Decluttering My Beauty Routines and Products

For the past couple of years I’ve been decluttering my beauty and body products plus simplifying my routines. The pandemic has actually helped me in some ways to reduce my inventory of those kinds of products.

Since I didn’t go out to many places this past year, I didn’t use a lot of my make-up. Nor did I purchase many new items.  As a result, I have a lot of old and/or unused make-up that is probably bad. It’s time to let go of these items.

I use to buy a large majority of my make-up and other toiletries from my Avon representative. She left the catalogs for me every two weeks for years. When she retired in December 2019, I decided it was time to change my shopping habits.

Reducing the clutter and simplifying routines also meant I had to reduce what came into the house. I had to learn to not buy into the advertising about all the “miracle” products that would keep me looking 20 years younger. I also had to learn that I don’t need to have five or six different scented shower gels and lotions all at one time.

Reducing Inventory

Even before the pandemic and my Avon rep retiring, I was already on a “reducing inventory” plan.

It started in the summer of 2019. We remodeled our master bathroom. The bathroom isn’t large but it did have a small closet in it.

The remodel consisted of redoing the shower stall, new vanity, new toilet, and new floor. It also consisted of removing the popcorn ceiling and the taking out the soffit over the shower stall. That made the room look and feel larger. We kept the closet because there was only room for a small vanity.

Before the remodeling started, I had to pack up all the stuff in the closet and vanity.  Once I gathered all those lotions, shower gels, shampoos, etc. into a large box, it was easy to see I had way too much stuff. I then knew I had to reduce my inventory.

I decided I would use up what I had before I could buy/replace any new products.

My closet is now mostly decluttered. After using up most of the products I like, it’s been easy to see the ones I didn’t use. Most of what is left I still use.

However, after taking this photo I realize I still have some things I originally kept but haven’t used in the last two years. Time to doing some decluttering.

Stocking Up Too Much

When I find a product I like it’s so tempting to stock up when it’s on sale.  Why pay full price when I know I’ll use it. But if I’m not careful, I’ll end up with way too many items on cluttered shelves.

I like using different scented shower gels and lotions. Avon had great deals on these kinds of products in every catalog. As a result I ended up stocking up on too many.

I also bought several different ones from Bath and Body Works, especially when they had their sales of buy 3 get 3 free.

Great deals but how many different scents/products did I really need?

Changing my buying habits was crucial if I wanted to keep my new bathroom decluttered. I was lucking for the three things that helped me break the buying habit.

  • Remodeling the bathroom
  • Avon rep retiring therefore eliminating the catalog temptations.
  • The pandemic which didn’t allow me to go to the store to sample the scents from their sample bottles.

Letting Go Of Unused Products

Now my inventory is getting low. So it’s getting time to shop again. Only this time I plan to be careful about what I buy and how much. I have to remind myself that I don’t have to stock up on something just because it’s on sale. Maybe one extra bottle on the shelf, but not three or four or more.

As I mentioned above, after taking the photo I noticed there are some items that are not being used. I have learned over the years that a simple photo can help us see a lot more than our eyes alone can see. It’s a great tool to help with decluttering.

Anyway, it’s time to let go of those unused products. Here are a few ways to get rid of them without too much guilt.

  • Shower gels, bubble bath, or shampoos that are not liked can be used to clean toilets. Flylady taught me years ago that any kind of soap will clean. Plus these smell much better than the chemical cleaners.
  • Unopened lotion and other products can be given away to friends or homeless shelters. Just make sure they are not too old and expired.
  • Opened or too old of products need to be trashed.


Focusing on the Future

Although I’m still in the process of learning to keep the bathroom toiletries minimalized, I’m finding that I don’t miss having so many choices. I have my few favorites and they are easy to find on the decluttered shelves.

If I want to try a new scent and/or kind of lotion, I will allow myself to give it a try. It’s great if I like it but if I don’t, I need to let it go as soon as possible. I will not allow myself to feel guilty for wasting money.

Because I didn’t waste money. I spent the money on an experience (not just a product) that didn’t work out. Oh well.

Life is too short to beat ourselves up over every little “mistake” we may make. Learn from it and move on.

In other words, let go of the disliked product and remember not to buy it again.


To a lighter load along the way.

Janice Scissors





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