How To Use The Marie Kondo Method to Declutter Your Makeup

How to get tidy and stay tidy

Hands up if you watched one episode of Marie Kondo’s tidying show on Netflix and immediately folded everything you’ve ever owned – yeah, us too.

Her kind but cut throat approach to organising and maintaining order is simple; if it doesn’t spark joy then you don’t need it. So we’re taking it up a notch and attempting to declutter our makeup bags using the KonMari method and the expertise of professional organisers.

Whatever your reasoning for putting it off, there’s no better time for a sort out. So, we’ve consulted the help of a decluttering expert and professional organisers Kate Ibbotson, from A Tidy Mind, and Jo Jacob, from Benella, to help us get started. With tips and storage solutions, here’s how to get your shit together and maintain it.

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What To Chuck

Guilty of an overflowing makeup bag? It’s not an uncommon problem, Ibbotson explains. “Cosmetics are a common source of clutter as often we end up with duplicates of similar products and a lack of established habits to use them up. As a general rule, once opened, liquid products should be kept for no longer than 6 months and other products, a year.”

It’s also important to look at products you no longer use or need and find them a good home. “When decluttering, note that charity shops can’t take make up unless it is sealed but Facebook groups, women’s refuges or homeless shelters might,” she adds.

“Unopened high end make-up will also sell well on eBay. Don’t hang on to something because you spent a lot of money on it if it doesn’t suit you. The money has already been spent and it’s just distracting you from things you do actually use.”

What To Keep

As for maintaining tidiness and an organised space, Jacob recommends to check what you have before buying anymore so you don’t get too cluttered. “When items are stored together you can see what you have. Do you really need seven red lipsticks or nine mascaras?” she asks. If you’re not using a product, donate it.

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How To Organise

First up is your go-to bag of everyday makeup. Ibbotson’s top tip is to keep daily-used makeup in a bag like this fold up one. “Having basic supplies all in one place and portable will be convenient and the bag can be washed as required. Have a permanent resting place for your make up bag in your home and keep it close to wherever you use it,” she says.

Upcycle pen storage jars and old candle jars for brushes and eye pencils, recommends Jacob. “Group items together by likeness, e.g. keep foundation, concealers and powders in one place and eyeshadows and lipsticks in another.”

Acrylic storage can work well for more extensive or ’special occasion make-up collections and this can also be placed inside drawers to prevent lesser used items taking up space on surfaces, says Ibbotson. The Container Store offers a huge selection of acrylic storage options, we like this one for its varied compartment sizes that will fit brushes and lipsticks with bulkier items like foundation and compacts.

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Or if you prefer to keep your daily used products on display, consider this rotating organiser (Amazon, £19.99) that comes with adjustable shelves and removable compartments. Fitting products from tiny tweezers to chunky perfumes, it can store your makeup and skincare regime in one place. Prop your brushes up in a vertical stand like this one (Oliver Bonas, £24). As chic as they are practical, it’s the perfect makeup kit companion and space saver.

Ibbotson recommends bamboo storage, as it’s hard wearing, natural and attractive. This Ikea one (£13) comes with three compartments, all easily accessible and roomy enough for small tools and brushes but deep enough to fill with hair rollers and bigger toiletries.

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