A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

I organized my makeup bag. Whoop-dee-frickin’-doo.

On a recent two-week trip away from home, I found myself jonesin’ to organize something! I guess that’s a side effect from being this far into the 52 Weeks of Organizing Project. Or maybe I was suffering from Org Junkie withdrawal symptoms.

I was at my Mom’s very neat and orderly house, and craving an organizing fix, I had no choice but to focus on what I brought with me.

First thing I did was unpack.

Done! Let’s hit the beach, y’all!

My anal tidy husband didn’t like that at all. “But honey, I’m on vacation!” (I whined.) “So am I!” said Mr. Bossy Pants. Oh snap. The man had a point there. Poor thing deserves a vacation away from our cluttered home.

So I put my Mojito down, folded my clothes in a semi-neatly fashion, and put them away in the guest room drawers and closet.

I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl! I never unpack when I’m on vacation. But I decided to give it a whirl and you know what, it was nice. I knew where everything was. It wasn’t (too) wrinkled. And the room was so pretty and peaceful without my piles everywhere. I think I may have actually slept better in that room than I do at home…and not just because of the ocean air or the extra night cap(s).

Feeling the high of my unpacking success, I decided to tackle something else…my makeup bag!

Check it out… I couldn’t even zip that sucker shut, it was so full of junk.


Using Org Junkie’s PROCESS (Plan, Remove, Organize, Containerize, Evaluate, Simplify, Smile), I was able to clean my bag out in a matter of minutes!

1.) Plan: my plan was to clean out the makeup bag, toss the junk and ancient stuff, organize what I keep. {Der.} The planning step always confounds me. But maybe that’s why I live in a constant state of chaos. Hmmm.

2.) Remove: just dumped it out, easy peasy.

Hey, who put that big fishbowl of wine there? Gah!

3.) Organize: make piles, like with like…


Right off the bat, I tossed two old mascaras. I need an eye infection like I need another signed Ohio State football “decorating” my living room bookshelf.

In the photo above you may notice a pile in the middle of things that don’t belong in a makeup bag… a pen, a rubber band, a marble, a flosser, a sweater defuzzer (that I swear to God I do not use on my face, even though I probably could.) All that crap went either right into the trash or into a plastic baggie to take home.

4.) Containerize:


5.) Evaluate: 


Ohmigosh, I don’t think this picture does it justice. Here it is again in relation to a stick of lip stuff so you can see how truly tiny it is:

Seriously. How cheap and lazy can one woman be? I can’t even put the cap on this eyebrow pencil or the whole nub will get stuck in the cap. As a result, the cap-less nub gets lost in the bottom of the bag every dang day and the tip breaks off and discolors the makeup bag. In addition, the tiny pencil nub in my ginormous hand is really difficult to use, and thus, more days than not, I walk past mirrors and am always startled to see this looking back at me:

image credit: www.theluxuryspot.com

And with all that money in my hand, why don’t I just plunk some down and buy a new eyebrow pencil that I can actually use???

My evaluation: time for a new eyebrow pencil, dumbass.

6.) Simplify: I also removed two different drug store eyeshadows that I bought during an extreme couponing phase that made me look (even more) like a hooker. I didn’t throw them out though; I gave them to my 8 year old daughter so she can look like an underage hooker. That’s how I roll. I don’t care if she experiments with frosty eyeshadow, as long as she does it in the safety of our home, under my watchful eye and tutelage.


7.) Smile: my makeup bag is streamlined and organized! I can close it now! I get to buy some new stuff! So hell yeah I’m smiling. Not bad work for a vacation day.

Only one problem…

I’m not on vacation anymore.

Back to reality,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


  1. Julie @ mamamash

    I’m so guilty of hoarding makeup. I have to get smaller bags each time so I’m forced to throw stuff out.

    And that room! With those flowers! Looks like a spa.

  2. Leighann

    I love the pic of the eyebrow lady (I imagine her in walmart, and she’s wearing baggy jogging pants…. she has not teeth).

    Also? I soooo have an eyeliner the SAME size!

  3. Rochelle

    I used to give my daughter all my cosmetic “mistakes” until she started hoarding them in various bags!! Now I’m secretly tossing makeup out of her bags as she doesn’t think there is anything wrong with wearing 3 yr old mascara that she “shares” with her friends. Last year’s pink eye epidemic brought the problem to our attention – haha!!

  4. Muffintopmommy

    Will you come help me? Oprah doesn’t return my calls. What’s her frickin’ problem?

  5. Muffintopmommy

    Also? Can I vacation at your mom’s house? Just leave the part out about me being a messy slob. I’ll BYOB and take her out to dinner!!

  6. Julie

    Hey…I have one of those handy-dandy Sweater Defuzzers too!

  7. Gina

    I keep avoiding those links to organization like the plague. I really should check it out. Maybe I will tomorrow.

  8. Allysgrandma

    Haha. By the way I think Mini-me looks cute! I spent a fun hour or two at Walmart today and everyone was dressed nice and was nice. I got lots of organizing stuff for my daughter’s house. I don’t think she will be happy with me…I hope she is! That’s how I am getting my fix while I am here for 3 weeks. Easier to clean and organize someone else’s house anyway right?

  9. Liz @ Wonder Woman I'm Not

    Wow – I think somehow my makeup bag ended up at your house! Now that it’s organized I’d like it back please 🙂 I do have one question, where did the blue eye shadow go that I need to make my daughter look like a wanna be every year at recital time?

  10. Alison@Mama Wants This

    Ah crap, I really need to clear out my makeup CASE.

    Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll do it. Tomorrow. Soon.

  11. Dawn@LightenUp!

    I could organize too. If I had your big-ass fishbowl of wine.

  12. Danielle@sixtasteschef

    Little or big, it’s impressive either way if you’re organizing, imo. I love to organize in small chunks! And I want to inspect that fishbowl-full-of-wine a little more closely….

  13. laura

    and the vera bradley CRACKED me up. especially after my fish bowl of wine.
    then i went to the bathroom.
    then i googled Depends.
    you’re fantastic.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh I do loves me some Vera…all those pockets!! And washable! And nothing screams “I’m not criminally insane!” like a preppy Vera pattern. Believe it, sister.

  14. Mads

    I never imagined I would read an entire post about organizing a makeup bag and still be thoroughly entertained the whole time. Bravo.
    My makeup back has a similarly small eyeliner pencil. Time to upgrade!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks Mads. That’s a great compliment! I appreciate it!

  15. Karin

    Best way to keep your makeup bag organized is to not own one. No makeup, no mess.
    Of course, then I end up looking like a cracked out zombie raccoon most of the time with my uneven skin tone, zits and HUGE under and over eye circles. I still refuse to wear makeup with the exception of occasional concealer, which is completely futile, because it doesn’t really conceal anything. Hence my reluctance to wear makeup in the first place.

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