For Christmas last year, I opened my stocking and presents just like everyone else, and like many of you, I received quite a few skincare products that I found myself putting away on my shelf to use later. Cue January and I began taking stock of the gifts I received and deciding what to do with them. I counted up the gifts I received and realized I had three different sugar scrubs, several chapsticks, and a number of body butters/lotions lying on my shelves.
I am not the kind of person who uses that stuff with any regularity. I enjoy it, but I’ve never made it a habit to use up a lotion or chapstick. It just tends to sit around for a while and I’ll use it when the mood strikes me.
As you can imagine, I’ve now gotten quite a large collection of various types of skincare just hanging out on my shelves. I’ve got scrubs, body butters, lotions, Epsom salts, and so many other things that are waiting to be used up that I realized if I don’t start cutting down on them, I’m just going to receive more of them as gifts next year and have to make space for them again.
So what’s a girl to do with all these beauty products that she normally doesn’t use often? Start a project pan, of course.
I see you looking at me like I’ve just spoken Greek. So let me tell you about project panning. It’s actually something that originated in the makeup community, and while I rarely — if ever — wear makeup, I find the idea translates to skincare products as well.
Project panning is the practice of using up a product, usually a makeup palette, to the pan or the base of the product. So in the case of, say, an eye shadow palette, the idea is to use it up until you see the inside pan where the shadow rests. For a lot of people who deal with a makeup addiction, adding project panning to their lives means that they use it to motivate themselves during a period of not buying any additional products.
To really do a project pan, you would ideally want to start by taking an inventory of all your products that you’d like to declutter. For me, that includes several shelves worth of products I’ve collected for far too long. Part of that inventory should take into account whether your products are expired or not. I’ve got a few that I simply had to toss, but there are more waiting to simply be used up.
In order to not waste products, I’ve decided to systematically work on using them up, and that means I want to avoid buying any new products until I can clear out more space in my shelves and prove that I’ll use what I have. It really only matters to myself, but I want to get some use out of these products that people have given me or that I’ve bought to try out.
My project panning goes a little bit like this: I pick a couple of products to focus on and then I make a habit out of using them on a regular basis. For example, I’ve got a sugar scrub that now sits in my shower, and I’ve made it a point to use it every time I shower, which makes my skin feel amazing. Then when I get out of the shower, I’ve chosen a body butter to use up, so I slather that on as well. At night when I’m getting ready for bed, I’ve got a lotion that sits on my bedside table, and I make it a point to put that on as well, which is something I never used to do.
Aside from those skincare products, I’m also trying to use up a number of face care products as well. So I’m making a dedicated morning and evening routine to try and use up the different cleansers, moisturizers, and serums I’ve collected. It’s actually become a rather soothing thing to use these products in my everyday routine, and I’m finding it a pleasure to work towards “panning” these things as I use them regularly.
Overall project panning is really just a different term for decluttering, but it’s the idea of decluttering through actually using a product up that I like. I want to find value in a product, and I can’t do that if it sits on my shelf or goes into a box of donation items. For me, project panning is proving to be a great way to declutter and make me feel more like I’m not wasting products.