Have you ever had trouble letting products go (or de-stashing them)?

I used to hold onto high-end/luxury products for longer than necessary, and it’s something I’ve personally addressed and changed about myself in the last few years. An example would be Dior quints–many of them C-rated or lower–that I didn’t need to keep for blog-related purposes, and finally, I got tired of having them take up all this room and let them go. That paved the way for all the rest!

— Christine
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Yes of course! I would get all of these eyeshadow palettes/ random hot pink lipsticks that I would never use from subscriptions like Boxycharm and Ipsy. I held onto them for so long just trying to talk myself into using them even though I knew they weren’t anything I would like. Finally I let go of 3 palettes and at least a dozen lipsticks and donated them to a women’s shelter!!!!

A women’s shelter is a great idea. I do that too, and also give things to the local shelter for homeless teens. Some of those kids don’t even have a change of clothing, much less anything pretty like makeup or nail polish. It feels good to let go of something you’re not using when it can make someone else happy.

Here! Here! I’ve been donating my Gifts With Purchase, deluxe samples, and gently used and easily sanitized products to shelters and dress for success types of programs for years. They’re always greatly appreciated.

One caveat to anyone who is thinking about doing that. Don’t just take a bunch of old makeup to them. I’ve been told by shelter staffers that a lot of stuff gets discarded because it is dirty, cannot be sanitized properly, has gone past a printed expiration date, or has been used–a lot! What they really love are the GWPs, unopened deluxe sized samples, and makeup that has only been used a couple times and then sanitized.

Oh gosh yes!!! I’m really incredibly terrible when it comes to destashing/ de-cluttering. There is LITERALLY makeup that is from 12, even 15 years ago, that is still in there. There is a bottle of VS Rapture from about 17 or 18 years ago that I keep just for the bottle. And clothing from 20+ years ago, too! I don’t know how to toss stuff away. Yet, I’m not a “hoarder” either, just hang on to stuff that feels good to have? Admittedly ridiculous! ?

I am so much like you as it comes to clothes! I have my burgundy red iron nosed and completely worn out army boots from at least 15 years ago. I am considering buying a new pair, and I thought: but what will I do with these, I cannot throw them away! As I think of it I am still sorry that, in a fit of tiedying up, I threw away (well, put in a Red Cross container for old clothes 20 years ago) an old cardigan (I used to call it my Kurt Cobain home, kitchen, garden cardigan) a leather jumper dress from the sixties that was my mom’s and a couple of pairs of flaired trousers that I would again fit perfectly now that I’ve lost so much weight after getting injured. And it’s the same as you: I am not a hoarder, I just love some particular items, and I would be sad if they weren’t there anymore. ?With makeup I am a little better though! If it doesn’t look right on me, it has to go.

I read Marie Kondo’s book recently and even though I didn’t apply her method with everything yet it helped me to reconsider why I hold on to things! It also help be being smarter while shopping!

That book is fabulous! I usually do a seasonal toss out or donate, now I try to do it more often. Her idea of only keeping things that make me happy is brilliant! I used to buy multiple LE, and they are still brand new in the boxes-haven’t been able to let that go. I won’t use makeup that’s more than a few months old-I read about all the contamination that happens in our own stash!

Great book!! I think the best piece of advice I did not expect had to do with “gifts”. When she talks about items we keep because of guilt. The moment of the gift is when it is given. The look/reaction the receiver gives to the giver. At that point, the “gift” has given the joy intended. If you don’t use it and pass it on, it gets to give and spread more joy.

I’m big on recycling and I always feel I’ll repurpose a product or that it will come back into style. So de-stashing is a challenge fro me. I’m happy to see this question, I hope it will spawn some good suggestions.

I do try to make a conscious effort to not hold onto products that I don’t like or that don’t work for me. As shown in yesterday’s question I do still fall prey to my urge to hoard LE or DC products, but as I general rule it’s something I try not to do.

I have gotten better, but yes, I do have trouble letting go of products. Especially if they are limited edition and/or high-end products, and powder products. I have gotten my stash to where I use everything I have, but there was a time where I was not so discerning with my purchases and was indiscriminately buying and hoarding. I still cringe looking back on it. Having all of this stuff and yet none of it was what I wanted or that suited me. What a waste. I was able to return most of it, but I was so embarrassed at the recklessness. Anyway, the shame-returning cured me of buying things just-to-have instead of buying what I want and with purpose in mind. I do throw out any liquid, creams ot lipsticks that go bad, but that doesn’t happen very often. This past year-and-a-half I have been pretty good about using up creams/liquids that I have had for a while before I have to toss them. If I do have to toss them, back2mac comes in very handy for me.

