Let’s admit it: Freebies are hard to resist. I’m currently in a hotel room getting ready to leave and staring down an assortment of free travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soaps and more, wondering if I should take these. That’s when the “It might be useful someday” monster rears its ugly head.
“Those freebies are the perfect size to take along for your next trip!” the monster says.
“If you have house guests come over who have forgotten to pack shampoo, you can save the day by giving them one of these!” the monster tries again.
“Why not take them? They are so little, they will take up barely any space in your house. And then you have them on hand JUST IN CASE …”
I’m tempted, quite honestly. But I’ve organized enough bathrooms for other people to know that I will most likely never use these freebies. The travel supplies in my clients’ bathrooms are typically the least used items in that room, and we usually end up throwing out these freebies because the liquids have started to go bad. What a waste!
So I fight back against the “It might be useful someday” monster with my trusted weapons: Reality Checks.
Reality Check #1: They might be the perfect size for my next trip, but they are made of low-quality ingredients that will dry out my hair and make it frizz up. I want my hair to look and feel good no matter even when I’m on vacation! So I would rather pack my preferred brands of shampoo, conditioner, etc. instead of using cheap brands the hotels provide.
Reality Check #2: If my house guests forget their own shampoo, I will simply give them one of my extra, full-size bottles of higher quality shampoo or conditioner to use instead. Honestly, I think it’s more generous than giving them a bottle of low-quality product that will last them barely 3 days.
Reality Check #3: Sure, the freebies are little and don’t take up much space. But I have learned as a professional organizer that it’s not the SIZE of the items in your house that makes your house feel cluttered and overwhelming–it’s the NUMBER of items in your house. This is because each item represents a decision that has to be made further down the line, decisions such as “do I want to keep this?” and “where should I store it?” And it’s the NUMBER of DECISIONS to be made in a house that makes us feel overwhelmed, not the size of the items we are deciding on. So keeping something just because it’s small is a mental trap that will only make more work for us later on in the future.
So that’s how I slayed the “It might be useful someday” monster. The battle today has been won, but I know the monster will come back the next time I see a sales aisle, go by a garage sale or sort through the back recesses of my kitchen drawers. It’s up to me to stay strong so my house stays as clutter-free as possible!
Do you have to deal with this monster? What do you do or tell yourself to fight it off?
Like this post? Then like our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram or Pinterest. In need of professional organizing services in the Portland, Beaverton or Lake Oswego area for your home or office? Contact us for a low-cost assessment and get an estimate on your project here.