If you have multiple half-used tubes of hand lotion, expired eye makeup, random samples from brands you’ve never used and free lipsticks scattered across your bathroom and bedroom, join the club. It’s hard not to hoard products — you never know when you might run out of moisturizer and need to tap into your sample stock. And why not just keep everything because you have the space, right?
But if you have jabs of anxiety while looking at your stock of beauty and personal care products — or have trouble keeping track of what you have — it might be time to reassess your cabinets. It might be time to Marie Kondo your bathroom.
The Marie Kondo, or KonMari method, is the idea of assessing each product to see if it sparks joy in your life, says Ana Alexandrovna, CEO and co-founder of Minori, a beauty and lifestyle blog focused on minimalism. “It’s equal to having only the things that bring you absolute joy, and that you have consciously gone through and decided to keep in your life because it's making your life better.”
This doesn’t mean purging your cabinets down to the bare essentials, or becoming a minimalist. A collector could KonMari her whole home but decide to keep every item in her collection because it sparks joy, Ana says. Minimalists might use the KonMari method to maintain order and peace in their homes, but minimalism and the KonMari method are not the same concept.
Ana mapped out five steps to KonMari your personal care and beauty products:
1. Gather all the personal care items in your house — not just in your bathroom.
The point is not just to tidy your bathroom, Ana says, but rather the category of personal care items in your house. Check your bathroom, bedroom, car, purse, guest bedroom and wherever else you might keep them. This includes tools too, like nail clippers and hair dryers.
2. Put all the products in one pile.
Yes, so you can see how much you really have. Ana recommends placing the pile on a sheet you don’t mind getting dirty, in case a product breaks or spills.
3. Assess each product one by one.
You’re going to make three new piles: keep, donate and throwaway. Your assessment of the product shouldn’t be about whether you have space to keep it, she says. Rather, think about if this products makes you happy. Ask yourself if you would repurchase it, or if you would replace it if lost or lent to someone and never returned. Ask these questions for every product you have.
That being said, not every product you keep, like utilitarian products, will spark joy (if nail clippers spark joy for you, that’s great!). Instead, reassess them in your mind and appreciate the value for what they are, and keep them with confidence.
4. Reorganize your keep pile.
Once you’ve determined which products you want to keep, separate like products with like products — put all your lipsticks together, all your eye makeup together and so on. Then, find some organizers so you can display all the products standing up, she says. This will make it easier to see what you have, and also be more aesthetically pleasing to look at. You can repurpose old boxes you already have in your house, for example, or purchase an organizer if it will make you happy.
If you still have a large collection but not a lot of space, it could also help to put your essential products in a small makeup bag to place near your vanity, and keep the rest of your collection under the sink, she says.
5. Reassess your products every six months.
It might take a few rounds to KonMari your collection, as it’s hard for many women to complete it in the first attempt, Ana says. Once you’re completely happy with your collection, you should reassess at least every six months to discard expired products. Most skincare products expire within two years of opening, so consider making notes about when bought or opened them.
You’ll likely start to notice your buying habits change over time — maybe you’ll buy less. Or you might upgrade your products to more luxurious ones, something Ana personally does. “I try to finish a lot of items that I had, and kind of reward myself,” she says.
If you find that you want to use and keep less products overall, multipurpose products could be your solution. Products like Meant’s Do-All Wash, which can be used as a shampoo, body wash and face wash, and the Do-All Conditioner, which also functions as a hair mask and shaving cream, synthesize the number of bottles in your shower.
Have you KonMari-ed your personal care collection? Let us know in the comments below!