How to ‘Marie Kondo’ Your Beauty Products

I’ve been a fan of Marie Kondo since her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up landed in the US in 2014. It’s a catchy concept: Kondo promises that following her organisation method once will transform your home (and life!) for good. It’s catnip for someone who suffers from (hoarding tendencies?) clutter like I do. Kondo only touches on beauty products briefly in her book so I decided it was worth digging deeper and thankfully she was up for Skype sesh (straight from Japan!) to chat about her specific tips on how to edit down all our favourite products. Here’s how to kickstart your new & improved life with an organised beauty collection.

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Step 1: Get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy.

Kondo believes in organising everything at once to avoid sliding back into bad habits – and she has a very specific technique for paring down your belongings. She recommends gathering everything together by category and then holding each item in your hands one at a time. Dig deep and ask yourself if the product truly brings you joy. If not, out it goes. There is no room (literally) for guilt here and no compromising – you can do it!

This does not mean that you must pare down your beauty collection to only the products that you use every single day. While you should be throwing out old and expired products periodically (more on that here), there is no need to deprive yourself of products that you maybe don’t use often but still bring you joy to own.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “my deodorant doesn’t bring me joy but I’m certainly not throwing it out!” Kondo suggests changing your perspective on what represents joy in your life. Consider that your deodorant, body wash, or other grooming products make you smell lovely, and in that way you may begin to feel joy towards them. (And if you still don’t feel joyful about your deodorant, perhaps it’s time to invest in a new one. May I suggest Arrow’s PROTECT Aluminium-Free Deodorant?)

Step 2: Display your products in a beautiful way

Now that you’ve gotten rid of superfluous products, it’s time to organise them. Kondo says, “Make-up is to make yourself beautiful so it’s very important to store it in a beautiful way.” I personally like the way lucite trays look on my vanity, but it’s most important to find a solution that speaks to you. Trays, or even antique mirrors or picture frames are all lovely options.

Just as important for your organisation is keeping your products clean. So wipe off your foundation, clean your brushes often (a nifty tool like this makes that more fun!), and don’t leave any spills.

Ultimately, a cleaner, less cluttered home, filled with only products that truly bring us joy, helps to make us all feel a little clearer and we think it will do the same for you. Here’s to starting 2017 on that note!

P.S. You might be wondering why Birchbox — a beauty company — would be advocating downsizing the number of beauty products you own. It’s because Birchbox believes in helping you find the right products for you – the ones that bring you true joy – and not wasting time on the other ones. We think delivering samples that are targeted to your beauty profile so you can try them in the privacy of your own home is the best way to do that. If you’re ready to stop wasting time and money buying the wrong products, learn more here.

Translation provided by Luna Hirai

Follow Marie on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Download the Marie Kondo official app to get help organising your own home.

– Lorelei Orfeo