Staff Picks: The empties we hoard and how we reuse or throw them away

I remember feeling impressed rather than shocked when I found out that Kim had kept all her empties from the past two years. Although it's hard to rival SIX GIANT BAGS of boxes and packaging, she is not the lone hoarder in the PV team. Now that she's finally gotten rid of her stash of junk, I think it's time the rest of us come clean. In this edition of the PV girls' staff picks, we 'fess up on our own empties collections, how we store them, and why we just can't seem to let go!


Den: I've been trying very hard to become a reformed pack rat but the struggle is real! I rarely empty out products but if it's a tiny palette or a glass bottle, I find myself unable to let go. Some I've been able to repurpose as containers for small items like cotton buds and pins. Small glass jars are great for decants from larger containers - they make for a prettier display and it keeps the rest of the product from exposure and contamination. Not in photo but I also save old contact lens cases for when one of the PV girls request to try something in my collection.

I used to keep box packaging because I felt I might need them for shooting photos but since I've never actually had to, I now chuck them in our condo's paper collection bin. I still collect the plastic bottles from shampoos and body washes in a bin under my bathroom sink though, because I plan to bring them to recycling events.

Gett: I keep my empties to motivate myself to post what I was able to finish up (just like Crystal does!). I love the feeling of finishing up a product! However, I get either too lazy or I totally lose track of time so I forget to take photos of my empties. Usually I dispose most of them but I keep containers like tubs and those with pumps to store refills. Sometimes I even find some of those containers being used by my grandma to store other items! I also keep those with cute packaging because ~cute~. 😂😆


Claire: I usually discard my empties to lessen my clutter at home but I keep empty jars for mixing and storing my DIY skincare and makeup mixes. I also don't let go of spray bottles that actually spray product rather than spitting on my face. These are for decants of decent face mists with poor packaging. I also like reusing beauty boxes, specially those from Althea, as makeup and skincare storage.

Tellie: I throw away all boxes because our resident junker doesn't like them - too many cosmetic boxes are laminated and not useful for him.

I store empties and mostly empties in one corner of my supplies drawer. It still fits because I don't empty that many things and this particular drawer is free. The empties are mostly for promos like Benefit's and Shiseido's, or for keeping until I find an ecological way of disposing them. I take every citizen's MAC empties because I love doing Back 2 MAC (6 qualifying containers for 1 regular lipstick) when I travel.

Almost-empties are mostly expired mascara, which is probably the only thing I'm strict about.

Marielle: I end up keeping a lot of boxes because I feel like I might get around to reviewing the products and need their info (like ingredients, weight, and claimed benefits). So, yes, in addition to hoarding beauty products, I also have a stash of boxes that I need to get around to sorting!

Crystal: I've been posting my monthly empties on Instagram for more than a year now, so I hold on to them until the end of the month to keep track of how much stuff I can consume. I can't deny that I get some satisfaction from emptying a good number of products each month! Sometimes, they are also handy for when brands have swap promos that allow me to exchange empty bottles for a purchase discount or free samples. I eventually dispose of the rest, though, because I don't have space to store them.

Are you a fellow hoarder who can relate to our pack-rat compulsions, or are you an expert at staying junk-free? Share your experiences with us, and give us your best tips for both storage solutions and how to be ruthless about trashing the unnecessary!