#shopthestash update: do these spark joy? and giving back

AMtoPM organize beauty inventory stash homekeeping

In the past year of #shopthestash, I’ve used quite a bit of my products.

Still, a lot of it remains.

I normally do a stash clearout once or twice a year. It’s a lot easier now that I have a beauty spreadsheet to keep track of what I own and when I should toss.

With #shopthestash I have time I can direct to other things instead of shopping. That leaves a lot of time to read. Enter Marie Kondo’s The magic of tidying up.

If you don’t know who Marie Kondo is, she is amazing. For the past year I have been #kondoing my life in sections. I didn’t think I would be strong enough to use her strategy to tackle my beauty. But I did.

There’s lots of things that I have that I’ll keep: gifts, samples and freebies. Most of the stuff is stuff I will reasonably use in time (read: skin care items). Some of the stuff is stuff I don’t wear often in daily life (read: nail polish).

In the past year I’ve gone through a lot of my stash, but what about all the stuff that I won’t really get to?

I’m culling them.

Discarding

Thankfully, with #shopthestash and the wisdom that comes from age (and a lot of beauty faux pas along the way), I haven’t had to do much discarding. The few things that I had to discard and could not finish include two bottles of near empty foundation (they were on the edge of expiry) an eyeliner that didn’t work and a tube of mascara.

Selling

Selling is an option, but to be honest, I don’t think I’ll get around to it. Way too time-intensive. All those pictures. All the lighting. All the photoshop. All the marketing and scouting and screening I’d have to do.

It’s probably not as much labour as I’m imagining, but I just don’t want to invest my time that way.

I do own a few pricy things and a lot of mid-market and lower-end stuff. That might be the reason why I’m more inclined to donate and swap, in addition to the time factor.

Donating

In researching a good place to donate, I found that a lot of organizations will take gently used and unopened toiletries, makeup and samples. Organizations like The Cinderella Project (for girls going to prom), Dress for Success, local women’s shelters and other groups dedicated to well-being (like Vancouver’s Beauty Night Society which give makeovers for those who need a little help up).

I gave a good chunk of my nail polish (gently used and unopened) to a local women’s shelter. Self-care is important at every income bracket and if my nail polish can be of use to someone and give them a little joy–I’m all for it. Good karma is always welcome.

I’m not in a position where I’m able to donate a lot of my time or a lot of my money, so this is a great way of giving back and unloading some of my stuff. A win-win all around!

Swapping

A personal favourite–though this doesn’t really address the issues of downsizing, unless you’re quite clear with what you’d like to receive and are confident that you’ll use. I love the idea of giving my unloved products away to someone who would likely use it in exchange for something that they think I might enjoy.

It’s also a sneaky way of getting around the no shopping rule I made for myself while also getting rid of some of my stash.

I don’t like thinking of swapping as giving away my castoffs to just anyone for the sake of getting rid of it. Swapping isn’t dumping, so I take time to get to know the other person (so key!) and make sure that we’re a right fit.

Swapping can get costly with shipping and everything as well, so there are some things to think about like:

  • location (Where is your swap buddy? Local? Across the country? Across the world? Think about shipping fees and times and be prepared to swallow its cost. Pro tip: don’t give anything that will expire within the next six months.)
  • frequency (How often are you swapping? Is it a one off thing?)
  • swapping beauty philosophy (Who is your swapping buddy? What does she like? What does she have? Are you guys a match? What are your expectations?)
Gifting

Probably my favourite one! Gifting is a great way to cull some of the unopened parts of the stash. The holidays are a great time to look into the stash and see what you could give to someone else. If you can, why not shop the stash before hitting the malls this holiday season? Why not?!

When I was younger, I used to equate cost and brand with worth. I know better now. As a grown-up I can appreciate how much things cost, I greatly appreciate the idea behind a gift and its utility vs. how much someone spent on it on my behalf.

————

Does your stash bring you joy? Have you tried to KonMari your stash? What are your methods of discarding your things? Let me know in the comments below or via social media!

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