Last week I wrote about being an opener (link), specifically regarding my love of opening new bottles of beauty products. While I embrace this condition, being an opener means I’m also prone to “Opener Accumulation,” a term I’m coining for the tendency of openers to accumulate collections of half-used products no longer employed (#FutureMerriam-WebsterContributor). In order to rid myself of Opener Accumulation, I’ve entertained quite a few techniques, and I’m sharing with you some of my best and worst remedies.
Strategies for Those Prone to Opener Accumulation (AKA keeping products under the bathroom sink you never use):
Consider These Strategies for Your Leftover, Half-Filled Bottles:
- Reflect on how much you like the product. Before relocating your half-used bottle under the sink, be honest with yourself about whether you’ll ever use the product again. Maybe that shampoo left your hair too dried out, or you weren’t a big fan of the smell of that leave-in conditioner, they’re both great reasons to discard rather than store.
- Give yourself a number (for how many half-used bottles you’ll allow yourself to store). Once you’re at that number and you open a new bottle, toss one (or two if you’re feeling bold!) out to keep your number the same.
- Time limit. Attach a sticky note to the bottle with the date of the last time the product was used. Determine an amount of time products are allowed to remain unused. Once the deadline is up, it’s time to let it go.
- Here’s the simplest strategy: toss the half-used bottle as soon as you open the new one. I’ve tried approaches 1, 2, and 3, but at some point I realized that it took more energy, and caused much more clutter frustration, than just getting rid of the old bottle as soon as I’d moved on.
Here are some things to avoid….
- Avoid letting half-used bottles pile up in the guest bathroom. How many types of body wash do your guests need?
- Avoid saving them “for friends.” Unless you have a specific friend in mind you know will use and appreciate it, don’t save it.
- Avoid buying storage pieces to maximize your holding space for products you never use. Storage pieces should help you access items you use, not items you have no reason to keep.
Other Things to Consider When It Comes to Beauty Products
- Expiration dates. When it comes to products that go on or in your body, do you really want to be using something that’s past its prime?
- Half-used makeup can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Look online for recommendations on how often to switch out specific products.
- Sunscreen, SUPER important to check the expiration date on these bad boys. What’s the point of lubing up on sunscreen if it’s expired and you’re just going to get burned? Do yourself a favor and check the expiration date before you throw it in your beach bag.