Haha! Glad to know I’m not the only one who does this! 🙂 I loved collecting the Bare Essentials boxes that came with four or five of the eyeshadow pots. A couple would be limited edition colors. But the boxes were seasonal and made them even more fun. After awhile I started to have to stash them under my bed because I ran outta room stacking on my vanity table, fast! I really do need to throw stuff away but it’s just so hard to let them go!! Lol Thankfully, I’ve cut back, well, a little! 😉

I have some items that I know are expired (lip glosses I bought YEARS ago, Tarte Maracuja oil that has turned bad, etc) and it’s hard to let them go, as I feel like I wasted my money. Still, I don’t know why I am letting them sit around…I’m trying to get better about letting go of the clutter. Then again, I keep buying more “clutter”… 🙂

Yes, mainly products that remind me of a trip or a special occasion. I keep them even though I don’t use them at all. Strange that you can get emotionally attached to makeup, but it happens to me a lot.

I declutter things and then take a few of them back! It is esp difficult to get rid of high end, limited edition or discontinued products. Even though I don’t use them, their quality isn’t great or I have many products with a similar color or texture…I will always talk myself into keeping them!

My stash is not big enough to start worrying about letting something go. I know that there are many more great things to own and use 🙂 I have no problem giving a lipstick that I don’t use often enough to my sisters, but they are very picky with the colors 🙂

I definitely do. I think it’s a combination of feeling guilty throwing something away that I’ve spent money on, and a worry that if I DO throw it away, suddenly I’ll need it again and regret getting rid of it. For example, I have a bunch of Clinique Chubby Stick tinted balms that I NEVER wear… but maybe I will someday… lol

Yes, all the time. I usually get rid of products that are lesser quality/ brands than the rest of my stash so I KNOW I have a ton of better stuff. Nevertheless I have that silly thought in the back of my mind that I might once need it.
I keep a small box where I put things that are on their way out just to soften the process. So a few days ago I gave away some eyeshadow duo’s that were in the box because I haven’t used them for ages. Just the next day I went crazy browsing the internet for swatches of one of them and considering buying it again. Only finding dupes for that duo in my stash calmed my speeding thoughts.

The small box for things on their way out sounds familiar, I do that with clothes (in a bit bigger box). I call it: the purgatory.

Similar issue. I struggle the most paring back my stash with higher end cosmetics. Also I have an issue with things I have collected in the past and they sit looking pretty but unloved in storage. I still cannot give them away (e.g. LE Chanel highlighters). I no longer purchase cosmetics purely for their aesthetic; haven’t in a couple of years.

Oh yes. I used to have a hard time letting go of things I paid a lot for or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, things I found in a killer sale (“Look at me, the smart shopper!”). When I finally changed my mindset to realize that the money spent was gone and wasn’t coming back, and that whatever I spent originally made absolutely no difference as to an item’s true worth to me, everything changed.

Now I only keep things I love, period. If it doesn’t work or make me happy in some other way (such as a pretty bottle I like to look at or have re-purposed), it’s gone. I **especially** deep-six anything that I know I wasted money on and never use, otherwise I’d feel guilty every time I saw it.

I used to have a problem de-stashing too. Especially eye shadow palettes. I justified keeping the ones I never used because I spent a pretty penny on most of them. Some of the palettes that I used once or that I never used I finally gave to friends and family because they certainly ended up getting more use out of them then I did. Some of the palettes I used heavily in the past but haven’t touched in 2 or more years I finally threw out. I felt a little anxious, but it felt really good to finally pair down my stash.

Yes; mostly for the right reasons. If something is very costly, I’ll spend a lot of time to figure out ways to use it — not least as a discipline measure, so I’m more thoughtful about big ticket items in the future. One TF lipstick = one month’s electrical bill. Also, sometimes I’ll find I can use something I’ve bought much earlier after all; for instance, recently started using a Clarins eyeshadow quad I bought ~4 years ago. So not to be premature in de-stashing something.

