Last week I returned from a weeklong vacation to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. (Hey, don’t knock it til you try it, it’s actually very nice!)
This trip reminded me of a common bathroom clutter problem often created by travel… An overabundance of travel-size toiletries.
Travel-sized items are terrific. When you’re traveling.
But many of us have entire drawers in our bathrooms dedicated to tiny shampoos, body washes, and soaps.
If you can relate, your problem is likely caused by one of 3 scenarios:
- You’re hosting a large band of very dirty leprechauns in your home.
- You travel like it’s your job. (And maybe it is!)
- You suffer from a very common disease: travel-size-item-itis.
I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume it’s #3.
You’re not alone my friend.
And, indeed, there is a cure.
Allow me to introduce you to…
Rose’s Cardinal Rule for Travel-Sized Items:
Use them. Or don’t.
Here’s what I mean…
If you’re like me, one of the first things you do when you arrive at a hotel is check out the swag, including the nifty soaps and shampoos that are just there for your taking. It’s kind of like housekeeping declared a mini Christmas and left you stocking stuffers minus the stocking. Sweet!
If you dig the offerings, use them. Lather up. Scrub down. Get dirty just so you can get clean. Ask the front desk for additional soaps so you can lather, rinse, and repeat for your entire vacation. Go crazy. It’s vacation, after all!
But if you don’t like the offerings, don’t use them.
Leave them sitting on the counter. Ain’t no shame and ain’t no problem. Use your own stuff and be glad. Housekeeping will thank you for not having to restock.
But never, and I repeat NEVER, take these items with you.
They live in the travel world. That’s where they want to stay. Believe me, everyone is happier if this is the case.
Plucking them from the travel world is like taking Tinkerbell out of Neverland. The magic ends.
Let’s be real. At their own house, nobody wants to shower with a tiny bottle of shampoo or brush their teeth with an itty-bitty tube of toothpaste. It’s just weird.
So let me repeat Rose’s Cardinal Rule of Travel-Sized Items:
Use them. Or don’t.
There is no middle way.
I hear your rebuttal…
Yeah, but… What if I already have a bunch of these items at my house?
Maybe you have a such a backlog of baby mouthwashes and mini soaps that you’re considering passing them out next Halloween in lieu of candy. (Don’t. I would never recommend anyone intentionally make their home a target for a united egging by a righteous band of neighborhood children.)
Instead, there are two things you can do:
Option 1: Use them.
Start a travel-sized campaign in your own house. Refuse to buy big shampoo (power to the people!) until all those eensy weensy bottles are dry. This will take longer than you think, but repetitively trying to squeeze conditioner from a bottle that belongs in a dollhouse will reinforce my cardinal rule and I promise you will never, ever take these items home with you again.
Option 2: Donate them.
Homeless shelters are always in need of travel-size items for their guests. If you’re lucky enough to be able to have a roof over your head (which I assume you are, if you’re reading this) let these items do some good for those who don’t. (I strongly endorse option #2 here.)
I hope this decluttering tip helps you create more peace and calm in your bathroom today!