Monday, January 30

Clutter Control #2: Beauty Products

"Order is the shape upon which beauty depends."

Pearl Buck

Let's talk about order and beauty all at the same time with my second post in my Clutter Control series, where we will tackle our beauty products! (Yes, "we".)

I should warn you that the first couple of steps in my Clutter Control series are pretty much always going to be consistent: Dump everything out, and start pitching.

More specifically:

Before you even worry about expiry dates, make a pile of any products you don't like or use anymore. (If you can't remember the last time you used it, it has probably expired anyway.)

The Real Simple website shares a fairly comprehensive list of Expiration Dates for Beauty Products. I follow their guidelines for most part, except for perfumes. (I still have a bottle of Lancome Poeme, circa 1998.)

Obviously some beauty products can't be shared, but I put nonperishables like accessories or new(er) nail polishes in my classroom treasure box. Unopened goodies (in my case, a skincare line I decided I didn't need) can certainly be passed along to others. I often bring bags of such things (along with freebies I have received through the blog) to my book club meetings to share with my friends. It's hard for us to take a break from discussing the books long enough to think about something else, but somehow we manage. Because I get a high from getting rid of things, I do it fairly frequently so these purges aren't major for me. (I had also tossed a lot of eye stuff after the pinkeye incident of '10, so I didn't have a lot to worry about there.)

Now assess what you still have. Is there anything you can live without? Pare down to the bare necessities. Then decide where things need to be stored. There are great cases and systems available for makeup and beauty products, but since I have a pretty low-maintenance beauty routine, I find what works for me is keeping the special occasion items in a makeup bag and a couple of trays in my dresser drawer, and keeping my day-to-day products more accessible.

Some people swear by tackle-box type portable makeup cases, while others love a tray system kept in the vanity (with like items kept in the same tray), and I know several who use one of those plastic drawer system on wheels.

I recently simplified my routine so that I could keep my daily essentials displayed. I am normally an extremely efficient person, so don't ask me why I was carrying my makeup and contacts paraphernalia back and forth from my bedroom dresser to my ensuite washroom every day for 9 years. Well, actually I know why...I didn't want it out on any surface looking junky, and there was more room for storage in my dresser than bathroom vanity. When I went through it all I pared things down and repurposed a lovely tray (originally a wedding gift with a cream and sugar set) which actually looks quite nice.



So, now that you're organized again, a couple of tips to prevent getting overwhelmed:

If you want to use the last bit of shampoo or toothpaste, you actually have to use it at the time. You can't use three quarters of each bottle and then stash the last quarter away to "save it", and then open another bottle/tube. Finish one thing before opening another.

As for all of you makeup junkies out there, I firmly believe in the in-and-out rule. If you're buying a new lipstick, an old one has to go. Unless maybe you're a makeup artist and you can blame your hoarding collection on "work".

Some organizational gurus recommend putting a little sticker or label on the bottom of perishable products so you can remember when you purchased it and know when it's past its prime. Again, because my collection is minimal, I don't find this necessary, but for those with an entire arsenal, it might be something to consider.

Next up in This Mom Loves' Clutter Control series? The Linen Closet...with pretty impressive before-and-after shots.

Click here to catch up on Clutter Control #1: The Underwear Drawer.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I almost hate to admit this as a "relative" of yours - I honestly don't think I knew you wore contacts...you learn something new everyday! Great post!!

This Mom said...

That is funny! Yep, I'm pretty blind without them, and in the last several years I think I have worn glasses once in public. It's partly vanity, but partly because the blurry peripheral views really throw me off. I don't feel like I'm fully dressed for the day without my lenses in!

pamalot said...

I finally got around to clutter control #2.

Our bathrooms are very small so I keep extra supplies in the office closet (yes it's true)

I have so many samples of shampoo, floss, etc. but can't seem to let go of it...you know I WILL eventually use it...perhaps I should bring to my women's group..after finishing this task I tackled my medicine basket and removed all medication and took back to the pharmacy (all in 1 day)
thanks for the inspiration, I might be slow on the tasks but I plan to do them ALL

Essie Mortimer said...

Beauty products typically have a lifespan of about a year or two, depending on the product. Better remember the dates when you purchased it and it's good to put some label on it.