever have bare nails!
    x

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  5. I bow down to your stash & your organization! OMG OMG OMG.... (passes out)

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  6. Such a great way of organizing everything! I've been looking for a way to organize swatch sticks - this may be my solution in the end. :)

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  7. wow...i love your collection!
    beautiful!

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  8. I see we have the same stash organisation ( and the same need for new Helmers haha)
    I love,you swatch sticks, I wanted the same.but the Ebay vendors I found don't ship to my country so I started handmade swatchicles.
    Great collection :)

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  9. Gorgeous stash, it's so organised! I want a collection of swatch sticks so much! But at this point, thinking about starting one gives me a headache lol

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  10. Your stash is so organised, wow! Must take notes :P

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  11. wow! Awesome stash organisation! I've always wanted to see yours! hahaha

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  12. Love my swatchy sticks, and they look the same as yours... although I think your collections of certain color groups are as big as my whole collection :)

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  13. I really need to get off my butt and at least grab my swatch sticks on ebay lol.

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  14. OMG your stash and organisation skills make mine look amateurish lol
    i love yours and wish mine could achieve that status!

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  15. your organization is exactly like mine! i have my swatch sticks and stamping plates done exactly the same way as you. i also have a Helmer, but only one, and I have a Melmer (a Holmer, actually) for all of my supplies and polish removers, plus an extra box of backups and possible purges hidden under my bed. :)

    and of course, a spreadsheet. it's a polish lover's best friend. :)

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  16. Wow. Amazing organization. I have been wanting to do that with the swatch sticks, too, just haven't gotten around to it. Also - I feel like you with the 'collection'. I never feel the need to purge any polishes or anything.

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  17. Great organization.. you have so much! I try to keep mine organized.. but my fiance always finds nail files, cuticle oil, and polish in our living room lol.

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  18. So organized. Impressive. My boyfriend wouldnt allow this level of polish collecting, lol. I think my 200 bottles are enough on my two little shelves. But your collection is just plain awesome.

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  19. That stamping plate storage tip is great! I have mine in a binder in those sleeves, but I've dumped them out so many times, lol!

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  20. The nail sticks are so much fun, I might need to look into those because it drives me nuts when I run out of room on the wheels lol

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  21. wonderful! amazing! and so many colours :)
    xoxo

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  22. Wow, I don't even fill one drawer in my Helmer! :p

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  23. I use the same sleeves for my stamping plates but I just used a small piece of double-sided tape to close the tops so the plates would not fall out when turning the pages. Your idea sure was clever!

    Quick question...Do you paint the underside (back) or the front of your clear swatch sticks and do you us a top coat?

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    1. Nope I don't paint the underside, and I sometimes use a top coat. If it's a really gritty glitter, and I want the stick to like more like it does on my nail then I put top coat on.

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  24. Hellz yea girl. That's awesome!! :)

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  25. You're as organised as me, I do love a bit of organisation!!

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  26. OMG, I thought that I have a lot of stuff. How I was VERY wrong!!!!!

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  27. Wow. Just wow. I'm gobsmacked. I'm still using plastic compartment boxes from Bunnings! Love the swatch sticks. May just have to go there. Thank you so much for the post. Fascinating!

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  28. Oh wow! I'm going to show my partner your blog post... if he thinks Ive got too many nail polishes, wait till he sees your collection!

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  29. Wow... you must have a great capacity of organization for not loosing yourself in the middle of all that.
    I put all my collection of nail polishes in one Helmer, concerning the stamping plates, well... I have to think about it.
    Tuli

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  30. You're so organised, I'm beyond amazed! I love the swatch sticks!

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  31. Wow, this is amazing!! You are so organized and so thorough! I showed my honey this and said "If you think I have a lot of nail polish, check this out!" he was speechless, haha! Hey, now I get to see where my Spectraflair came from! It traveled a long way! :)

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    1. And I love the swatch sticks, also. I need some of those so I can try new stuff without having to put it on and off my nails.

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  32. This post totally does justice to your blog name :)

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  33. That is a very impressive collection! I love the swatches =)

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  34. I love those sticks! I actually did that last week with my collection (of 130 polishes, hahaha :/). I find that they're not solvent resistant and polish warps mine a bit and acetone discolors them. Whoops, at least they were cheap.

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    1. Yes, if I use acetone on these they are screwed. I once spilt my acetone on a pile of sticks and they all melted and stuck together. I had to throw them away and do those ones again.

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  35. LOVE the idea for the stamping plates!! I have modified small plastic sleeve photo albums for mine, but of course the plates tend to fly out as soon as I turn the pages. When you talk about the non slip draw liners, do you mean the squishy lattice looking things you buy in mats from the Reject shop and places like that?

    I have a similar set up for my supplies, but I got a great set of drawers from Office works just before Xmas. The only thing wrong with them is they are just a tiny bit too low for the taller bottles, so they are reserved for brushes, acrylics and other miscellaneous stuff! Polishes are in drawers like your clear plastic ones.

    P.S. I'm also loving the Layla's!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Kristy - yeah exactly those squish lattice looking things from the Reject shop. These ones were pretty thin so slid in perfectly. The Helmer doesn't fit all bottles either, I've got about 10 that are too tall too.

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  36. thank you so much for sharing your stash... it's beautiful!! i love the swatch sticks, what a great way to keep track of your collection :) i think i'll be buying some myself, the wheels are terrible!

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  37. I love seeing how people organise their stash. I'm so glad I bought those sticks, they are much better than wheels. I'm in the process of swatching all my polishes again now. :)

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  38. Do you paint the underside of the stick or on top? I have just started my collection and some of them just look weird underneath but then alot look amazing because they look top coated. Just wondering what you opinion would be?

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    1. I paint on the top of them, cause it never occurred to me to do the underside when I first started, and once I had started then I couldn't change. I've seen another girls painted underneath and they look nice too, but I think I prefer them painted on top because I can see the real finish of the polish.

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  39. Love your swatch sticks. Please advise where to obtain the same ones. Also, do they come with the rings on them, or do you use binder-rings purchased separately?
    Thanks a bunch.

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    Replies
    1. I get mine off eBay. They come on screws, I buy my ring binders from a dollar shop.

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  40. Hi kitties, just wondered how you locate your nail polishes as you said you swatch them in colour groups but store them in your helmer by make (I have a helmer and have to pick each one up to see what colour it is? Do you store them in a particular way eg rows etc? Also what do your use the spreadsheet for? Can you post a sample piccie? Sorry to ask so many questions just setting about sorting mine out, they're currently in makes too like yours but not started swatching yet and wondered how they correspond to your drawers. Thanks trace xx

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    Replies
    1. Hey Trace, I often end up picking up each polish like you said, trying to find the right bottle in the drawer. One thing I did back when my stash was smaller was paint a false nail in the polish colour and sticky tape it to the top of the lid. You can see that in this post.

      I try to store them in neat rows, that way I can fit more polishes in and I also use that non slip matting at the bottom of each draw so they don't slip around and fall over. I have my drawers labelled with all brands in that drawer too.

      My spreadsheet just has three columns, number, brand and polish and it's just one big long list. I use it to know exactly how many polishes I have, and to ensure I don't buy duplicate polishes.
      Cheers Cathy

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