Declutter Your Beauty Stash from Organizer Pro Laura Ellis
L.A.-based professional organizer Laura Ellis of Organized by Ellis has plenty of sound advice for getting your beauty and grooming products all in a row for 2022.
The new year is here and ‘tis the season to clean up, clean out, declutter and get organized. For us, the most rewarding place to begin with beauty products that seem to multiply under our noses.
Our wise and wonderful friend Laura Ellis of Organized by Ellis has been in business for over a decade, is a past president of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing) and is a brand ambassador for iDesign.
Laura notes, “Top on the list of disorganized, chaotic spaces I see with new clients are often with skincare, makeup, hair care and medicinal products. These live on shelves, counters, drawers, under the sink and storage areas. Too much clutter destroys ease and efficiency and this holds especially true when it comes to beauty. The last thing you want to do with any beauty item is to spend more than two seconds looking for it. Everything you use should be within immediate reach so that it becomes automatic.
“There is good news,” Laura reports, “in that is that it’s a task that goes pretty quickly and delivers a huge impact on the quality of life almost immediately.”
Before you begin Laura advises:
- Set up your organization station. “We bring in a large table when I’m working with clients,” says Laura, “but you can work on a dining room or even coffee table draped with a towel. The thing is to remove everything from your bathroom, vanity, drawers or whatever and do your decision making in neutral territory. Otherwise, it’s easy to not see something that you look at every day.”
- Clean the empty areas as you go while they’re empty and you’re organizing
- Makeup remover wipes (or even baby wipes) will come in handy here. Clean all your products and tools (brushes etc.) that you’ll be keeping
- Keep a notepad and pen with you to note what’s missing or needs replacement
Your beauty organizing mantra: Find it fast, use it easily, put it back
Advises Laura, “Every beauty product decision you make that incorporates the above wins. You’re more likely to maintain a routine when your maintain an attractive and accessible storage and display system.”
Throw out the duds for beauty, health and safety
Discard anything that is empty, old, expired or you don’t like. Get rid of or replace lipsticks when they’re a year old, mascaras and eyeliners when they’re 3 to 6 months old, cream eye shadows at 3 to 6 months, and powered ones up to two years.
If you don’t use it, don’t keep it
“We make every excuse in the book to keep all kinds of beauty clutter on our counters, in our drawers, and in our cupboards that we don’t even use,” says Laura. “One reason may be that something was expensive or the package was pretty. But just because it was expensive, doesn’t mean you have to hang onto it . . . the money’s already been spent, you’re not getting it back. Chalk it up to experience and let it go. Another reason you may keep stuff–and I see this all over the house with clothing and kitchen items too–is that you ‘might someday’ use it. Trust me, you won’t. If that someday hasn’t rolled around yet after in a few months, it’s not going in the future.”
Store it where you use it (and can see it)
Sort your items by the location you will use them. Put like with like (e.g. daily makeup, daily skincare) and store categories together. Ironically, prescription medicines do not belong in the medicine cabinet because bathrooms are too humid. And fragrance is best stored where there isn’t a lot of light. Says Laura, “Putting it where you use it doesn’t have to be the bathroom. I have a friend who likes to apply her skincare serum and moisturizer at night in bed so she keeps those products in a small basket on her bedside table.””
Shed some light on deep dark spaces
Drawers and cupboards hide a multitude of sins where clutter gathers. Transparent or translucent storage that sits in a drawer, stacks on a shelf or rolls out from a cupboard can be a lifesaver here. Laura’s favorites from The Container Store are:
- iDesign Linus Deep Drawer Organizers
- Like-It Modular Drawer Organizers
- Stackable Under Sink Organization Storage Kit
Display like a store
The best beauty counters are organized, clean, and inviting. You can do the same for yourself at home. “Decant things like cotton balls or cotton swabs into transparent containers for easy reference,” says Laura, “which is not only hygienic but looks prettier too”.
Invest in multi-tasking beauty products and tools
Here’s where Mineral Air Four-in-One Foundation takes on a starring role. Because the makeup itself incorporates primer, concealer, pigment and hydrator, you only need to have your one Mineral Air on hand as versus four extraneous products cluttering up your space.
Replace what you need
On your list, you’ll see what’s missing. Go for it. Plus, Laura has no problem with buying multiples of products you love that you fear may be discontinued. But the proviso is, Laura warns, “These can be stored away out of sight for safe keeping. You most definitely do NOT want three identical things, all opened, all bumping into each other.”
Practice conscious consumption
As tempting as it is to press the BUY NOW button or grab something on impulse, Laura would like all of us to consider all our purchases more carefully. “Buy what you love,” she concludes, “but pause and ask yourself if you really need it or will end up tossing it out down the road. Time and again I’ve found that with beauty, the more you streamline and become aware of every single item you own, its purpose and location, the more you end up using. In this case, less truly does deliver more.”
What’s the difference?
Mineral Air offers two device-plus-formula categories, one for makeup, the other for skincare.
Mineral Air original (MA) includes its AirMist Device, an easy to use, everyday consumer tool that rivals professional airbrushing in its cosmetic application of our eponymous foundation, blush, or bronzer.
Mineral Air Skin (MAS) features the Renewal Serum System with its ElixerMist Device for lightweight vaporized delivery.
“The last thing you should have to do with any beauty item is spend more than two seconds looking for it. Everything you use should be within immediate reach so that it becomes automatic.”
Founder, Organized by Ellis