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Storage Solution – The IKEA Helmer

By on June 9, 2009
in Uncategorized with 26 Comments
Remember a while back when we talked polish storage? At the time the polish room was overrun by polish. I know it’s not exactly a horrify sitch to be in but I needed a solution, FAST! Not long after our discussion, I finally decided on a new system since my old cabinet just wasn’t cutting it.

I’d been looking at the IKEA Helmer ever since the MUA Nail Board first discovered it but with no IKEA in the Cleveburg and the ridiculous shipping cost I was SOL. However thanks to my Michigan pals who have an IKEA nearby, I know own TWO (yes, I need two) IKEA Helmers.

I’ve had them for a while but it wasn’t until last weekend when I kicked myself in the butt to organize that they were finally filled. Check out these uber-affordable, compact, storage dreams come true after the jump!


Here they are, my Helmers! They’re utter perfection. At a little over 2 foot high, 11 inches wide and 16 inches deep, with its casters attached, the top of the Helmer hits me just about mid-thigh and fits perfectly under the polish room’s window sill.

Now I know the old joke about IKEA’s hard to understand instruction manuals but building the Helmer was relatively easy. The boyfriend and I had them both erected in way under an hour. The drawers basically fold into shape and you just snap the fronts and backs on.

Considering the price ($39.99) they’re great but don’t expect the materials to be indestructible. The metal drawers are very flexible so they’re not 100% straight but they fit in the slots just fine.

When it came time to fill ‘er up, I decided to keep with the organizational method I used for the cabinet; polish grouped by color. Thankfully most of my collection was already sorted this way so I just had to incorporate the new stuff. Here is how my drawers are organized, from top to bottom.

Dark Green Drawer and Black, Gray & White Drawer


Light Green Drawer and Metallic (Gold, Silver, Bronze, etc) Drawer


Teal & Turquoise Drawer and Nude, Neutral & Brown Drawer


Light Blue Drawer and Yellow & Orange Drawer


Dark Blue Drawer and Holographic Drawer


Dark Purple Drawer and Light Purple Drawer


As you’ll see below, each drawer can hold a LOT. This drawer contains 65 bottles and it’s not even full. So depending on bottle size, each Helmer can accommodate up to 500 polishes. Fantastic, no?
Because I want to leave room for growth, I intentionally left my reds, pinks, peaches and corals in my old cabinet which now houses my treatment products and to-be-tested lacquers as well. I’d have to add a third Helmer (which I may) if I wanted to eliminate the cabinet altogether.

The IKEA Helmer comes in Red, Silver and White and retails for $39.99. The white is more of a creamy eggshell than pure white but so is my window trim so it blends nicely.

What do you think fanatics? Who else has a Helmer? Have you found something even better? Share!

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There Are 26 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Jaime M. says:

    I have such envy! Look at all those polishes, so neatly organized! It makes me so happy. Nothing makes me happier than organization.

  2. abigail says:

    hi michelle:

    i agree with you they're are not the sturdiest cabinets out there and that was the main reason i didn't get… but i really wanted!

    another thing that i didn't like was that there was no room for all my nail treatment, like polish remover, those fast drying sprays…

    the drawers are so small (in height) :(

    but looking at all your polishes neatly organized i can't help myself from thinking that i still want one!

    i looks really good!

  3. Miss Yaya says:

    i don't know if i should be jealous of the quantity or be fearful that i may follow in that path! lol

    currently i am employing the help of tupperware but i might need to take a trip to ikea soon :(

  4. Alison says:

    Wow super organized! I love that you have a polish room!

  5. Miss Yaya says:

    where did you get your light box in your nail polish room btw?

  6. Anonymous says:

    intervention time, lolol

  7. leo says:

    I have a Helmer, too! red. the only problem is that nail polish bottles tend to slide around when you open and close drawers (if the drawers are not full): I'm planning to buy some anti-slide rubber net to put in the bottom of drawers to avoid this…

  8. Orli says:

    I actually just bought one of these this past Friday in silver. I don't have anywhere near that many polishes lol..so I got it for all cosmetic stuff really. I haven't put it together yet. Glad to hear it's easy to put up.

  9. ashleydanielle4 says:

    that's a ton of polish! i only have around 93 bottles of polish so i have the clear rack like at the nail salon hanging behind my bedroom door. i need to order another on next time i order more polish. then i have my treatments, topcoats, files, buffers, etc in a hot pink OPI train case. i like being able to see all my polishes at one time!

  10. Sprinkles says:

    Love the post, and that's an amazing polish collection! Your polish room would be the dress-up room I didn't have as a kid lol. :)

  11. Natalie says:

    This is amazing, I love it! Once I move into a place of my own, I'm definitely looking into something like this.

  12. Colette says:

    This is so timely … the plastic shoe boxes are unfortunately just not cutting it anymore – I am within about 10 bottles of hitting 600 polishes. I've been thinking about the Helmers & you may have me convinced =) I think it's time to make a trip to my local Ikea LOL.

  13. Vesper says:

    I love my Helmer! I guess the only drawback for me is when I want to get a polish that I put in the back of a drawer then I have to pull the drawer all the way out and support it from the bottom when I do (since it can just pop out and isn't on a track)…and those drawers get heavy once they're full! But I like having all my polish in one unit and not in plastic boxes or shoe boxes.

  14. Catia920 says:

    Love this! I have nowhere near as many polishes maybe 50 or so. What do you suggest for storage – I'd like a clear, stacking box that will allow for multiple layers of polishes and allow them to stand upright. Right now I have them all in a basket and they tip over…I need help!

