Published on January 17, 2019

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Photography by Aaron Bengochea

Blame Marie Kondo: Decluttering is currently sparking a whole lotta joy. Everyone is thanking their socks for their service, folding T-shirts so they stand on their own, and overall KonMari’ing nearly every corner of their homes. Beyond decluttering, part of the Kondo movement is being more conscious of the items you own. It’s a challenge to buy less and appreciate the items you already have (nicely folded) waiting for you at home.

But what about your beauty drawers and makeup stash? Kondo fans aren’t letting the tidying bug end with their dresser drawers.

 

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Instagram account Estee Laundry—kind of like the anonymous ombudsman to the beauty industry—has been championing the #ShopMyStash challenge for the month of January (and beyond), encouraging followers to “use less, buy less, and use up what you already own by shopping your own beauty stash.” It’s focused on the trending concept and movement built around decluttering your personal stash of beauty products and spending the month, and even year, using up your stash, rather than buying unnecessary new items.

If you, like me, have perhaps more beauty products than a small Sephora store, this sustainable concept is entirely refreshing—and, yep, very necessary. Beauty fans are following suit too. Thus far, over 25,000 people have used the #ShopMyStash hashtag, documenting their movement away from an industry that’s known for its usual throwaway, casual wastefulness. And you, too, can declutter the KonMari way.

 

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First, go through all your skincare, haircare, beauty, and mini samples and check expiration dates (weed that mountain of beauty products back down to a molehill). You do not want to put anything expired near your face. Here is a guide of when to keep and when to toss. Those numbers printed on it aren’t just kind suggestions—they are hard rules, as bacteria growth can begin to grow excessively—no thank you!

 

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Much as you do when cleaning out your jeans drawer, you’ll probably find a few treasures you even forgot were around. (See? You’re doing great!) Now, do as Marie would do: Hold your not-expired items and ask, Do you love that concealer or does it cake every damn time you apply it? Do you need another face mask that claims to “moisturize deeply” when you’ve already got 11 of those sitting behind it? Toss the obvious offenders and feel free to hold onto the ones you’re still on the fence about. You can narrow those items further down the (yellow palette) road.

 

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Now that you’ve Mari’d the items you actually want to use, this is the #ShopMyStash part of the adventure. Use up those face washes and body oils before you add a brand-new one to your cart on Ulta. Of course, if you really are out of one of your staple items or have a beauty emergency, feel free to purchase. Some people employ, just as they do in their closets, a “one in, one out” rule, meaning for each item you purchase, you get rid of another item. Whatever your game plan is, you’ll need some organization…

If you can store your selects nicely in a cabinet or drawer, fabulous. For those who don’t have as much storage or prefer a more open-concept version, there are plenty of beauty organization solutions.

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Courtesy of Muji

Muji makes the best clear, acrylic drawers, $36, that beautifully fit all manners of makeup and skincare into tidy containers.

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Courtesy of The Container Store

 

The Container Store, $7.99–$21.99, makes a variety of sizes within one modular storage system.

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Courtesy of Ikea

Even Ikea, $19.99, has a handy beauty lover–approved storage solutions that’ll tidily fit inside a drawer.

Have products that are gently used or unused? Donate them, as there are some wonderful organizations that would gladly accept them, like Project Beauty Share, Dress for Success, or your local shelter. (Be sure to check with each to assure their regulations for accepting opened, barely used products.)

The magic of not only tidying up but also paring down.

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