I know everyone is sick of hearing about Marie Kondo, but she is so popular for a reason. Instead of the usual tidying methods that involve aggressive change, clutter shaming, and intensive renovations and makeovers, the KonMarie method is so simple. Simply find what sparks joy, and thank what you no longer need. There isn’t a prescribed number of items that every person must have, as every person is different. One person may only find joy in a dozen books, while someone else may find joy in fifty. One person may be happy with a minimalist closet, while another may have a beautiful collection of shoes that brings happiness to their daily life. It’s different for everyone, and that’s okay.
I first read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up about a year and a bit ago, and at that time I wasn’t really able to entirely overhaul my home and belongings. I lived in a one bedroom apartment, had just finished up my degree, and was working multiple jobs. I often worked anywhere from 9 to 16 days in a row without a day off, and worked physically and emotionally demanding jobs, so that when I came home I just did not have the energy to dump out my makeup drawer or my closet and go through my items one by one.
However, at the start of 2019 I was stuck at home sick with the flu for a week, and began watching Marie Kondo’s new show on Netflix, as I couldn’t leave my bed or my house as per doctor’s orders. With this spare time stuck at home alone, I started dumping drawers onto my bed and began sorting and tidying inbetween naps. I haven’t necessarily gone in Kondo’s recommended order of categories, but have been sorting as I’ve needed and have revisited a few categories a second time if I kept too many items the first time due to guilt or sentimental attachment. I have accumulated A LOT of stuff throughout the years, and I’m pretty sure I still have stuff at my parents’ house even.
Makeup was a hard category, as I’m very aware of how much each item costs and couldn’t help but feel as if I was throwing away money at first, even though so many items I never used, didn’t have the desire to use in the future, or had expired. Books were the second hardest, as there is this weird culture with English students and writers where you almost have this strange sense of pride over who and what is on your bookshelf, as well as the number of books you own. The fact that many of the books I owned were by local authors that I personally know or local authors that I look up to made it even harder to get rid of these books! I had to sit down, pause, and remind myself that I had already purchased the book, sang its praises, and supported the author to the best of my ability. By donating these books to others who might not otherwise have access to this book was only helping both that person, the author, and myself. I had to remind myself over and over again that there was virtually no downside to donating the books I knew I would not reread, and eventually I got over that hurdle. Considering that there are very few books I’ve actually wanted to reread in my lifetime, I donated a fair chunk of them.
Jumping back to the makeup, I want to touch on something that Hannah Louise Poston has mentioned in a number of her videos, the idea that having some empty space in her home is more valuable than certain items. I am discovering, as I continue to declutter, sort, and clean, that this is true for me as well. Prior to decluttering, I had zero space for anything new in my home. I moved to my new rental, much larger than my prior apartment, at the end of November, and unpacking literally came to a standstill because I didn’t have space for what remained in my boxes. That’s right. Even though I now had significantly more square footage at my disposal, I STILL didn’t have enough room for all of my belongings. If I were to find a new plant or a new book that I really liked, I wouldn’t have had anywhere to put it. Home wasn’t necessarily a space where I could ditch my stress and anxiety, because the number of items in my home was a cause of my anxiety and stress. This was contrasted so greatly by the yoga studio I attend, and the “after” shots of the homes in Marie Kondo’s show, where there was just enough blank space to put the mind at ease, but just enough items in the space to make it feel as if it had heart and character.
I’m not yet done decluttering, but I am getting to a point where there is a more comfortable amount of blank space in my home and that letting things go isn’t as difficult.
I wanted to share some of the decluttering I’ve done in my makeup collection, in case anyone else is working on downsizing their collection and making more space.
Eyeshadow palettes have been my weakness. Partially because they’re colourful, shiny, and divine, and partially I think because the trend and focus of new releases for the past year or two has been eyeshadow palettes. I thanked and decluttered my Tarte Make Believe in Yourself Palette because I never use it, my Tarte Swamp Queen palette because it’s very old and rarely used anymore, my Nyx Palette because I’m not a fan of the formulation, and my Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette because I have shade dupes for every single shade in that palette, but in better formulated shadows. I don’t think I will be buying anything from Tarte in the future as the ethics of their very whitewashed company rub me the wrong way, and I’m not overly drawn to their repetitive products at this point anyways. I have no beef with Urban Decay or Nyx, but just don’t use these palettes, and know they will be better used in the hands of a friend.
The gold and glass tray on the left has been with me for awhile. It used to be entirely filled with lip products, and I even had a smaller second tray for the overflow. The products on the right are all either very expired, freebies I never really sought out myself, or products that I’ve never been super into but came in a set of other lip products. Those on the right are all hitting the trash bin! It’s refreshing to see space in my tray, to have less decision fatigue when selecting a lipstick in the morning, and less guilt about leaving products unused. I’ve whittled it down to my favourites, and now stand a chance of actually using some of these products up before they expire.
I found that I wasn’t using a lot of my face products because they were all in separate, smaller palettes or compacts, and I had to open each and every one to see it. I depotted the majority of my blushes, contours, and highlighters, and put them in these magnetic palettes (that I got on sale!) so that I could chuck the shades I no longer liked and have the ones I do still love where I can easily view them. In doing so I downsized several palettes and compacts into two, and now have a rearrangeable palette I can curate for travel and other circumstances.
After purging the makeup, I took another gander at my skincare drawer and chucked a bunch of old crusty bottles, and rearranged my drawer. Everything feels more spacious, and less overwhelming, and I love it! I may still purge a bit more, but for now, this is a positive step.
Have you fallen into the Marie Kondo organizational trend? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your makeup or skincare collection? And would you rather have space, or have your space be filled to the brim? I’m curious to see what works for others!