This past summer at RUF Summer Conference, I walked into the tiny house I was sharing with 17 other interns with a basket full of lotions, and hair goods, and washes, and my new friend Dre took one look and said, "Oh, you love products too!" We then quickly bonded by comparing all that we had brought.
One of the benefits of being a young adult that moves cross country too much is that it forces you to get rid of a lot of stuff. In theory, at least. I've got a pretty good rhythm of selling clothes on ebay, at Plato's closet, then donating. For the most part, the only books on my shelves are books I would actually recommend. But as a 7 on the Enneagram, I find security in excess. It's somewhat not a big deal, somewhat problematic, somewhat hilarious.
I could open a cute little paper store with my stationary collection. I have four pairs of regular scissors, a pair of kids scissors (why?), haircutting scissors, and kitchen scissors. What? Like I'm going to cup up all that paper? No single person needs this many scissors. I have at least seven water bottles and almost bought a new one over Thanksgiving. I also have close to 30 plain white wash cloths, but I've decided that fresh wash cloths is a luxury I can afford, so that's not going to change.
And then there's what is under my bathroom sink. For the last three years, I've had my own bathroom, which just means I can spread my products all over the place. But this year, I share a bathroom with my sweet roommate Emily, and because the holidays make me want to get rid of things, I am giving my products a "Capsule Closet."
I've long been fascinated with minimalism and capsule closets, but again, I'm a 7 on the Enneagram, so I have two yoga mats. Here's the deal though, I have a ton of products, but I'm really a low maintenance girl. I have three make up looks: just concealer and mascara, that plus tinted moisturizer and maybe eye shadow, and oh crap I'm going to a party and I'm not totally sure how to do my make up. So there's no reason my bathroom sink should look like what's left of a Sephora sale.
This is how I'm separating the wheat from the chafe:
General policy I gave myself:
- I am not rolling in money, but I do have finances to buy what I need, so if I am holding onto something, "just in case," it needs to go. (two years ago, I found myself buying a $7 sewing kit to fix a hole in $10 leggings, then I had an epiphany that I could just buy new leggings, I have tried to roll this over into other areas of life; don't want to be wasteful, but I think it can be just as wasteful to hang on to something I'll never use)
- I asked myself, if I were to go on a three week vacation, would I take this? If the answer is no, it's almost a straight shot to the trash can.
- Just because something came in a Clinique gift box two and a half years ago, doesn't mean it needs to be kept now. Almost every product I have is under $10, and I don't need to honor the past me that bought it by keeping it.
- I am not that into make up. I'm just not, and maybe in the future I will be, but that doesn't mean I need to hang on to a Mary Kay eye shadow I got in 2008. These unused things are really just collecting bacteria.
Oral hygiene: this is the important to me, so I'm keeping my toothbrush, my backup toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash.
Skin: you can read about how I started washing my face here. But I'm keeping my Glossier face soap, rose spray, moisturizer, and balm dot com. I'm also keeping Aquafor for my tattoo (hi mom), and my eyelids sometimes get super dried out; and my big ole vat of cocoabutter lotion. I'm getting rid of every other lotion because even though I work in ministry and have student loans, I can still buy new lotion when I need it.
Hair products: have I used it in the last two months? Oh I've only used my $4 bottle of hairspray and dry shampoo? Ok, every thing else can go.
Nail polish: I feel like I'm constantly getting rid of nail polish, but really I get rid of one, buy four, and two of those look a lot like colors I already had. For a product that cost no more than $8, it sure is hard to get rid of this stuff. I told myself I was only going to keep six colors, but it's more like sixteen.
Makeup: In Pittsburgh I had a drawer full on makeup I never used, and I thought I got rid of most it, but I still have way to much for a girl that hasn't tried new makeup techniques since 8th grade. So I'm only keeping the stuff I wear on my fancier days, and two things of lipstick. I want to be that girl that wears bold lipstick, but actually I don't. I would rather train for a marathon. And for everything else, see collecting bacteria comment.
Scents: I kept my nice perfumes, because they are expensive and last. I threw away the bottle of body spray I got for $3 three years ago and is still 89% full, I am no longer interested in smelling like sensual amber.
Travel sized things: I do travel a lot, and it's nice to have sample sizes of things to take on weekend trips. But I just don't need to pretend like I'm ever going to use the tiny lotion that smells like apples. I like to keep my travel things in my travel make up bag, but I don't need to pretend like I'm going to use something on a trip that I don't use at home.
Other products: I'm keeping all my make up remover/nail polish remover that I actually use. I got rid of almost all my make up brushes because they are old. And I threw away all my broken hair clips/stretched out hair ties, those things are so cheap, so it's like the hole-y leggings.
I think oftentimes I buy things because I want to be a certain type of person. But in getting rid of unused things, we give ourselves the freedom to not be that person. I don't have to be bold lipstick girl, or silver eye liner girl, or leave-in-conditioner-that-supposedly-protects-hair-color-but-I'm-not-so-sure-girl. I can just run in my lane, and do it well.
Anyone need any scissors?