Not too long ago, the ITG closet was just four walls, three cabinets, and me, within arm’s reach of every beauty product on the market. I’m sort of the gatekeeper ‘round these parts—I open every new item as it comes in, and know exactly where it’s kept in the closet. Looking for Susanne Kaufmann hand cream? Or bright blue Dior liner? I got you. But my, how time’s flown! The closet’s all grown up now—something between a Manhattan-sized studio and Kardashian-sized bathroom, able to fit a huge table (from which this story is being written), a TV for watching and re-watching the A Star is Born trailer, and a crap load of product. It’s one of the happiest results of the move to Glossier HQ 2.0, tied with the office’s unlimited supply of Sour Patch Watermelons. But, with more space comes more responsibility. Horderly—a husband and wife duo of professional organizers whose last name is actually Hord!—stopped by to help unpack and strategize after the move. A lot was learned, and I am now passing on their wisdom to you.
Throw out old things
Even though I’ve committed to using every drop of concealer in my Charlotte Tilbury pen before paying for a new one, I must responsibly report that all beauty products expire. Or they lose effectiveness and get generally gross. You can do a product exorcism any time you please, but moving is an especially great time to let go of the beach waves spray with the nozzle so salt-encrusted it no longer spritzes, or the moisturizer tub you stuck your fingers into throughout cold season. Don’t even pack them up.
Once that’s taken care of, go deeper. What about that blue-red lipstick you bought before you decided orange-red better suits your complexion? Or the retinol you wanted to love but didn’t? You used them once and probably won’t again, but I bet you have a friend who would. The post-move closet clean out is how many a Glossier employee found their now-favorite serum or cream or eyeliner or blush. Reduce clutter and become beloved in one fell swoop! Gotta love a multitask. Photos, heartfelt birthday cards and scribbled-in notebooks can stay, but keep them together. In the ITG closet, that’s the ‘Tom Sentimental’ drawer—in your apartment, it’s a box under the bed.
Have a (realistic) system
Have you ever tried sorting the clothes in your closet by color, like in Clueless? I have, and I can tell you it didn’t last long—you hang two shirts in the wrong place and suddenly the whole system’s shot. Cut yourself some slack by organizing in a way that’s easy to maintain, but still efficient, and invest in bins and the kind of stuff they sell at The Container Store to help. Organizing by color helps, but if you know you won’t keep up with that, try storing things upside down so you can see the shade sticker without picking everything up. Just having a physical system for where things live and how you store them lessens the chance of a mess.
Stick to a schedule
After a week—every Friday, no exceptions—I stash all the new products we’ve received in their respective drawers. Sorting 20 lipsticks by shade is much easier than organizing 200 lipsticks. Likewise, keeping track of one lipstick is easier than waiting for seven to build up in different purses, forgetting about them, and having to sort through a million just to find the one you want. If you take something out, remember to put it back—it’s easy for a mess to build up. Devoting a couple minutes to organizing every few days makes the task feel less daunting on the whole.
Make it look nice
It’s your space! You should be proud of it and want to spend time there. In the case of the closet, this was achieved by lining up fragrances by color, stacking our cookbooks, and plugging in a salt lamp. Nest’s Pumpkin Chai candle, the scent equivalent of a PSL, is what I’m currently burning. Cozy, clean, and exactly the way I like it. If only my bedroom looked like this.
Photographed by Tom Newton.