This is a drawer in my hall closet. As you can see, it is filled with various hotel amenities.
This is not the only "hotel drawer" in my apartment. Everyone loves to take home hotel bath products "for future trips," but when you travel as much as I used to for my job, they start to pile up. Because, you see, each "future trip" was only another opportunity to cart home even more miniature shampoos and lotions.
Sure, I brought them along every once in a while for weekend or overnight trips, but the intake was always more than what I used up. So, after 4 years living here, they've really begun to accumulate. If you vacation once or twice a year, this probably isn't a problem for you, but if you're a frequent traveler for business, pleasure, or both, it's one of those things that tends to sneak up on you.
Recently I've begun cleaning out the hotel drawers, and I'm pretty disgusted with myself. When I started this cleaning project, I had every intention of using up these products immediately, but, have you ever opened up a bottle of body lotion that's "turned"? Ugh. SO many things had to be tossed; they certainly weren't usable, or suitable for donation. Talk about wasteful!
The shampoos and shower gels are fine, so I've made a little promise to myself to not allow any full-size items into my shower until I've exhausted most of that supply. Soaps, and any additional items I find along the way, are being donated to a women's shelter.
A few tips for keeping your hotel mini stash under control:
- Just resist. Put that conditioner down! If you're already loyal to a certain brand at home, chances are, you aren't going to use it anyway.
- Use the nice ones (Bigelow, Bvlgari, Molton Brown, etc) in matched sets to stock your guest bathroom.
- Quit buying hand cream and stash a mini body lotion in each of your purses.
- Bring mini conditioners to the beach; work some through damp hair after a swim to keep beach frizz and flyaways under control.
- Actually USE THEM for those weekend and overnight trips. If you think there's not enough product to sustain you, just grab two.
- Round up the extras once a year and donate them to a shelter. My company, where frequent travel is the norm for many, runs a soap drive every year for this very purpose.