Riddle: What is smaller than the palm of your hand but takes up an entire closet?
Answer: Travel sizes!
The Case Against Travel Sizes
The allure of travel sizes is unmistakable. They are cute. They are novel. They are pretty. They are often free. They are within the TSA guidelines. But they are also deadly to your plan of having an organized home.
No Organizing Sabotage
Here are the reasons you should not succumb to the allure of the minature toiletries:
1. Travel sizes are different. They aren’t the same as your favorite personal care products. You know, the ones you are used to using, out of habit. And because they are different, unusual, you won’t remember to reach for them. Which means they will languish, unused, in your linen closet.
2. They are not free. Maybe you didn’t pay for them, but someone did. In fact, chances are that they paid relatively more for the travel size you are taking but probably not consuming. Recall the last time you were in an airport. Did you notice that the 2 pack of Tylenol costs about half as much as the 50-count that you usually buy? The opposite of travel-sizes are economy-sizes, because they offer better economy. Everything in this world has a cost. If you aren’t going to use it, then just say no.
3. They are not all that eco-friendly. There is a reason that buying in bulk makes sense. There is less packaging and less processing (as in transporation costs) for larger sizes, which you probably already own.
4. They may be irritating. Because they aren’t your usual, you may not find out until too late that the rosemary and coco combination that sounded so great isn’t so good for you.
5. They are hard to squeeze. Have you noticed this? In order to get the product out of the bottle, you have to apply much more force than you might on a larger bottle.
6. Do more good. Some people stockpile travel sizes with the idea of passing them to charitable groups or shelters. This is laudable, but unless you have actually delivered a batch of goodies to your local shelter in the last year, you’d be doing more good by sending a check in any denomination to your local charity.
7. They probably don’t work as well. Mini-make-up brushes are never as good as the real thing. Travel sizes of lipstick are just torture. Name one travel size that you actually like better than the real deal.
8. You don’t need it. There, I said it. You have been getting on very well without the extra packet/gadget/bottle that you were about to stuff in your suitcase or request off the internet.
9. You don’t travel as much as you think you do, unless you are a corporate road warrior. And if you are a road warrior, then you know where to go for the best amenities. And you know that every hotel you visit will have free soap and shampoo, so you don’t need to bring it home.
10. Uncategorized stuff is just clutter. If you don’t know where you would store it, then it’s going to take up space you don’t have in your closet, on your dresser, or on the counter.
This article originally appeared on the AboutOne blog on 10/1/12.