By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor and mama of 3
If you’re not completely addicted to the Konmari method, then you either haven’t watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix or you are already tidy and can you come help me, please.
Seriously, I’m trapped under a pile of 10-year-old clothes.
Just in case you’re unfamiliar and don’t have time to binge-watch the series, the Konmari method helps you declutter your life by removing anything that does not “spark joy”. This includes everything from clothes that no longer fit, to expired spices, to knick knacks your mother-in-law gave you ten years ago.
My husband and I did our dresser drawers this weekend and I am hooked. I am finding the closet too daunting, though, so I’m procrastinating by doing my bathroom cabinets next.
This hopefully won’t be too difficult, since I just did a big cleanse when we did a mini bathroom remodel. But I definitely held on to more than I needed to.
When you are ready to purge, there a few quick and easy things to start with until you get more attuned to what sparks joy. (Do I sound like Marie? Because she is my tiny, adorable spirit animal and I want to be her.)
Expired cosmetic products: A lot of beauty products will have a little icon that looks like an open jar with a number inside it. This indicates how many months the product is good for once it’s been opened.
Keep a Sharpie in your bathroom as part of your beauty supplies to write the date on the bottle when you open it. This is an easy way for you to remember when it’s time to part ways.
If you have a cream that outlives its expiration date, there’s a good chance it wasn’t a favorite anyway.
Mascara and liquid eyeliner should be disposed of every 3 months. Not only do they dry out and will become clumpy and harder to use, but the little tubes are breeding grounds for bacteria.
I’ve been marking my mascara with the date opened for a while now, since I have no memory of when I bought it, ever. It’s also helpful to decide if a certain brand dries out too fast and it may be time to switch.
Free samples and hotel shampoo: There is nothing better than free stuff and I think we all have a weird stash of tiny shampoos and eye shadows. You can donate these items to a local shelter.
This also includes all of those makeup bags you’ve received as a gift with purchase or with your monthly Ipsy subscription. They can be used to make travel toiletry bags for people without a permanent home or even as pencil and crayon bags for kids at shelters.
Unused styling tools: If you have upgraded your curling iron or hair dryer, go ahead and donate the old one if it’s still working or trash the ones that work okay, but are also kind of broken.
Thank them for keeping you from being a frizzy mess all those years and then toss them.
Or maybe you bought that awesome new waver that promised beachy waves and it was just a huge disappointment and now every time you open the drawer it irritates you. Pass it on!
For me, the attachments that come with my hairdryer take up too much space and go largely unused. Those space suckers need to go.
Unused products and gifts: Sometimes you spend good money on a product that doesn’t work for you or someone gifts you a thoughtful basket of lotions that just aren’t your scent. There’s nothing wrong with them and you hate to be wasteful by getting rid of them but it’s just as wasteful to let them sit in your cabinet unused. Give these away.
Because of an allergy, I receive gifts that I cannot use, as much as I appreciate the thought. I pass a lot of these things onto my nieces or use them on my daughters.
Declutter your shower: This is the worst place in the house to clean, even on a good day. But having to move ten different bottles, a few old razors and several unraveled sponges makes you seriously reconsider just how dirty the shower is.
Mold is organic, right? *shudder*
Start by trashing all of the almost empty bottles. You probably already bought a replacement that’s taking up space anyway, or it’s something you never liked in the first place.
Sponges and the like should be replaced monthly to prevent contamination, so toss them. They cost a dollar, treat yourself.
If you aren’t sure which razor is “the good razor”, trash them all and start fresh. This is a great time to use your trusty Sharpie again.
Special treatments and masks should be kept in a cabinet and only pulled out when you are planning on using them.
The true Konmari method teaches to keep nothing in the shower at all since the humidity is a breeding ground for mold and will deteriorate your products faster. If you have a shelf outside the shower stall, quickly towel dry your products and store them in a tray there. Or use a caddy to transport everything out of sight and under a cabinet. This may seem like a lot of time spent but if you are only getting out the items you use for that shower then you don’t have to worry about drying all of the unused bottles that got wet just from proximity. And less bottles to move around means a quick wipe down of the shower instead of a grueling chore.
I only wash my hair once a week, so I’m needlessly exposing my hair products to moisture and heat every time I jump in for a quick body wash. My husband is definitely not going to like this new plan, so a good compromise is a hanging caddy big enough for just his products. That way they won’t be gunking up any surface area.
Don’t feel intimidated by before and after pics online or Marie Kondo teaching her 3-year-old how to fold better than you ever will. This really is an exercise to make your life easier.
And if you are still in the stage where you have a million little bathtub toys to wrangle, I’m sorry, but it will pass. And throw out any squeezy toy that squirts water. It has mold in it, I promise.
Happy New Year, Mamas!!!
Andi Douglas always makes us laugh and is the mama of three especially cute kiddos. She loves talking about hair and make-up, so send her a question about either of those two topics and she’ll be happy to help a mama out. Email her at mamasATnwaMotherlodeDOTcom.