  15. Holly says:

    I have one (and need another). My only gripe is that I wish the drawers were on actual gliding tracks and had a stopper in the back. Im always afraid I'll pull it out too far and dump all the polishes on the ground (and risk losing a loved one).

  16. All Lacquered Up says:

    Jaime – I'm not normally uber-organized but with my polish I kind of have to be. I'd be lost and confused otherwise.

    Abigail – Thanks! I hear you, they aren't an overall solution if you're talking about storing all your nail related products. A rolling storage cart with drawers of different heights may be a better choice.

    Miss Yaya – LOL, are you nearing Helmer territory with your collection? I never thought of Tupperware that's a great suggestion.

    Alison – thanks. It's my favorite room in the house, for good reason. It was part of the deal when we moved. I no longer take over the house with polish if I get my own room for it.

    Miss Yaya – I bought it on ebay. Search for photo light box and you'll find a ton of options. You can always make your own by lining a clear storage bin with tissue paper (to diffuse the light) and a desk lamp to shine on it.

    Leo – Why didn't I think of that? Like those rubber shelf liners? Brilliant solution

    Orli – Yeah, there's not as bad to assemble as I expected. I know other girls who use them for makeup and love it.

    Ashleydanielle4 – I love the clear rack and being able to see the polish all lined up. Though I'd need a LOT of wall space. :D

    Sprinkles – I know, right? If I had anything like this as a kid, I'd never leave the house. Can you imagine how much fun it must be to grow up with a makeup artist or nail tech for a mom? All the great products they get to play with.

    Natalie – You totally should. They're so affordable compared to other cabinets I've seen.

    Colette – I have two words for you… DO IT!!!

    Vesper – Yeah, getting to the back can be a pain but I haven't found a system I like better that doesn't cost a ton

    Catia920 – Sterilite shoe boxes or whatever brand your local Walmart/Kmart/Taget carries. They are the perfect size. Tall enough to accommodate any polish but not so high you're not wasting space. They're stackable and cheap, around $1 each.

    Holly – I hear that. Though for the price I guess we can't expect miracles. They get the job done though.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Great idea for polishes. Pefect size. I should also add, for anyone considering buying a Helmer, that the drawers are much smoother when opening/closing than they are in many of the very expensive cabinets you find at Container Store and art stores.

    I have a question about the color. Last night I put together a white Helmer and only today, in the natural light of day, did I see that the white doesn't match the white of my other Helmers. My older ones, older by two years, are a bright white and this one is the creamy eggshell that you describe. Can you tell me when you purchased yours? Looks like maybe May. Was it earlier? I'm trying to find out when Ikea changed shades of white. I want to see if it's possible to get the older bright white ones somehow. Sounds picky, I know, but you're into color–you know how these things matter!

    Thanks,

    Kay

    • ReaderRita says:

      I just got a Helmer and noticed the color differences as well. Perhaps if you sandwich the eggshelly colored one between the 2 bright whites, it won’t be as noticeable. Then you could put contact paper in bright white (or another color!) on top of the middle one- or maybe spray paint the top? Just some thoughts…
      (I ended up deciding on a different color…) (stinky of Ikea to change midstream like that…)

    • deecreations says:

      When I went to IKEA I was excited to grab the white one but ot looks more eggshell off white on display. So I went for the red one instead.

    • mayzie says:

      i bought myself a white (eggshell) helmer and then recently got a silver one from some friends that were moving. i didn’t like how the silver looked with the eggshell so i spraypainted the silver one teal! i used rustoleum ultra cover and 2 light coats did the trick. so far it’s holding up great! i know it would be pretty hard to pick spraypaint to match the original white but if it’s driving you crazy it might be worth it to paint both.

  18. Thanks for sharing this!! I’ve been looking into getting a Helmer – looks like it will be perfect for my polish storage!!

  19. Kim says:

    I am so jealous of your holos drawer!!!! I just got my first order of nfu ohs and I can’t wait til the sun comes out tomorrow to try them!!

  20. Oh.My.God. POLISH *ORN!!!

    Ok must catch breath…….

    Right now, I have a plastic, non-rolling cart that I’m about to divy my polishes into by brand. I “only” have about 100 polishes so it will do for a while.

    Ideally I think I’m going to have my husband build me a custom cabinet for my polishes, and possibly a small curio with a glass front to display some of my fancies, like my Clarins 230 and Nfu Oh’s.

    Wow. I am in AWE. The only comparison I can make are the over 3000 books I own LOL

    *Bowing to the Polish Goddess*

  21. Tammy Bush says:

    Im looking for a rolling Nail Art Case with handle that all the polish can stand upright in. Flat drawers for brushes and a few deep drawers for paint. Ive seen a lot of makeup cases but just dont think they will work. Any info ?

  22. Tammy Bush says:

    …..forgot to add I need it for traveling! So cabinets wont work.

  23. deecreations says:

    I purchased the red helmer. I was a bit uneasy about the set up of it. It doesn’t have tracks so it leans Foward bit. Had also purchased non skid drawers slips to avoid slipping. But I was able to fit my 200+ nailpolishes and have more than enough room for more. I filled every drawer and even able to store my uv lamp as well. Will have to purchase acetone and oil pumps because my bottles are to big for the drawer unless I lean it on its side but I rather avoid an accident. I eventually will change the handles to put extra taste to it. The red one is a great color of them all. Overall, I am greatful to come across this blog and find an item that’s inexpensive,very sturdy and best part it has wheels!! I said good bye to my plastic nail cart that looked like the leaning tower of piza. Lol. I will definitely purchase another one (red) pretty soon..

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