Spring Cleaning

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While Spring continues to tease us, we’re getting ready to swap our thick moisturizers for light serums, deep red lipsticks for corals, and brace ourselves for that annual spring cleaning overhaul. We all accumulate beauty products and keeping them organized and knowing what expiration dates to follow can feel overwhelming, but it’s important for your mind and body to have exactly what you need, where you need it, when you need it - so we have a few tips to help you get organized. Yes, this might mean tossing old mascara tubes and a trip to The Container Store. But, when we are done with you, you will feel so fresh, so clean, and so organized for the new season.

First, kiss your old products goodbye!

Kaitlin McElroy, certified KonMari consultant and founder of KMC Lifestyle Consulting (@kmc.home), always encourages her clients by saying “Purging is king!”

Kaitlin believes that “Decluttering is a critical first step. If you don’t first reduce the volume of products you own (and limit products coming in, too!), your new organization system will soon become cluttered again.”

Some immediate benefits are: 

  1. Save time tidying and searching for those missing products
  2. Appreciate what you already have
  3. Try new looks because you can see what you own!

Decluttering makeup and skincare products are like any other category in our home:

  • You must start by gathering all products in one place (don’t forget to check purses, gym bags, bedroom and bathroom storage).
  • Kaitlin likes using her kitchen table to sort items into piles of like products (makeup: eyeshadow, bronzer, mascara, etc. skincare: serum, daycream, nightcream, sunscreen, etc). Only now can you see how much you already own!
  • Next, pile by pile, set aside your favorite products.
  • Then, assess what you’re ready to let go of (pro tip: anything that doesn’t spark joy! I often have clients consider if they’d purchase this product again today, if they feel great when they wear it, or try to remember when you last used it.) Duplicates are a good place to start.

All beauty products have an expiration date and yes - it really means the product is expired. Maybe not expired like rotten banana expired, but the active ingredients may no longer work or the formula may have broken down. Let’s start with the obvious. Get rid of anything that…

  • Smells off
  • Has changed color
  • Has been practically empty for 6 months
  • Has separated and doesn’t require you to “shake well”
  • You remember it being in your backpack in high school

If the obvious signs aren’t there - don’t fret! Every beauty product is required to list a PAO (Package After Open). This can be found right on the product itself. Look for a little icon that looks like an open jar. If the jar says “6M” that means that you have 6 months to use this product AFTER it has been opened.


Now that you have tossed the oldies it’s a great idea to organize by color or product type.

Lipstick is a good example - you can separate by color families: reds, oranges, pink, nudes, etc. This is how most makeup artists organize their kits. It makes it much easier to find what you are looking for when you’re in a time crunch to get ready for a night out.

Remember: your goal is to keep like items together!


Interior Designer and Founder of LifeStyle Curator, Erika Burt, fills us in on best practices for organizing and storing:

“To achieve the best results, you will need a few basic organizing supplies from The Container Store, Target, Amazon … many retailers carry various versions of containers, bins and baskets, so based on your overall aesthetic, budget and drawer/cabinet size, you should be able to find exactly what you need.

Once your products are separated by category type, assess your inventory within each category. This will help you decide how large or small the organizing tool will need to be to properly store your products. Also keep in mind the season and any future purchases, especially if you tossed product that you will need to replace.”


Organizing Tip: In addition to tossing old or unused product, cleaning and wiping down your beauty products prior to organizing and storing them will ensure a beautiful and clean end result.

Once you have identified how much space you will need to store each category, purchase the organizers that will best house your products.

Organizing Tip: Make sure you measure the area your organizational tools will live once filled to ensure they will fit.


 You can donate products you haven’t opened and aren’t going to use instead of tossing them! Find a local youth center or shelter that is taking donations and simply drop off your unwanted goods.

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