If you have been following this blog for the past few months then you have probably seen my method of decluttering . I called it the box project. Ok ok...not the most original name I know but hey I'm a minimalist...I couldn't exactly call it the simplification by sorting your life into boxes so you can live outside the box and have a happy life project....although accurate its quite the mouthful. If you haven’t read that here is the link which goes on to how I decluttered efficiently while safeguarding myself from regrets of things that I parted with before I was actually ready to let go.
A quick simple simple summary basically you choose your category and then decide how much of that category you want in your life. You take a box that is the size that you want everything in that category to fit into and start putting your favorites in first and anything that doesn’t fit you get rid of after you choose and put aside the things that you are sad did not make the cut.
So after the box project post went up people have been asking for examples. So here I give you one of my favorite categories: beauty! When categorizing beauty I include not only makeup/makeup tools but skincare and haircare as well.
As most woman know there are certain categories that if you are doing a full face of makeup you just need to have. For a full face you usually need moisturizer, primer, concealer, foundation, blush, highlighter, bronzer, eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, lip liner, lipstick, powder, and a setting spray. So if we are doing a full face and only have one of each that is already 14 items not to mention the tools to apply everything.
So I decided I wanted all my makeup to fit in one makeup bag. I also wanted everything including the makeup bag to fit inside one box that I would be able to put underneath my bathroom sink.
This is the amount of space that I wanted beauty to occupy in my life. I felt comfortable with this amount but I had two cabinets underneath the sink and three bathroom draws full of stuff!
So it was time to get down to business. I gathered all my makeup from all over the house. I made sure to check all my purses, bags, the car, my desk at work to get every last item of beauty, every chapstick, lip-gloss, all the way down to my vary last hair tie.
As you will see in the before and after pictures I grouped everything by steps so I could see how much of each item I had.
I put everything in matching sized box tops so that I could accurately see how much of each subcategory I had as I compared it to others.
In this first picture I have tools, lips, eyeliners, and mascara.
Tools I have it simplified already. Lips I had way to much of. When you gather like things you will probably surprise yourself because I have no idea why I had 12 chapsticks since I almost never ever wear chap stick. And the eyeliner….well I still haven’t been able to master the art of the eyeliner with a hooded eye so why I have 15 eyeliners I will never know (13 of which were still in the plastic and completely unopened). The mascaras, well there are only two that I have ever liked.
Now looking at the after picture it looks like I got rid of about 80% of everything in the boxes and I only took my very favorite items.
When going thru each subcategory I make sure to line everything up from my most favorite to least favorite and I start at my favorite side and start putting things back in the box until I reach a place in the line where I don’t love the next item that I am about to put in OR in some cases like clothing I run out of room. That is where the purgatory box comes in. If you don’t know what that is it will save you from regret while purging quickly so make sure to read that article here.
Looking at this next grouping I had primers, hair extras, moisturizing items, and eyebrows. I repeated the process described above. I did my line up and made my cuts. In this grouping I would say that I got rid of 75% of an already small group.
Next grouping setting spray, setting powder, bronzing/highlighting, and blush. Looking at the after picture is always so pleasing because it is nothing but my favorites.
Now this section took a lot of work. The line up: foundation, skincare, sunscreen, and eyeshadows. I have so many foundations because I have yet to find one that I love or that matches my skin tone. Like many women I have to become a mad scientist in the morning mixing different shades to get the right one with some moisturizing serum so that I have a nice finish. Skincare, well there is nothing more important than skincare and I am always trying to find what my skin needs. What my skin needs changes so often that oftentimes I get a chance to finish the product. I am still trying to find the perfect sunscreen hence all the samples. And eyeshadow I have no idea what is going on there since I use only two pallets and a few other colors.
If you take a look at the after picture it is crazy the difference. I got rid of 95% of it in one big swoop and each sub category of makeup is taking me about five minutes or less to finish and make my decisions.
Those were all my categories so take a look at my blue box again and all the products that I got rid of on the right. That box is much taller than the blue box and I got rid of over 250 products in under an hour. I organized my beauty routine so its only things I love, efficient, and organized. I know everything that I have.
One of the great things about the box on the left? Of the around 250 products that I was getting rid of 115 of them were unused or simply swatched. Yes it hurts my heart a bit to think of how much I spent on those items but never again will I be that frivolous. I know what I like and I am sticking to it!
But with all that money spent I decided to get some of it back. I sold those 115 products as a large grouping of makeup on a local fb group for $85. I know that might not be much to some but that money was enough for an extra date night that month. So while all that makeup was just sitting there under my sink, taking up room, slowing me down, causing me stress while increasing my anxiety I got rid of all that extra baggage and someone paid me to let them take it off my hands! I think I won in that deal :) Make sure to check back on Friday to see what we did with that money for our extra fun date night. After this efficient purge it felt like a huge weight had been lift off my shoulders. I did this purge over a week ago and since I have still been getting rid of a few product in my box. Some others I used up the end of it and haven’t felt a need to replace.
Here is what made the cut if you are interested.
So in summary I now have a total of 70 items. 75 with the toothbrush, hairbrush, blow dryer, straightener, and curling iron.
I went from 330 items to 70 which means I got rid of about 80% in around an hour and made $85 with an additional 45 minutes of work. Needless to say it was a very productive couple of hours.
I cant wait to show you what we did with the $85 and how we spent it on a fun adventure which in a way didn’t cost us a thing or put a ding to our monthly budget. Living simply always brings you many surprises and benefits and I am excited to share one of those with you very soon. Let me know if you are going to try this method and comment below if you could use some simplification in this department or any others.