Every year I make resolutions of emotional, spiritual or physical feats. I want to be a better / stronger / fitter fill-in-the-blanks. But this year I’ve settled on more practical ideals and goals. I want to be a cleaner person. Hear me out — I’m not unsanitary by any means, so no need to call the health department. But I am messy to the bone; a pile-making, laundry-ignoring, can live with any amounts of clothes on the closet floor kind of messy and now that I look through my beauty cabinet — possibly a hoarder. When we moved into our new house, I made myself a promise to change those bad habits. No more messy, no more unorganized. So far, I’d give myself a B+. Our house is clean and organized — until you look into the drawers. So this year I’ve decided to start fresh and I wanted to start in a place that I spend a lot of time in — my beauty cabinet.
This is a fantastic place to start if you are weary of organizing — it’s usually a small and concentrated area that you can get done in one afternoon. Not like a garage, which I’m estimating is like 40 afternoons. That will not be a post on here. Let a girl have a messy garage, ok?
Here was my beauty cabinet in my bathroom. Do not look too hard. You’ve been warned.
Cue the horror music in your head.
FOR SHAME. That, my friends, is the text book definition of a hot mess. Kind of functional but mainly just shoved into baskets and places. And just for my own vanity’s sake, here is the after photo. I think just heard a collectively sigh.
See? MUCH better.
You too can take your mess to your best with a bit of organizing. The very first thing I did to that mess above was make an even bigger mess: I took everything out and started with a blank slate. Let’s get that de-cluttering gold!
+ Make it pretty. If you have to clean our and organize, then at least reward yourself with a trip to Target. I happily bought some pretty canisters and organizers for the bathroom. (I mean, just look at this gold one!) If I was going to organize, I want it to at least be pretty and hidden. I found so many organizers and I didn’t just stay in the bathroom aisle for inspiration, I found these canisters and crates in the kitchen section! (The crates work perfectly for rubber bands, if you’re like me and always are looking for a place to keep yours.) No more ugly plastic bins for my beauty cabinet.
+ Start with your beauty products and look at the expiration dates. The first of the year is a great time to pay attention to that small number on the bottom or back of most of your beauty products. If it’s past the recommended date, toss it. No need to hang on to expired products. (For the future reference, take a sharpie and write on the bottom of your products when you bought them! Then you’ll know when to toss.)This is also a nice time to re-assess your beauty products that you love and want to keep purchasing and new products that you need. I have now realized my love for face masks, like the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. I put it on at night and it works while I sleep. In the morning my face feels tighter and happier. Same with hair masks, too — I’ve started once a week using the Shea Moisture Deep Conditioner Hair Mask. It’s always nice to show a little kindness to your hair after a long week of curling irons and blow dryers.
+ Separate your items into three categories — things you use daily, monthly and then just every once in a while. My everyday pile is usually on heavy rotation and typically it’s already pared down to just necessities, but I still like to take out items that have expired or I simply don’t use. I always find makeup that I haven’t used or needs to be tossed. This is a great time to also re-order some of your favorite beauty products. If you do it while organizing, it’s one less thing to remember when you run to the store!
The occasional (weekly or monthly) pile would be items like dry shampoo, face masks, deep conditioners, etc. These are products that you use, but perhaps not everyday. I like to hide these products in the large canisters or pretty organizers.
The third pile is the every once in a while pile. This is probably the pile that you can de-clutter the most. Somehow all of these little things that I only use every blue moon or I no longer use all end up in the same dusty corner of my cabinets that I forget about for years. But not today! I only keep what I know I’ve used in the last year. Then I tuck these things in canisters, out of sight but close enough to not be out of mind. (Extra points if you want to label the back of your canisters! This time of year always makes me want to bust out my label maker.) But if you haven’t used it in 6 months to a year, let it go.
+ Give your tools a bath! While you’ve got your makeup, brushes and sponges out, take a few minutes to give them a good clean. I use an antibacterial gentle soap (like Cetaphil) and wash out my brushes and sponges to start the year fresh. If you’re like me, even your make up compacts have gotten a bit dusty with other makeup, so take a makeup wipe or cotton ball with makeup remover and do a quick swipe over your compacts. Your clean face will thank you.
+ One of my favorite questions to ask when I start the great clean out is ‘why, Kendi, why?’ Feel free to use my name, or insert your own name into this sentence. This can answers lots of questions I have as to why I put something where I did, why I bought something or why I’ve kept an empty container for so long. If you can’t give yourself a good enough answer to keep it, it gets tossed or relocated.
+ Lastly, this is my favorite part — start organizing! I like to place items in categories — hair, face, etc. to keep them in the same vicinity of each other so it’s always easy to find. You will be amazed at how much space you save. A little bit of organizing and decluttering can go a long way.A few of my favorite organizers from above: