Tip of the Week: Travel-Size Items

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I just returned from a weeklong vacation, so this week’s tip is inspired by everyone’s favorite tiny travel companion, travel-size items. 

Travel-sized items are terrific. When you’re traveling.

But I have often found entire drawers of clients’ bathrooms dedicated to tiny shampoos, body washes, and soaps.

This leads to me assume one of three things:

  1. These people are hosting a large band of very dirty leprechauns somewhere in this house.
  2. These people travel like it’s their JOB. (And can I please have their job???)
  3. These people suffer from a very common disease: travel-size-item-itis.

After a brief discussion of said items, we usually determine that it is indeed, #3. Perhaps you suffer from this, too.

Luckily, 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.

Because 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 ground.

Yeah, but… I hear you saying, What if I already have a bunch of these items at my house?

Maybe you have a such a backlog of baby mouthwashes and floss that you’re considering opening a dental practice in your basement just to get rid of them.

In this case, 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 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 Rose’s 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, let these items do some good for those who don’t. (If you can’t tell, I personally endorse option #2 here.)

Remember, this week’s tip of the week will bring you one step closer to less stuff and more peace of mind. Cheers to that!  

PS Want more minimalism how-to? Get my FREE Minimalist Starter Guide!

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