4 Fun Challenges That Will Help Declutter Your Makeup Bag

One of the benefits of decluttering is that in getting rid of unwanted things, you make more time and room for the things you like. It can be painful to purge pretty things you spent your hard-earned (or hard-saved) money on, but it doesn’t always have to be a chore. Here are a few ways to tackle the clutter and make way for the makeup you actually want to use.

Project X Pan – Choose a specific number of products (anywhere from three to 10) that you want to “hit pan” on, meaning finish entirely. You can apply the “one in, one out” rule—use something up before allowing yourself to buy something new. If you have an extensive collection and really want to challenge yourself, try finishing up several items before allowing your next trip to Sephora. If you find yourself begrudgingly putting on makeup just to get rid of a product, it’s probably a sign that you should just toss it instead.

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Pan That Palette – Rather than trying to use up five different eyeshadow palettes at once, focus on just one. Challenge yourself to continuously use one palette for an extended period of time and experiment with new color combinations—you might just discover a new favorite look. You might not like every shade in a palette or have some palettes that are better in quality, so use your best judgment. If a palette no longer suits your needs, don’t feel bad getting rid of it.

The One-Week Face – Pick out one item in each category (eyeshadow, lipstick, concealer, etc.) and commit to using only those products for an entire week. If you find yourself not wanting to use any of the products, it’s probably time to say goodbye to them. This strategy also encourages you to cycle through your collection so you rediscover items you might have forgotten about.

Makeup Roulette – Separate your items by category and choose one at random from each bag every day. This mainly works for point makeup (i.e., eyeshadow, blush, lip products) and not so much for base makeup since your skin color might be between shades. If you have a very large collection, split up each category into color families (taupe eyeshadows, coral blushes, red lipsticks, etc.) to better coordinate your look. If you’re not in love with what you choose, reconsider if it needs to be in your collection at all.

Revamping your beauty arsenal starts with cleaning out those nooks and crannies in your vanity so you can reassess what you need and like. Streamlining your collection doesn’t have to happen overnight. It usually takes more than one cycle to figure out what you want to keep and what you can do away with. These four strategies can help, and they can be modified to fit your needs and make decluttering feel more like fun than work.