Monday, February 25, 2013

Clutterbusting the Travel Toiletries

A few days ago I busted the clutter in my home's front hall closet. It was so simple and easy to doI was energized to tackle another  mess. This time, I attacked a small unit of stackable drawers stuffed with my travel-sized toiletries and plastic containers.

The two drawers looked like this when I started:

 Euww. And ugh.

But going by the same rules as last time, first I took every single thing out. Here's Mu Shu, supervising the bag full of stuff:

I set aside a place to put trash:

Then I cleared off a big working surface (in my case, the kitchen table) and made small piles, putting like objects together.

Wipes are great to have for travel, but nobody needs quite this many on hand. I moved all but one (the "Nice n Clean" package of 20 wipes) to another place in the house, where they'll get seen and used faster:

When you travel--especially when you hike cross-country as I do--you MUST have a small supply of tissues and/or almost-empty toilet paper rolls. These go back in the drawer:

It's good to have a selection of empty little pots and bottles for decanting makeup and skin products. But I had too many, so I recycled a few of the crummier ones to the plastics bin and kept the best:

Sometimes when you buy a nicer purse or shoes, a cloth storage bag is part of the purchase. I use these bags  in my luggage to keep leather shoes from getting scratched. I have four--that's not too many--so they all get to stay:

Hand sanitizer is great. Six bottles of it is silly. I saved the Keck USC one (because it's so cute, and I'm a proud mama of a medical student there). And I saved one of the small Purells. The rest got the sendoff:

A traveller needs various creams for soothing chapped and bug-bitten skin. These itty bitty pots are all an ounce or two each, so they stay:

Oops. Duplicate lint rollers and nail files. Give one away and keep one.

Ah, dear; more duplications. A shower cap in a petite little box, and one out flopping around like a dead jellyfish. I kept the boxed one and recyled the plastic in the floppy one.

This is one of my best travel ideas: a small nail brush and a petite bar of soap in a travel case. Many times I've hiked into a tiny village for lunch, only to discover the rustic "washroom" has running water, but no soap, no paper towels, and nothing to scrub the dirt out from under my nails. These babies may not be pretty, but they've made it easier for me to get my hands clean before a meal:

A small container of biodegradeable liquid soap is great for travel. You can use it to wash out clothes in the sink, but it also works to wash your hands, body, or even your hair (in a pinch). I suppose I ought to get rid of one of these. But the Camp Suds makes me happy because it reminds me of backpacking in the Sierra with my dad. And Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap makes me laugh because of its oddball packaging. So they both get a pass:

Why do I keep picking up those hand creams in hotels? They are never heavy-duty enough for my dry skin. I kept the small tube of Eucerin, which is fantastic and has no fragrance (The Hubby appreciates that; fragrances make him cough). I gave the rest to a friend:

A segmented caddy for daily meds and vitamins is good. So is something to get out spots when you are away from your laundry room:

Once I tossed/recycled/relocated about a third of the crud, I had two nicely pared-down drawers:

Here's the toiletries drawer, after the clutterbusting:

And here's the equally streamlined drawer of travel containers and bags:

Hey! How did a second mini lint roller sneak back in the drawer??

Oh, well. In a house with three pugs, it's probably a good idea to have two lint rollers when traveling.

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