2016 was the first year I started saving and regularly documenting my empties. This may or may not be because it was the first year I had a decent amount of space for my makeup – enough space so that nobody could have a go at me for keeping 12 empty shampoo bottles.
The first month I did my empties was March – I moved into my flat in mid-February so it was the first full month I’d saved my trash.
Ah.. Such humble beginnings.. I used up a total of 16 products during March. I don’t think I was saving shampoo, soap, or dental empties at this point, so there may have been a few more – but I do remember I was working on using up the perfume samples, so I was very proud to have finished two already!
I posted the above photo in mid-April and wrote that I was focussing on using up all these items – a few of them are still going (namely that neverending Vaseline) but the majority showed up in empties posts throughout the year, so I think I did pretty well!
Clearly the previous month had pushed me to use up more items – I more than doubled my total from March, finishing 40 products in one month! Admittedly, many of them were samples or mini sizes, but I remember feeling very accomplished, and motivated to continue for the rest of the year. Some of these items I had held on to for years, so it was therapeutic to finally finish them.
At the beginning of May I put up another post on my use-it-up goals, which contained some of the items from the previous one I had carried over. This time I was more selective and picked individual products from different categories – a lot were full size, so I think I felt it’d be more effective to work on one at a time.
I have to say I wasn’t as successful with these products during this month (though I did finish almost all of them later) but upon reflection, most of these were too large to finish in one month, are products I wouldn’t use very often, or that last a long time.
In May I finished 5 of the products I was working on, and 22 in total. I’d started a lot of new skincare, so at that point I didn’t expect to finish much during the next month.
In June I finished my first candle! I don’t think I’d ever finished a candle before in my life.. I also included a brush I was throwing out because it was falling apart, and an eye makeup remover that stung my eyes, so they aren’t technically empties but we’ll include them – why not?
A total of 21 empties in June – including an incredibly old shower gel I bought before I moved to Nottingham, which was in 2009. Eight years ago. I moved house 7 times since I bought that shower gel.. shocking. Don’t hoard stuff kids.
I put up another use-it-up-goals post in July – you can see that Vaseline still hanging in there!
With the end of July came 23 empties – somehow I’d managed to burn 3 candles, use 2 tubes of toothpaste, and go through 3 full size shower gels in one month.
I was then super lazy and didn’t write about my empties until…
In October I had some major catching up to do, which resulted in this utter madness:
Luckily I had my blog by then, so these resulted in being my very first post. Yay!
If you’d like to read reviews of all these products, you can find this post here.
I used a grand total of 80 products during August, September & October, which completely filled an enormous plastic storage box. Crazy.
During November and December, I used up 41 products. I worked that out at roughly one product every day and a half, which is pretty bloody good.
From March to December 2016, I used up a grand total of 243 products.
Holy macaroni. That’s impressive! Considering that’s only from 10 months, I think I can do a whole lot better in 2017. Read on to find out what I’ll be focussing on this year…
GOALS FOR 2017
Although I’ve made good progress on some areas of my stash over the last year, there’s definitely a few areas I want to work harder on in 2017.
I’m scared to give this a name but I think we’ll call it my ‘Stash Shelf’… There’s no storage space in my bathroom – and I like to bulk-buy as I find it saves me quite a bit – so I started keeping extra bottles of shampoo and shower gel on here, along with my hair styling products. The stash grew!
I’m not too fussed about the shower gel and shampoos I’ve accumulated – I know I’ll get through those at some point – but the lotions and fragrances are another story entirely.
A large majority of these were gifts, but I did purchase 5 of them.
Current body lotion inventory stands at:
- 2 body oils
- 2 large body butters
- 9 small body butters
- 4 full size lotions
- plus plenty of mini hotel freebie lotions (not pictured)
I’ve seen a few people post on Instagram about #projectlotions – so it looks like I’m not the only one with this issue! I’d really like to finish a few of these this year.. Even though my skin can get super dry, I always forget to use body lotion so I’m hoping I can make it a habit after I shower and start making a dent in some of these!
Most of the perfumes were gifted to me too, if that makes this any less insane.. (it doesn’t)
In total, I currently have:
- 2 rollerballs
- 5 body sprays
- 12 full sized perfumes (50ml+)
- 4 midi sized perfumes (30ml)
- 10 mini perfumes
- 1 perfume sample
I’m planning on wearing perfume every day on rotation and decide which I really like and which I’m not fussed about – I’m open to decluttering them if I don’t particularly care for them, as I’d like to have a small selection of scents I really love!
I’m also going to try to adopt the 1-in, 1-out rule – especially for skincare, but also for face makeup. It would be super cool to use up some makeup other than foundations and concealers too! I am pretty good at using up skincare products, and do try to only have one of each item open at once, so I’m hoping to continue that this year. I also want to burn through as many of my candles as I can – I’ve got a bit of an addiction, but it’s ok, because they are something I actually use. If I do get any more though, I will have to buy a cupboard to keep them in. (eek!)
Aim: Cut down perfume collection
Action: Wear perfume every day to decide which I love and which I don’t. Use up or destash any I don’t care for
Goal: Ultimately, I would like to have 5-8 scents I really enjoy wearing
Aim: Use up body lotion stash
Action: Use body lotion after every shower and make it part of my routine
Goal: Use ALL of the lotions, then have 1 open at a time, with 1 or 2 backups maximum
Aim: Hit over 300 empties (bonus points if I hit 365!)
Since I hit 243 this year in 10 months, and I will be working on my perfumes and lotions too, I definitely think this will be achievable.
I’m looking forward to revisiting these goals this time next year and seeing how I did! I’m also planning on calculating the total cost of the products based on RRP as I go along and seeing the value of the items I use up each year. It should be a bit of an eye-opener!