Project Empty / Shop My stash · Tips on Decluttering

I HAD too many Cosmetics! Tips on how to declutter and how I manage my problem

Like most women in this entire planet, I got sucked into the huge profitable cosmetic industry. Skincare, bath products, eye shadows, blushes, lipsticks, foundations, etc., I had EVERYTHING– something that should be fun and expressive slowly turned into something stressful. Suddenly, I had way too many options, and I did not like it. While in high school, I was a just skincare junkie- or at least so I thought. It was not until after I graduated high school in 2009, I developed a love for makeup– I fell in love so hard that it became a blur. Somehow, I basically became a hoarder of all things cosmetics and I needed to stop.

 One day, I came across a blog post by One Good Thing by Jillee
“An online survey by Escentual found that the average woman has up to $2,968 woth of makeup and medicine in their bathrooms, but most only use $494 worth! That’s $2,474 WASTED!”

Mid year of 2013, I had gotten home from my night class and it was just like any other night. I was exhausted, and the last thing I wanted to do was take everything off and get ready for bed, because, I had too many options. I thought to myself ‘Why do I have 20+ facial scrubs, 20+ facial wash, over 10+ bottles of body wash on the floor of my stand shower, and why do I have so many half to near empty bottles of stuff?’  That weekend I decided to purge. Looking back I wish I had done a before photo just so I can show you where I am at today, but since last year I have been documenting my progress. So if you find yourself lost in all of your cosmetics- something that is meant to be fun, and now you find yourself taking over your life (in a bad way) here are the steps that I did to minimize my collection, and tips to help you along the way. (This may be a long one so go fix yourself a cup of tea/coffee)

  1. Take everything out and put them in a pile. This will open your eyes, and wake you up. Sometimes you need the initial shock to get you in the zone.
  2. Purge. This is where you are going start off with two piles, expired products, and non-expire. If the first step was not a wake-up call, this certainly will. Tip: Once you are done take a step back, look at everything as a whole, and toss expired products. Recycle if possible.
  3. Categorize things by consumption. Everything will fall into place after this step. Place products into piles of how much you have left.
  4. Out of site out of mind. By this I don’t mean hide everything away. No, but have some of your near empty products out and put the rest away in ONE GENERAL AREA. Skincare/Hygiene Tip: have two containers, one for near empty products, and one for basically new products.
  5. Put yourself on a No Buy. Easy to do right? You would think, but you are wrong. Your brain is most likely have by haywire to buy buy buy, and now you need to rewire your brain to say “no”. Tip: if you have the need to go shopping, shop your stash!
  6. Be Truthful to yourself. In reality you do not need skincare, a healthy diet alone can change the appearance of your skin, but I know what you’re thinking ‘but I take a relaxation when it comes to skincare’  that is fine, I’m not saying get rid of everything all together, if it makes you happy, then continue it. Me personally, I love getting dolled up, I love giving myself a mini spa before I end my day every night. The real question should be ‘do you really need 10 different types of the same thing?-no. Do I need a rainbow variety of eye shadows? -no. Do I need 50 different nude eye shadows?-no. Do I need 50+ variety of blushes? highlighers? bronzers? black eyeliners? mascara? palettes? powders? foundations?- no, no, no, no, no, no, no! The answer is no. Its good to have variety, its good to have options- its what makes the process of getting ready fun. However, there is such thing as having way too much. So where do you draw the line? Everyone is different, for myself had set goals and learn to be picky, for myself I just only want to own two eyeliners (black and brown), one mascara and foundation, a reasonable amount of blushes, highlighters, and only stick to eye shadow palettes- I learned that rather than grabbing singles and whatnot, I tend to gravitates towards my palettes. You will learn about yourself along the way.
  7. Purge some more and start off tackling the easy stuff. This step is just as important as steps one and two. First thing first, if you have stuff you want to sell you can start selling. If there’s something you want to go ahead and finish, go ahead and finish it. Within the last two years I have developed a healthier addiction! Tip: I sold all of my random colorful eye shadow palettes through various of makeup groups on facebook- please sanitize your makeup before you ship- and be honest. As I was selling I started to use stuff up. As you start to use things up start off with near to half empty products-it will get you excited at how quickly you are finishing up products. Tip: Have a little tray, makeup bag, or both on your vanity or sink that will contain products you would like to finish up at this current time. and put everything else away. This will force you to only use the items that you have laying out. If something is in front of you there is a higher chance that you will use that product up verses something that is put away. Here is an example of Last Year’s:
    September 2015 (Skin & Hair care)