If holding onto for awhile and/or forcing creativity to use something costly doesn’t work, then out it goes.

I do tend to hang on to things I rarely use, either because they’re unique, or because they’re limited and I won’t be able to repurchase them if I regret getting rid of them. I’m trying to get over my habit of keeping things just so I can use them as comparisons for new products on the blog. Does anyone really need to know that a new product looks like one that was limited and disappeared four years ago?

For me, it’s easy to toss products that have seen better days, that I don’t use (for whatever reason), that have newer, better replacements, etc. I adore makeup but I think of it as an accessory with which to have fun and stay current. The price of the makeup never factors into my decision to keep or toss because it’s all about the pleasure I get from using it rather than how much I paid for it.

Yes. I worked at Ulta while I was in college, and although it was over 11 years ago I still have a few products I purchased then. I have recently brought myself to purge a lot of old products but a few remain that I just can’t bring myself to toss yet. I’ve since purchased an acrylic makeup storage box that I keep absolutely all of my makeup products in, which has forced me to be much more cognizant of what I buy because my storage space is limited.

My children moved out of the house. This gave me access to another bathroom. To hide more of my makeup. But now it is organized, I have a drawer for eye shadows, one for lips, etc. I had to make everything fit so it was time to filter out what didn’t work. I was afraid to get rid of somethings, but I bit the bullet, and there is always more from where it came from, so if I really couldn’t live without something I could repurchase it, I haven’t repurchased anything yet, yay!

Maybe? I feel like I’m leaning towards yes though.

I go through phases where I want less of a stash, and I’ll be very tough with myself and I’ll get rid of/give away a whole bag of lipsticks. And I’ll feel really really happy and proud of myself!

But other times, I can’t let go of my makeup because I grew up in a low middle class/poor income home. So i was raised to not waste ANYTHING, 90% of my makeup iv Bought with my own hard earned money. So those lessons from childhood still stay strong.

Yes, I do find it hard to let go of eye shadow quads/quints because I own quite a few of them. I only have a few palettes as such (like UD Nakeds 1 & 2, Vice 2 and Sephora It Palette) – all of these I use a lot.
Lipsticks, I don’t have a hard time tossing at all.

I’ve gotten hooked on eye cream shadow sticks and just can’t part with my Naked two palette. It’s my security just in case item.

Yes for sure. I really do have too many products I will never use but they make me happy to see them so it’s ok! I do give products away that I really didn’t like once I
received them. But the other pretties have to stay.

I periodically do clean my closet, now I’m I. The process of getting rid of tons of high heels, and used to do lots more donating with my two kids growing up. Now they are off to college so is just hubby (hubby refuses to get rid of anything he will hold to some old shorts when the elastic is all gross and worn out. Lol! So I gladly help him and later want to hide when he asks for his best marathon running shorts which had tons of pockets to hold all the GU you can ever desire). I got rid of mines. I find it lot easier for myself to get rid of clothing than makeup. I do try to find another solution for some items of clothing but some just does not fit well anymore (our body do change overtime even though I remain slim) and also fashion. I usually take my bags to my mom and let the cleaning lady pick first what she can send to her family then donate the rest. Why is it so hard to get rid of makeup? Last time I threw away an Este Lauder lipstick the flavor had gone rancid. Yuck! Goodbye! 🙂

Once you get going it gets easier. After years of collecting with only a few small purges of obviously expired or otherwise unusable items I got more serious about a year ago.. began going through everything in categories.. a different product from each every day.. wearing it once and then “judging” it.. had to love it or it went. After several months of that I got braver and really tore into my collection and let a ton of items go based on swatches. I’m down to about a quarter of what I had before and still have too much honestly. It really did feel good to get out from under so much and know it’s not just sitting there going bad.
It also helps if you have somewhere for it to go. None of the women’s shelters in my area will take used makeup, and I don’t have any friends or family who would want it. My son started dating a girl that works in a restaurant so I gave her boxes.. multiple boxes lol.. of stuff to go through and then take to work. Lots of very happy waitresses.

Yes, there are certain items I rarely reach for but refuse to give away: KVD Shade & Light eyeshadow palette, Hourglass Ambient Photo Edit palette and Bobbi Brown Pearl finishing powder.

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