Hi Everyone. I’m so excited to be back contributing another blog post for KUSSHI!
One of the tenants I live by as an organizer is that ‘Organized Clutter is still Clutter’. So, seeing as it’s a new year (and even bigger, a new decade), I want to encourage everyone to get on the decluttering train.
While individual makeup items might be small, an overabundance of products (especially ones you don’t, or shouldn’t use anymore) can quickly accumulate. A surplus of anything can make you feel overwhelmed. It can also cost you time and money: time maintaining your ‘stuff’, time lost looking for what you really need, and money purchasing products you already have because you can’t find them. Lastly, an overabundance can cause us to easily keep expired or ineffective items that can be potentially dangerous. So, if you want more time back in your mornings, more money left in your pocket, and a reduced likelihood of sunburn and infections, read on for my decluttering tips!
Step 1: Collect Everything Together
The first stop on the declutter train is gathering everything together. Settle in because I bet you have more than you ever thought you did and seeing it all together will prove it (which is largely why this step is critical). Find a large(ish), clear space to work in and start gathering all your makeup and skincare. Feel free to just dump at this point. It will get worse before it gets better but trust the process.
Step 2: Sort into Categories
To really declutter intentionally, you need to compare like with like. So, once everything is together, it’s time to start sorting. All cleansers together, all eyeshadows together, all eyeliners, foundations, serums, powders, etc. The more you have, the more micro I encourage you to go. Some makeup enthusiasts will need to get super micro splitting glitter eyeshadows into shimmer and matte for example.
Step 3: Toss Anything Expired
Did you know makeup and skincare expire? While the US doesn’t require cosmetics to have expiration dates, many companies have started printing these recommendations right on their products. Look for a round jar symbol with a number inside. This represents the number of months you should use the product after it has been opened.
When it comes to sunscreen, the FDA requires brands to either prove their sunscreen lasts for three years or the brand is required to print an expiration date on their product. So, check for expiration dates and if there isn’t one, assume it’s 3 years from when you purchased it.
For makeup, there are standard guidelines around how long you should keep products based on type. Typically, the ‘wetter’ the product the quicker it needs to be disposed of after opening due to it’s potential for bacteria growth. I’ve compiled this helpful guide on makeup expiration as a reference:
Tip: if you have a hard time determining when you opened something, start writing it on your products with a sharpie so you can keep track and make this process easier in the future.
Lastly, even if something meets the timeline guidelines above, if the consistency seems off or if it smells, just toss it.
Step 4: Toss Everything Else You Don’t Use or Doesn’t Suit You
This is the final decluttering step so get brutal with yourself. Start with the easy stuff first. We all take risks from time to time buying a new product to see if it works for our complexion or lifestyle. Sometimes they are a hit and we have a new personal cult favorite, and sometimes we determine orange-reds are not our friend or that a moisturizer makes us breakout. Toss all these items immediately. You will never use them so don’t waste time stumbling over them to get to the products that actually work for you.
The last, and most difficult category of items to toss, are those that do work for us but, if we’re honest, aren’t ones we go to often or ever. Toss those too. After all, how many nude lipsticks or toners do you REALLY need and REALLY use? Maybe it’s 2 and maybe it’s 22 but only you know that.
Hopefully, you now have a manageable number of products left and you feel good about the culling process and what’s remaining. Keep all your everyday items categorized and in an easily accessible location (like your Kusshi bag, which is where I keep mine). Any backstock items or products you don’t use as frequently should still be stored, by category, in an easy to access place.
Lastly, remember that decluttering, and organizing, aren’t one and done activities. They take ongoing maintenance. I encourage you to repeat the above process every six months to make sure you catch those expired products and keep your stash in control. And, if you haven’t already, make sure you check out my previous post here where I get into how I, as a Professional Organizer, organize my makeup.
Happy beautifying everyone!