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Declutter Tips - how to Marie Kondo your Make Up and Cosmetics

If you’re looking for a small decluttering task that can make a big difference then why not give decluttering and organising your toiletries and make up a go? Read on for some simple decluttering tips and guidance on the best way to store make up and cosmetics.

Cosmetics and toiletries can easily build up unchecked as we’re tempted to try new products and stock up on our favourites whilst they’re on offer. Spending an hour decluttering and organising your products will help to make getting ready every morning a pleasant experience with everything close to hand.

Before organising your make up collection I recommend doing an audit of all the beauty products that you own. Spend a few minutes gathering everything together - remember to look in the bathroom, bedroom and don't forget to empty your make up bag(s), gym bag or handbags too!

How to declutter your Make Up - Audit

Top Decluttering Tip!: Sorting through your toiletries can get messy so it’s a good idea to pop a towel or sheet on the floor before starting to protect the carpet or any wood flooring.

  • Gather all your toiletries, skincare and make up together and sort them into different categories (see list below). This helps you to see exactly what you own - you may be surprised at the number of duplicates you have once they’re all gathered together. Collecting everything together will help you to make informed decisions about what to keep or discard before you go on to decide where to store everything in the future.

  • Take one category at a time and check that each item is still ‘in date’ – you can do this by looking at the number next to the small jar icon on the container for shelf life - throw away any that have been open longer than the number of months shown. The chart below shows the recommended shelf life for different products.

Make up expiry dates

  • It can be difficult to remember exactly when you first used each product so I recommend using a permanent pen to mark up the date I opened mascaras and toiletries to help keep track of when to discard them – this is particularly useful for skincare and eye products where you don’t want to risk getting a bad reaction from an old product.

As you work through each cosmetic category pull out the items that Spark Joy for you, the ones that you love using - use these as a benchmark to check whether you need to keep the other items.

Be honest with yourself – do you really need 5 red lipsticks, 9 different mascaras? Move on the ones that you know you’re not going to use.

NOW is the time to move on any products that you've tried but didn’t like the fragrance or had a bad reaction to.

Make the decision to move these on even if they were expensive - you’re unlikely to use them again and they are taking up useful storage space in your bathroom and bedroom

  • If you have products that you’re saving for special occasions get them out and start using them now! You’ll feel fantastic using that luxury body lotion that’s sat on the shelf since last Christmas.

Finally if you have a stash of miniature toiletries from hotel bathrooms (most of us do!) Pop a few of these in your travel toiletry bag for the next time you go away and consider donating the rest of them – Womens Refuges and nightshelters are usually happy to take them.

The Best Way To Store Your Make Up and Toiletries

Once you’ve decluttered it’s time to decide how and where to store everything but before you rush to put everything back take the opportunity to wipe down any drawers and make up bags that you use. Starting afresh with a clean make up bag or drawer will encourage you to keep your cosmetics in good condition so they last longer and will be nicer to use.

Victoria Green, who makes easy to care for make up and travel bags, recommends regularly wiping your make up bags down with cotton wool soaked in eye make up remover to keep them clean and hygienic. Her top tip is to use a cotton wool bud to clean the hard to reach corners.

When you are planning where to store your cosmetics and toiletries my tops tips are to..

  1. Always store similar items together. This will help you to remember exactly where things are as you’re rushing to get ready in the morning/evening and you'll be able to see exactly what you’ve got (so you can check what you already have before buying something new).

  2. Always store your skincare and make up separately – water based or fluid products can spill this would ruin any powder based make stored next to them.

If you’re storing your cosmetics in a drawer I recommend separating them out in to different containers or make up bags, keeping similar things together. It goes without saying that you need to put things back in the containers once you’ve used the item!

I've been trying out the Amy 3 in 1 make up bags from Victoria Green (see below), they're great for storing skincare, foundation and make up separately at home and even better for those grab and go moments when you're off out for the day and just need to take a few bits with you. The clear bag, which I've put my skincare bottles in, is leak proof and complies to all regulations for flight hand luggage liquids so you don't need to switch things over in to a plastic bag at the airport departure gate. I love the way the three bags fasten together with poppers so you can really easily carry all your cosmetics in one go when you’re next off on holiday.

It’s amazing how satisfying organising your toiletries can be, it makes pampering yourself more enjoyable and getting ready in the morning so much easier. I'd love to see how you get on so please get in touch with your before and after photos.

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I’m Sue Spencer, a Professional Organiser and KonMari Consultant trained by Marie Kondo. I'm based in Winchester and work remotely or in-person to help busy decision-makers declutter, organise and simplify their homes or offices so they can get on with the important job of enjoying life.

For a no-obligation chat about how I can help, please get in touch at

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I'm always happy to talk about all things decluttering & organising - if you'd like to have a chat

m: 07740 782575



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Sue Spencer KonMari Consultant
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Hi, I'm Sue!

I love all things decluttering and home organisation and trained with Marie Kondo to be a KonMari Consultant after experiencing the benefits of tidying my own home using the KonMari Method.

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