Tips For Decluttering Your Out-Of-Control Beauty Stash

Being a makeup lover is a thrilling experience. The minute a new TikTok beauty trend pops up, you're one of the first to try it. You're quick to rush to your nearest cosmetics store for that viral new lip gloss before it sells out, and you could probably buy a house with the amount of money you've spent at Sephora. What's not thrilling, though, is what your beauty stash probably looks like. Do you really need another lip gloss to add to that overcrowded collection? While the answer is definitely yes (always buy the lip gloss), you may want to declutter that stash before it gets too out of hand.


We know it can be hard to bid farewell to some of your precious beauty products. "Clutter is often the result of an overattachment to our personal items, which makes it difficult to part with them," Joseph Ferrari, a psychology professor at DePaul University in Chicago who studies chronic procrastination, told Everyday Health. "It isn't abundance that's the problem as much as an attachment to abundance." And we know you've got an abundance over there! Don't worry, though — we collected a few tips to help you declutter your out-of-control beauty sash so you can have a calmer, cleaner space.

Take inventory of your collection

It's common to ask yourself, "where do I even begin?" when setting out to declutter. The overwhelming feeling you may get when staring at your stash can be daunting! But the first thing you'll want to do is take inventory of your collection so that you are aware of your products, making it easier to decide what stays and what goes. According to Racked, "you can't organize things if you don't know you have them," especially if you have items you don't remember purchasing. Plus, you'll better know how to organize it all.


Once all your makeup is in a giant pile, take a deep breath, and one by one, look at each product and assess whether you should keep it. Swatch them, pay attention to color matches, and review the formulas and how well they apply to the back of your hand. Have you worn the product in the past and don't like it? Is it not something you typically reach for? Or perhaps you are in love with it and can't bear to see it go. Beauty YouTuber Jasmine, AKA juicyjas, posted a video on her decluttering method of assessing each product individually and deciding what to keep, which can be helpful for those who need extra guidance.

Toss the expired makeup

Having expired makeup in your collection is a big no-no. It's either taking up space or being applied to your face – and both scenarios aren't ideal. According to Healthline, applying expired makeup can lead to breakouts, rashes, and infections. To make matters a little confusing, though, as you probably know, makeup products don't have expiration dates clearly labeled. You'll want to turn your attention to the back of the item and look for a makeup symbol with a number in the center followed by the letter M, which indicates how many months you can use the product after it's opened. For example, if the package says 6M, that means you have six months after opening to use it.


Some products don't have that symbol, so you should use your best judgment. Most complexion makeup like foundation and concealer last one year (per Real Simple). Wet eye products like mascara and liquid eyeliner only last about three months, but you can hold onto an eyeliner pencil for up to two years. Lip products can be kept for over five years for balms and two years for lipstick. If all else fails, you can download an app called Beauty Keeper, which tells you when certain products expire. Ah, technology. What a time to be alive!

Donate the new and barely used makeup that you probably will never use

If you come across makeup that isn't expired, yet you've tried it once and will never use it again, you don't have to throw it away. Yes, you can donate your makeup to a good cause! Project Beauty Share is one of many organizations that distribute donated makeup to those in need. Not only do they accept makeup, but skincare, hair care, oral hygiene, and body products too. You can also donate your new and lightly used makeup to local shelters in your community.


Many organizations, according to More, take special care in sanitizing the products and even go as far as snapping off the tips of eyeliners and lipsticks and reshaping them for those in need. Or, as shared in a video, you can also take your makeup to a local funeral home, like TikTok creator and mortician @jasminethemortician. Even though many funeral homes will use mortuary cosmetics specifically designed for the deceased, many, like Jasmine, like to use a bit of traditional makeup.

Organize the remainder of your collection

Once you've gone through each product and decided what to keep or eliminate, it's time to put it all back into your space with thoughtfulness and organization. This part is somewhat subjective, as everyone may have diverse preferences regarding storage and the different areas they keep their makeup. Some like to keep like-items together for easier access, like content creator @prissheavnly, who shared a TikTok video of how she organizes her vanity. She places acrylic containers in her drawers, a go-to for many.


Others prefer to have all their frequently used makeup front and center to find it easier when reaching for the products. And some store their makeup in a bag, free from the hassle of bins, containers, and drawers. The most important thing to remember is that you do what makes sense while keeping your daily beauty routine in mind. Don't flood your space with makeup you don't use as often. "I use drawer organizers and dividers to contain and categorize everything in a way that flows with my routine," professional organizer Clea Shearer told Ipsy. "All of the products I only use occasionally or any backstock I have live in labeled bins in a cabinet or under the sink."

Resist the urge to stockpile makeup

This one will sting a bit, but if you constantly need to purge your makeup stash, the issue may lie within your makeup-shopping habits. Sometimes, the most crucial decluttering step occurs before adding to your collection. While shopping for new makeup is always fun, you may need to be more tactile with your technique. Beauty YouTuber Shu Laing Aw was in a similar situation and wanted to be a smarter beauty consumer. One major tip she shared in her video is to be more mindful of your additions and ask yourself if you really need that new product.


With new beauty trends and viral hacks dominating social media today, it's easy to want to keep up with the hype and jump on the constant consumer bandwagon. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has a whopping 37 billion views on the video-sharing app, proving how easily one TikTok video can influence spending decisions. That's not to say you shouldn't treat yourself now and then because, let's be honest, is there really any harm in buying makeup? Of course not! But resisting the urge to stockpile your makeup collection can save future you a day of decluttering. Nevertheless, if you're a makeup hoarder and can't help but add to that overflowing stash, we're happy you took the time to organize it all. Progress!