    Optional Tip: Mark your items! I came across this tip when I found the project panning/empty community though Youtube. As minor as this tip seem, this really helped me get an idea of when I can finish a certain product. Go at your own pace, its not a rush. I remember my first week I had only finished roughly 5 items, maybe less, but the following weeks after I started averaging to roughly 10 products, sometimes even more! Here’s an image of products I have finished in January. As you can see, I have included both full size, and sample size products.

    January 2016 Empties
  8. Cycle through your products and SHOP YOUR STASH. I am certainly one of those people who get bored of things easily and I certainly  went through my fair share of withdrawals – this probably explains how I managed to accumulate so much stuff from the start. I highly recommend shopping your stash whenever you need a fix, 9 times out of 10, it will fix the need that you may have to go out a buy more. (Your wallet will thank you for this also!) When I first started this project-I cycled everything out every two weeks- now I have moved on to monthly. This can help break bad habits of wanting so many option, for purchasing multiple items at once, for having the need to want things, etc. Your bank account will thank you! As time goes by, you will see less clutter in your stash tray since you will also find yourself needing less to get ready and wine down. Here’s an example of This Year’s Tray

    April 2016 (Skin & Hair Care)
  9. Learn to say “I don’t need it”. Say “I don’t need it” to free products, to gifts, to samples. There is a difference to the word “No”, and the phrase “I don’t need it”. Over the past two years of downsizing my collection, I have learned, the word no isn’t as strong as the phrase “I don’t need it.” This will really play into action more so when its gift giving time. I generally don’t have this problem when my birthday comes around- its coming up! I usually tell my everyone that one expensive item I want for my birthday, or that one experience I would like to cross off my bucket list, and usually my friends and family would just chip in together and get me what I ask for. However, holidays where you give gifts (Christmas), is a tricky situation. I personally do not celebrate Christmas, but my friends do. Everyone becomes more generous around that time of the year. Over the years I have learned saying “No” does not work in this type of situation, instead tell your friends “I don’t need anything, I am happy with the things I have. I don’t feel as if my life is not complete with something I do not have”. If that doesn’t work, follow 10.
  10. Make a Wishlist and Reward yourself! I do best when rewards are involved, most people are, everyone wants a sense of accomplishment and gratification! From the very beginning I started off slow, and felt like I was going no where. So one day I thought to myself, ‘I am going to make a wishlist, and for every 10 items I finish, I am going to reward myself to something nice from that wishlist’  it worked! Now I am at the point where I do not feel like I need to reward myself every so often, simply because, I am at this point where I am starting to finish so many products all at once, so now I have put myself on a ‘No Buy’ and decided to tackle 90% from my stash and reward myself with something I would NEVER in my right mind buy for myself.At the end of the day, I still consider myself as a skincare/makeup junkie, and every once awhile I do treat myself. I tend to go through skincare quicker than I would an eye-shadow or whatever. Now I have learned to be more mindful when it comes to spending my money when cosmetics is involved. I have saved so much money- to the point of being able to use the money saved to go out on trips– and still get to have fun discovering ‘new’ items.Do you have any additional tips when it comes to decluttering your cosmetics? If so post them in the comments below!
  11. Join empty groups (optional). This is certainly optional but I have found a group of beauty junkies who share the same interests to join my journey. To join my decluttering group click here. I have gathered a few beautiful ladies who share the same interest in makeup, skincare, and hair care that wants to join the project of downsizing or finishing up products.




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