For the last three years, I’ve kept a medium sized cardboard box in the back corner of my apartment. In it contained all of my “empties,” or empty containers of beauty products I used up. Shampoo, mascara, blush, facial toner, moisturizer — anything and everything that fell in the category of beauty, I kept the empty container in that box.
Once upon a time, I did reviews on my YouTube channel about these empty product containers. The YouTube beauty beauty world is overflowing with videos reviewing products used once or twice. As a consumer, I never found that particularly helpful because first impressions can be misleading. I always liked doing reviews of products I fully used up, as I had a much more informed opinion about them compared to something I used fleetingly. So I kept all of my empty containers, and every now and then I’d round up the latest 10 items and review them in a video.
But then I kind of stopped doing YouTube. I don’t know if I’ll do YouTube again, to be honest, and if I do I’m not sure in what way I’ll be making videos. I’m still thinking a lot about that; I don’t want to walk away from my channel entirely but I’ve sort of already done just that without meaning to. Anyhow, while evaluating my feelings towards making videos, I continued adding to that box of empties. Soon, it was bursting with empty containers, and I had to get a supplementary cardboard box to place on top of it to hold the overflow.
There was a pretty good chance I’d have been saving my beauty trash indefinitely until one day I looked at the box and thought to myself, “No more.”
Because what was the point of hanging onto physical stuff that represented something that I was no longer interested in doing? It was taking up valuable space in my shoebox-sized apartment, and it literally was trash so it’s not like it was pretty to look at. It may have been tucked away in the back corner of my apartment, but I knew it was there, and I began to feel stressed every time I saw it or added to it. It’s not like it’s hard to make a video, just time consuming, and on days where I was lazy or had nothing planned I’d think to myself, “Guess I should make a video?” But then I didn’t, and the sight of that empties box continued to stress me out.
So I got rid of it.
And then, since I watched a bunch of makeup declutter videos on YouTube and I was feeling fired up, I ruthlessly went through my makeup collection. I had three rules on what to declutter: anything that was old, anything that was nearly used up, and anything I didn’t use. If it fell into one or more of those categories, out it went.
I got rid of old lipsticks, an eye primer that started separating, eyeliners that had dried up, cream blushes that smelled a little strange, and palettes that I hadn’t touched in months. Stuff that was never or rarely used but I didn’t like, I put aside to give to friends. Everything else, though, got thrown in the trash. By the time I was done, all of my makeup besides my palettes fit into my cosmetics storage. I didn’t even need my little basket I keep in a drawer that contained backups or anything extra.
Ironically enough, the YouTube video binging that got me into the mindset of decluttering and the relief I felt when I threw out everything I no longer wanted to keep was almost enough to make me want to get back into the YouTube beauty world. I could’ve done a massive empties video with everything I threw out! (Probably not. That video would’ve been 30+ minutes, there was so much trash in that box.) I could’ve done a declutter video where people could live vicariously through me getting rid of old makeup! (Absolutely. That probably would’ve been a fun video to do, too.)
In the meantime, as I figure out my feelings towards vlogging and how (if?) I want to jump back into that world, I’m going to enjoy every single item in my makeup collection. Maybe I’ll even do a video about it.