Monday, January 25, 2010

Resolution for Organization: Sorting Cosmetics

I accomplished my resolution for the week to organize my cosmetics! I gathered everything on the kitchen table and threw away about a third.  I used makeup bags and pouches I already had instead of buying new, so the project cost nothing.

Also in accordance to my rule to take "Before" shots so that I can remember what I've accomplished, here is my entire collection of cosmetics, makeup, hair stuff, etc.:

Here is after I've thrown things away and sorted what I could into bags:

In accordance with the advice from many organizing blogs, I've separated the stuff into zones according to frequency of use.  Since frequency of use is very, very subjective, your sorting may look very different from mine!  I have fairly few cosmetics because I don't bother with makeup, jewelry or styling my hair on an every day basis.  I only need those tools for when I go out socially.  I don't even own hairspray, a hair dryer or a curling iron.

Zone A items are items I use daily or weekly, and are all somewhere within easy reach of where I usually use them.  Things like hairbrushes, deoderant, etc. I don't really count in cosmetics since they're basic grooming items, but they should be within reach of the bathroom sink without my having to stoop or rummage through other things. Lotions, hair-ties and a bag of the basic make-up I use when I go out are all within reach when I'm standing at the bathroom mirror. 

Zone B are the things I use maybe once a month or two, but don't want to go crawling into the back of shelves for them.  I don't often do anything fancy with my hair, so I consolidated things such as clips, barrettes, styling combs, etc. into an old makeup bag.  Ditto for a bag of nail things (man/ped tools, polish, remover, etc.) and another with seldom-worn jewelry items sorted into snack-size ziplocks to keep the necklaces from going Gordian.  Jewelry I don't wear at all went either into the trash, my craft area (to cannibalize beads and such) or a "give-away" stash, depending on condition.

Zone C are things I use once or twice a year at most.  Most items like this I tossed, but there are a few things I wear around Halloween, at Ren Fairs, etc.  that I kept.  These are relegated to the back of a shelf in the bedroom closet and labeled "Costume" so that they're not taking up valuable bathroom real-estate.

Zone D are things that I never use or don't like (i.e. expensive lotions I don't like, gifted jewelry I never wear, old makeup in bad shades).  The proper places for Zone D items are either in the trash, or at someone else's house :-)

Cosmetics Zone D:

Scents are always tricky for me.  As you see, maybe a fifth or more of my cosmetics are fancy scented lotions, perfumes and body-washes.  I love these, but because they're expensive I tend to "save them up".  There's one bottle of perfume I've had for 12 years. I love it, but I know I'll never be able to replace it.  It was a gift from an exchange student from Brazil the year I was getting ready to go on my own exchange year, and the company that makes it doesn't export to the U.S..  So I keep it, and use it maybe once a year.  But there's a difference between a sentimental perfume, and a bottle of lotion from Bath and Body Works.  There's no point in "saving" easily replaced items like that for some special occasion.  If I enjoy it then I should use it every day.  There's a certain level of crazy in having an enormous stash of nice lotions, yet walking around all day with cracking dry skin.

So my new resolution is in the category of Self, and is to every day this week use one of my "saved" lotions, for no other reason than that I enjoy them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I used to save up perfumed items like that. Then, I realized that I was seldom using them because I didn't like the way they made my skin. More importantly, I discovered that perfumes make me feel nauseous and give me a splitting headache while leaving a chemical taste in the back of my throat.

Assuming that your lotions aren't making you feel sick without you noticing it, are they making your skin feel dry or sticky or greasy?

If I recall correctly, I started using coconut oil in my hair because you recommended it. That could be a good thing to add to a lotion that has a lot of drying alcohol in it (as many perfumey lotions do). If the scent doesn't go well, a drop or two of safflower oil could be good too. It's a non-comedogenic oil and I use it on my acne-prone face with no issues at all.

If too greasy or sticky, a very light dusting of baby powder, corn starch, or arrowroot powder could be helpful.

Take what you can use and ignore the rest. It's good to see you posting again. Your blog is one of the reasons I never deleted mine.