Clearing Space; One in a Series

Clearing space. Easier said than done. We all know that feeling when the house is freshly cleaned and the closet and shelves have been rid of clutter. It feels free and full of possibility.

I get a similar feeling when I take time each morning to clear some space in my head. I feel lighter and more connected; ready to take on whatever challenges may come up in my day.

I think clearing space is one of the most valuable things we can do. Tackling all areas at once (think the closet, the kitchen, the fridge, your mind) can seem like an intimidating task, so I started with something simple, by clearing a little space in my makeup drawer. Insignificant to the task at hand? Perhaps, but I find when I start a daunting task by taking one small step, the satisfaction I get from completing one piece of the puzzle is enough to spur me on to tackle the rest.

So, here’s how I clear space in my makeup drawer.

First, I divide everything into two piles a) things I use every day and b) everything else. The things I use every day don’t really have time to expire. Everything in this pile gets an automatic pass into the keep pile.

Now, time to address the everything else pile. Usually the first pass at this pretty easy. I throw away everything that has clearly expired. You know that funky smelling/tasting lipstick that’s a bit long in the tooth or that mascara that should be labeled extra clumpy? Toss. Next, I have to get honest with myself. The many failed attempts at finding the perfect red lip resulted in way too many different, yet very similar shades of red lipstick, lip liner and lip gloss that just don’t work well on me. If some are salvageable, I either donate them or give to a friend who might have better luck with them than I do. The rest that are really too old, but I’ve been holding on to them because I’m just not willing to admit that I made a mistake and wasted that money? Those get tossed away. Along with them? Anything that makes me break out and any sample sizes that I wasn’t excited enough about to try right away.

Next I take makeup brush inventory. There are a lot. Every freebee makeup counter giveaway has at least one brush if not FIVE that I just don’t use. It seems wasteful to get rid of them, but what’s really wasteful is the time it takes to dig through the pile of them to find the one tool I need. I’ve been using eye shadow sticks almost exclusively for some time now, so I don’t need 15 eye shadow brushes. My professional makeup artist friend Katy? She needs 15. Me? Not so much. I keep two foundation brushes, one for my drawer, one for my gym bag, one blush brush, one bronzer brush, one finishing powder brush, the sterling silver brush that was a gift from my mother and a selection of eye shadow brushes in case I ever get tired of the sticks. The rest? Donate or gift to said makeup artist friend.

Now the fourth and final clearing step. If it’s a perfectly good product, works for my skin tone, but I’m just not using it, it’s hard to give up. What if one day I decide this is the magical component to my makeup routine that was keeping me from perfection all along? If that were true (or even possible) I would already be using it. Time to say goodbye to these too. As per above, donate anything you can. Toss the rest.

Now, the fun part. Chances are you have some extra space in that drawer. Time to find a few beautiful dishes to hold the different products. I love this, this and this. And in case you haven’t heard, Container Store is offering 15% off almost everything through February 8th.

Clearing space, step one, complete.