Blogging and Organizing Your Stash
So throughout my (almost) three years of blogging I've had to adjust the way I organize my makeup and skincare collections. If you told me even 5 years ago that I would be a full fledge skincare junkie, I probably would've laughed and shrugged you off. In college I would just use a basic drugstore cleanser (I remember using the St. Ive's apricot scrub *shudder*) and the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel if my skin felt dry. And that was basically the extent of my daily skincare routine. *goes back in time and punches younger me for not taking better care of my skin* I think around the time I graduated / came home I started wearing sunscreen so I mean baby steps. Before I moved out of my parent's home, my skincare was pretty much all over the place. I put whatever I could in my medicine cabinet, stored a ton of stuff on my counters, and had an entire dresser drawer full of products. Fast forward to current day in my apartment, I have an incredible amount of storage in my bathroom which I have fully taken advantage of.
As you can imagine, blogging comes with a plethora of products. Like a jaw dropping amount. I never went into blogging with the sole purpose of getting free products, but one day I woke up and just realized it happened suddenly. Blogging can definitely be both a blessing and a curse. Sure I get to try a ton of products, but I also often feel burdened/overwhelmed by products. In the beginning of blogging I would 100% be excited anytime anyone wanted to send me free stuff. Unless I absolutely hated the product / had zero interest / it did not relate to my content at all, I usually said yes. The products definitely added up super quickly and it definitely got overwhelming fast. I tried having a variety of systems:
- I had a mini little basket from IKEA where I would drop products I just received / needed to photograph / test in. This worked well for a while but there were some times when I got so many products that things were piling out of the bag and sitting on the surrounding shelf / floor. Hot mess.
- I ended up emptying out the bottom drawer of one of my dressers and ended up sorting everything out in baskets and stacking products on products. Sure everything fit neatly, but not being able to see everything obviously prevented me from using everything.
In my current apartment, I had to change up the way I stored products and my current setup is working out pretty well. My boyfriend and I have a media cabinet (from IKEA, woo) which I have dibs on one bottom drawer of. Since I do all my photography in our living room to the side of the cabinet, I store all "new" products in there so I can remember to photograph them. Doing my roundup posts has helped me a lot more to help feature the products I'm so kindly gifted and let you guys know what's potentially in my lineup of products to use and try.
- Once I photograph the products they go into my cabinets where all my skincare products live. Having everything in one place and not spread out all over helps me a lot to really remember what I have and there's an infinitely better chance that I'll actually use it. Of course I sift through this every few days to kinda reorganize things (it's therapeutic to me) or move things out to my medicine cabinet / bathroom counter to use on a more regular rotation.
- Circling back up to my little IKEA basket - - if I use a product for a few weeks and decide the product isn't for me, I'll usually toss the product into the bag. It might not be that the product is bad, but it isn't something I love and with so many products to go through, I'm not going to force myself to finish something that I feel "meh" about. I'd rather give it to a friend that may love it more. If you're one of my friends reading this, you'll know what I'm talking about because I bring out that little basket anytime my friends are over so they can have a sift through it :) I absolutely love when friends take things home because the basket empties out pretty regularly and that definitely makes my boyfriend happy lol. I'll also always try and give people a pink Glossier pouch too so they can take all their goodies home. If any of my real-life friends are reading this - come over and shop my dotted basket stash.
When I first organized all my skincare products into my cabinets, I threw most of them in and "organized" everything into categories. Luckily for me the shelves are really tall. Unfortunately, the system I had before didn't make use of all the space I had so I had a lot of things placed in front of one another which really made me miss/avoid all the products in the back. I have mini acrylic shelves from The Container Store which make my medicine cabinet better organized. I had picked up an acrylic riser for my desktop but ended up not using it with my new desk. I didn't have a use for it and had it in my bedroom on top of our dresser essentially doing nothing but collect dust. I ended up using it as an extra shelf within my skincare shelf and it has honestly made life so much easier. Overdramatic? Maybe.
Most of the storage containers I have are from Muji, Daiso, or The Container Store. Personally I appreciate all of my items to be cohesive and similar - it's easier on the eyes. Also with these containers, they can stack which makes them practical if I use them for skincare storage again in the future or otherwise. All the way towards the left of my top shelf are two taller MUJI containers. In one container I have all my face wash products and in the other I have any toners / face mists / essences. (I also had a stray Pixi Peel & Polish in the wrong container which I couldn't fit elsewhere lol - it's not perfect!). On the top of my acrylic shelf, I have 2 more containers. On the left I have moisturizers + sunscreens (some backups and some new ones to try). On the right, I have all the serums and oils that are in my collection (sneak peek on my lG post here) + a little Bobbi Brown eye makeup remover backup tucked away the back. To the right I have two acrylic drawers. The top one holds all of my hand creams - and yes, I do realize how ridiculous it is to have enough to fill up an entire container. On the bottom drawer I have all of my tube face masks, Glossier terrycloth headband, and my spot medicine (Thursday Plantation tea tree oil + drying lotion from Peony Cosmetics). On the bottom of the acrylic shelf I have three little trays. The two left trays hold all of my potted face masks. I should probably separate/categorize them by masking type so my boyfriend can easily pick a mask, but they're all thrown in there right now. The right most tray is a bit of a miscellaneous one as it contains my favorite Patchology eye/lip masks and some new products that I've been reaching for regularly but don't yet have room for in my medicine cabinet.
I'll admit that the rest of the bottom two shelves aren't very exciting. These are a work in progress and eventually I'll take a photograph once I'm a bit happier with them.
On the middle shelf I have an old box that I just laid all of my face sheet masks in standing upright so I can sift through them easily. These are organized by brand On this shelf I also have a large Glossier pink pouch which holds all the sample sachets I have received that I'm waiting to try. But also TBH a lot of these happen to be sachets of my favorite products, which make it easier to take and throw into my bag on trips. I also house all of my makeup brush cleaning supplies and extra Q-Tips / cotton rounds on this shelf.
On the bottom shelf I have a ton of stuff that I "need" but don't necessarily have to reach down for everyday. I have two little hard-plastic baskets from Target - one that stores all my body care and one that stores all my haircare. I also have a giant black leather makeup bag that I got as a GWP from SpaceNK a few years back with all the deluxe samples I have to try. Most of these are also GWPs or products that were free promos from Sephora. A lot of them are products I love in miniature form (because who doesn't love minis?) or are products that I've been wanting to try. These also make great picks for traveling as they're all favorites / things I want to try and can easily be taken without having to decant anything (win-win).
I'm thinking I might do a more in-depth IG story tour showing everything organized. If you're into this idea, please let me know / message me separately :) I know there was that 'new year stash challenge' thing over on IG to go through each category and photograph what you have. My serum/oil post went over so well that I think I'll work my way through my entire stash throughout the next few months. It'll help me really see what I have (even though I know for the most part) and help clear out some products that get a little less love than they deserve. How do you go about storing your skincare products and more?