organized hair care products and accessories

Pick a Declutter Deck Card: Hair Products and Accessories

Prompt Card from Declutter Deck™: Hair Products and Accessories

Set your timer for 60 minutes and take a before photo.

Step 1: Take Everything Out and Make the Pile

Typically we say, "make the pile" - but in this case it’s a line. Line up all your hair care products and hair accessories. Using the KonMari Method® of organization, gather everything together from all over your home. I took some products from the linen closet in my bathroom, others from underneath my sink and sinks in other bathrooms, and many from inside my bathroom drawers. I have helped other people organize their bathrooms, and when doing so, paid attention to where others store their items. Don’t forget to look in bags around the house because I’ve seen people put newly purchased items, such as hair supplies, in their clothes closet by mistake. Another place to look is in your gym bags or luggage if you’ve recently come home from a trip or a night out. Check your purse, too.

Step 2: Group Your Hair Care Products

First: Make sure nothing is leaking. Then, start to group like items by putting similar items together. Do this by matching exact items, since we often purchase two of the same product at once or buy duplicates when we find something we like. Or maybe we purchased a lot of one item when there was a sale and we loaded up. Check each bottle to see where the contents range on the spectrum from full to empty. Also, look for expiration dates, if applicable.


If you have only one of each item, then group like items of different brands. For example, I have several different types of shampoo. I have two bottles of Nexxus Therapee Ultimate Moisture Shampoo for Dry Hair in the gray bottle. I also have baby shampoo, which I originally bought when my grandson came to spend the night. I haven’t used much of his shampoo because my daughter brings his shampoo if he comes to stay with me. I group his shampoo with my like items for the time being, knowing that I will most likely give his shampoo back to her. I also have a few samples I got at the beauty supply store that seem to be something I would never use. I group these samples with the other shampoos.

Shampoo Expires - Look for Dates

If I have odds and ends, I try to figure out when I purchased them. Did you know that shampoo can expire? Expired shampoo may cause irritation or itchiness to your scalp and eyes because of chemical changes and allergens. You may get a scalp infection in the worst-case scenario, depending on the bacteria's virulence factors.

If my shampoo is expired, I use the product to clean my hairbrushes (except bristle brushes) or make-up brushes. Another thing I do with expired shampoo is use it to shave my legs. Works great. You can also use a little bit of expired shampoo to pre-treat stains on the collar of clothing. The oil marks are from your skin and scalp, so shampoo is perfectly designed to remove these marks.


Then, I look at my conditioners. I really like Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisture Conditioner for Dry Hair. I don’t use conditioner as quickly as I use shampoo, and I don’t have any other bottles; it stands alone and is half full.

Specialty Hair Products

The next items I group are the specialty products that I have purchased over the past two years. Although I love the idea of using products for my hair, I grew up in an era when there was no such thing as hair products. There was shampoo, and maybe conditioner. Conditioner was something of a luxury at that point. We used No More Tangles instead. Needless to say, I don’t own a lot of these specialty items.

I do own a few hair products, including Bed Head After Party Super Smoothing Cream because I like my hair to be silky, smooth, shiny, and healthy-looking. It works for me. I also have three-quarters of a bottle of Davines OI All in One Milk that I sometimes use. I switch between the two and prefer one over the other. I have a third product that is completely full. So, I have three bottles of hair care products that I barely use. I don’t own hairspray.

The first thing I do when grouping these hair care products is look at expiration dates. Although the FDA does not require hair product manufacturers to include a traditional expiration date, our general rule is to throw away any unopened hair product after 36 months. Once the product has been opened, we recommend throwing it away within 12 months. Expired hair products won't do any damage to your hair, but they won't perform their function properly either. One of the best tips for checking when hair products expire is to write your date of purchase and date opened on any bottles of hair products in permanent marker.

Tip: Write in a place that won’t rub off on your countertops or rinse off in your shower.

Step 3: Edit

I continue to go through my products, one at a time, grouping and deciding whether I will ever use the product again, or if it’s seen better days. If I decide that I will not use the product anymore, I think about how others may use it.

There are options for donating what doesn’t work for you rather than throwing the product away. Better than putting it in the trash and ending up in a landfill, try these options: Donate to a homeless shelter, especially the little travel-sized shampoos and conditioners you get at hotels; donate to a woman’s shelter; donate to a human services organization. When my daughter was in high school, she and her volunteer organization made hygiene kits for kids in the local community for back-to-school. I always donate my overflow toothpaste and similar small items to organizations that do the same thing.

Now, you are left with fewer things to organize. You have gone through your items, hopefully found many empty bottles (or near empty), taken the plastic bottles to the recycle bin, and put donations into a pile to take to someone else who will benefit from them.

Wipe down the bottles and do the reverse of what you would typically do. Take the almost empty bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and anything else where you have “just a little left” and start using them. Day after day. Your hair may not be perfect, but if you decided to keep the product because you think you might use it, use it! And, then recycle every bottle until you’re down to what you just like to use. Before purchasing another hair product, finish these up. It saves you time and money.

Check the Prompt Timer – Decluttering Hair Care Products Takes Time

If an hour has passed, and you haven’t gotten to your hair accessories, continue with hair accessories the following day before drawing another card. If you find you have energy left to organize your hair accessories, go for it, repeating the same process you did for your hair care products. You’ll find that you own a lot of identical products. I love clips and elastic hair ties, and that’s pretty much everything for me. Decluttering my hair accessories is easy.

But, for you, you may have headbands, and lots of hair tools like a hairdryer, curling iron, straightener, or diffuser. See what you have, what you no longer use, and what can be donated. If an item doesn’t work anymore, decide if it’s time to purchase a different one or if it can be repaired. Clean out, so that every item you own is in good working order, functional, and has a purpose. If not, it is trash or needs to be donated.

Step 4: Return Everything to its Place

Return everything to its place, paying attention to good organization. Do you want to create a storage system in this area of your bathroom? Now, is a good time to look at that. Items that keep things neat and tidy include STORi at Amazon, NUBEE for a shelf or inside a deep drawer, or clear bottle organizers. A clear bottle organizer that’s typically used in the pantry is equally good for under counter storage to help you see what you own.

Go the Extra Step to Clean Your Hairbrushes

At the end of working through all my hair products, the last step is to clean all my hairbrushes. I do this with shampoo and then dry them on a clean towel on my bathroom countertop. I make a regular habit of doing this, since there is a lot of dirt and oil that gets trapped in these brushes.

Take an after photo. Then, you’re finished for the day.

(Instructions provided by professional organizers at The Uncluttered Life, Inc.)

About Life Hack Decks™

Declutter Deck® is part of the life Hack Decks™ collection. Life Hack Decks™ are powerful micro-prompt cards to make your life easier while reducing stress in your day. These instructional decks simplify ineffective routines and help you go from stuck and overwhelmed to inspired and empowered. Life Hack Decks™ take the stress out of decision-making and motivate you to tackle things you’ve been putting off for years. Life Hack Decks™ (52 cards per deck) allow you to focus on the things that bring you joy, happiness, and connection with others rather than lingering in the mundane, anxiety-producing ruts in which we often find ourselves.

Delegate To The Deck®

The Life Hack Decks™ collection currently includes Date Deck, Declutter Deck®, Dorm DeckNew Mama Deck and Random Acts of Kindness Deck.

Order your Declutter Deck® to get your hair products and accessories in order. $19.95 plus shipping. And don’t forget to tag us and a friend at @lifehackdecks to show us your before-and-after photos.

Back to blog