Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How to declutter makeup in less than an hour

When was the last time you decluttered your makeup? It’s fairly common to have old tubes of lipstick, lightly used eyeshadow palettes, and empty bottles of foundation taking up space in your bathroom cabinets or makeup bag.

Compiling excessive amounts of unneeded makeup can be frustrating after a while. No one wants to waste time sifting through makeup supplies to find the right eyeliner or lipstick shade. Keeping old makeup isn’t just bad for your bathroom’s cleanliness, it can be bad for your health too. Just like food, makeup can expire, and when it does, it becomes more prone to a buildup of bacteria that you can transfer onto your skin.

To live a more tidy lifestyle and keep your belongings clean and safe, you should start decluttering. This doesn’t have to be a lengthy process either — with a few tips you can arrange all your makeup in less than an hour.

Throw out anything that has expired

Throw away any opened liquid products after six months and any other items after a year of use. If you can’t remember when you purchased an item but are sure it’s been a few months, throw it away. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Most makeup supplies have an expiration date written on them, which helps eliminate any confusion around their safety. Go through each item one by one, check the expiration dates, and throw away anything that’s past its prime.

minimal makeup collection eyeshadows and brushes

Get rid of anything you won’t use

Once you’ve determined what’s expired and what’s not, begin sorting through items that you can’t or won’t use.

What to get rid of:

  • Broken tools and makeup
  • Items that you haven’t used in the past month or two and don’t intend to use
  • Dirty wipes, cotton balls, and swabs
  • Unopened makeup

If you find unopened makeup (within the expiration date), consider giving it to a friend or family member who will be more likely to use it. Additionally, pay extra attention to the backs of drawers and cabinets since broken things tend to get shoved into these corners.

Clean and sanitize what’s left

Now that you’re left with only the items you need and use, it’s time to clean up. Bacteria, dust, and dirt can settle on makeup brushes and tools, which can cause infections and breakouts when you use them. Using makeup cleaner or gentle soap and water, be sure to clean:

  • Brushes
  • Sponges
  • Cloths
  • Organizers
  • Mirrors

Don’t forget to clean any organizational supplies before replacing your makeup and tools back in them. There’s no use in cleaning all of your materials if you’re just going to store them in dusty bags and bins.

makeup up in clear tray organizer

Organize your makeup and supplies

To best organize your space, check out some of these recommendations below.

A small bin

If you have just a few products and tools, a small bin or decorative wicker basket is all you need. To reiterate, this method only works if you have a limited amount of makeup. If not, you will end up with a junk drawer that’s just as difficult to sort through every morning. To provide more structure, place a small drawer organizer inside the bin or create sections with small cups or Tupperware bowls to store items together.

A sectional organizer

Sectional organizers like this one from the Masirs are perfect for those with lots of smaller items. Best for holding brushes, lip glosses, mascara, and other small products, this organizer makes it easy to see all of your products at once so you don’t have to rifle through a bag every time you need eyeliner.

Stackable organizers

Some organizers are stackable, so you can store more items in a limited space. This organizer by HBlife is a must-have for those with more extensive makeup collections. Similar to the sectional organizers mentioned above, these stackable options provide smaller trays for items like lipstick, eyeliner, and mascara, but they also have spacious drawers to hold tools, eyeshadow palettes, and other larger products.

Organizer trays and stands

For those with a collection worthy of displaying, consider investing in makeup stands. This option by ZPlinrise, for example, is made of sleek glass with gold accents to add a touch of luxury to your vanity. Because these shelves are open, this unit is best for pieces that won’t roll off the edge, like perfumes, foundations, and eyelash curlers.

Decluttering your makeup collection is a bothersome chore, but it is well worth the extra effort. Give yourself more peace of mind, and create a tidier space that keeps everything you need in a convenient, easy-to-access place.

Editors' Recommendations

Amelia Wilson
Amelia Wilson (author pen name Amelia J. Wilson) is a content writer in Greenwood, IN. She often enjoys topics on…
Be sure to get rid of these 7 items in your spring garage sale
Stuck holding on to that old stuff? This list will help get you started with your garage sale purge
Young couple at a yard sale

Spring is the season for new beginnings; there’s no better time to clear out old clutter and give your home a total refresh. In addition to this year’s spring cleaning, focus on getting rid of belongings you no longer need. And since the temperature’s rising, flowers are blooming, and the sun is shining, it's a great time to plan a garage sale!

Set aside items in good condition to sell and donate the rest. Don’t know where to begin? Here are a few things you should definitely ditch at your spring garage sale.

Read more
How to know what to throw away and what to keep while spring cleaning – and an expert’s thoughts on what to sell!
Here's what you need to do to declutter your home this spring
A woman organizing and moving boxes

Spring cleaning. Those two words have either put you into an anxiety-filled spiral or have you reaching for your cleaning supplies. For us, it has us ready to get back to our minimalistic roots. You naturally accumulate things over time, especially during the winter when all of those holiday gifts add up.

It's likely you feel overwhelmed when you open that extra closet and see that it is, in fact, stuffed to the top instead of empty. Or maybe you've caught yourself staring at your closet and wondering if you’ll ever wear that bridesmaid’s dress again. Answer: You won’t. Whatever the case, we have a few tips that may help you. Don’t stress if you don’t know what to throw away and what to keep. Let’s get into spring cleaning: Keep-it-or-toss-it edition.

Read more
5 easy ways to spruce up your living room for spring
The sun is shining and the birds are chirping. Here's how to bring that energy into your living room
Living room with warm yellow curtains

Spring is here, and we couldn't be more excited! This means temperatures starting to warm, birds chirping, flowers beginning to bloom, and spring cleaning. There are so many ways to introduce spring into your home, and — as a place where family and friends gather to watch movies, play games, and relax after a long day — the living room is the perfect place to start.

If you're thinking about updating your living room this spring, you may want to start by decluttering. It can help give you a sense of what to keep, donate, or throw away, and will help you see the space more clearly.

Read more