how many hotel soaps?? {enough, day 6}

Today’s Enough Experiment Challenge is: THE BATHROOM(S). (see Day 5 for links to the first 5 posts in the series)

Now, friends. A couple quick items of business/reassurance.

1.) You do NOT have to feel guilty if you don’t complete a challenge on any given day. I’m going in a completely random order with no respect whatsoever for your personal schedule or de-cluttering needs.

2.) In fact, if you’re feeling guilt AT ALL, then we need to talk. This experiment is about FREEDOM, not GUILT. You do what you can, what you feel led to do. And if this just isn’t a good time/season, that day will come. NO WORRIES.

Shall we dive right in to the bathroom?? (those of you who have ever lamented the fact that you only have one bathroom in your home are SO THANKFUL right now, aren’t you?)

How does your bathroom make you feel? Happy? Overwhelmed? Peaceful? Stressed? When you open the medicine cabinet or look under the sink, do you cringe? Or breathe a sigh of relief? (I think you’re in the majority if your bathroom is a cluttered wreck.)

Here are some reasons our bathrooms get out-of-control cluttered:
1. We try a lot of products we end up hating, but we can’t bear to throw them away.
2. We keep every hotel shampoo, lotion, and soap we ever get, because we’re resourceful like that.
3. We have more than one person sharing a space, and each person has unique toiletry needs.

Some possible solutions:
1. Gather up everything you don’t love, and find someone (who’s not doing the Enough Experiment) who might want them. Your freedom to breathe is worth more than what you paid for the products.
2. Toss them or take 2 weeks and use up all you can (and toss the rest). It’s just not worth it. (EDIT: Some brilliant people have commented that your local homeless or women’s shelter might take your extra travel-sized toiletries. Love that!)
3. Tsh has some great homemade toiletries in her book, Organized Simplicity, that can streamline your beauty regimen (and could work for multiple members of your fam).

Today’s Baby Step Challenge:
Purge 10 items from each bathroom in your home.

Today’s Little-Bit-Bigger Challenge:
Purge 20+ items from each bathroom.

Today’s Big Daddy Challenge:
Purge every single thing (in all bathrooms) that is a.) expired, b.) you don’t use, c.) you don’t like, d.) is yucky or ratty or moldy, e.) doesn’t belong in the bathroom. When you’re finished, you should have counter space and shelf space and mental space.

If your bathrooms are already awesome, CONGRATS! Take a day off!

Let me know how it went! And how many hotel soaps you’re getting rid of! (I know some of you are avid collectors.)

25 thoughts on “how many hotel soaps?? {enough, day 6}

  1. Sharon

    So happy to say I don’t recall EVER having ANY hotel soaps, etc. The reason? One, don’t go to hotels very often. Two, my hair/skin are high maintenance (hmm, maybe I’m just high maintenance). So, really, I do not just use any old stuff. I have thick curly hair that requires (I don’t use that word lightly) special salon grade products. And my skin? Sensitive and dry. Again, don’t just use regular old soap on it. Several years back I did a major purge of all my toiletries. I used to have tons of different brands of products, in search of just the right one that would tame my crazy hair. But, just prior to a move, I went through them all and gave away what I knew I wouldn’t use. My Mom recently went through stuff in her house and had a bag of toiletries she thought were mine. I was so happy that there was only one thing of mine. The rest were either my siblings, or I had no idea where they came from.

    I’m a little afraid to find out if my husband has hotel soaps etc stashed somewhere. He isn’t always into taking stuff just because it’s free, but I’m pretty sure he’d be all over that kinda free stuff.

  2. Beth

    Our local shelters won’t take any travel sizes or anything that’s already been opened. Kind of weird, but I guess I understand why. So a few months ago, I brought a bunch of stuff I didn’t like (lotions, hairsprays, nail polish, barettes) in to work and put them in the women’s bathroom with a little FREE! sign on them. Everything was gone by lunchtime.

    I travel at least once a month. I love free hotel soap, because yay, no paying for soap! But they are small and hard to use. So last summer at the farmer’s market, I got a little crochet soap baggie thing from a lady that was selling soap. It’s great for all your little soap scraps and helps you use every bit, plus it exfoliates! When I get home from a trip, I take all the little soaps out of their packaging right away and put them in the soap bag. Three or four mini soaps lasts about two weeks in the soap bag, and I hardly ever have to actually buy soap.

    Soap savers are inexpensive and easy to find (or make):

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      Great idea, Beth! (I had to rescue your comment from my spam folder because of all the links.) Another friend suggested on Facebook that you could give them to homeless folks standing on street corners.

  3. Rebecca

    Today is my favorite so far! Go big or go home so I went big! I filled an entire trash can and a half with old etc junk and another box of donate items. My goodness I can see the shelves now! I’m not sure I’ve been able to do that in years. Thank you so much for being just the motivation I needed! Can’t wait for tomorrow’s challenge!

  4. Brooke

    2 walmart bags of trash and one give away. Not bad for a 2 1/2 bath house. BUT we moved in a year ago, so I’m sure it was done then.
    Plus, I use hotel soaps in my gym bag for the locker room.

  5. Liesel

    I just purged my bathrooms a few weeks ago. Yay! But I’ll still go through and make sure there’s nothing else that needs to go.

  6. Jen Hanson

    1) AAHHH!! You are making me ITCH to get into our own place again so I can actually work through all your Enough suggestions. All those stored boxes are in big trouble when I start unpacking!!

    2) My two favorite toiletry stream-lining, multi-use tips:
    – Hair conditioner makes an amazing shaving gel/cream replacement. It keeps away the cuts and moisturizes (so you don’t have to even put on lotion after you shave your legs!) So my conditioner now has THREE uses – for my hair and for shaving and moisturizing my legs!
    – Hands down the BEST eye makeup remover I’ve ever used is a cotton ball with a little baby oil (or EVOO if you want to be fancy). It wipes off even waterproof mascara like nobody’s business. If I’m going to bed, I just leave on the small amount of oil left over to moisturize, otherwise, I’ll wipe it off with a clean cotton ball before re-applying fresh make up.


    1. Marla Taviano

      Any idea when you guys will get your own place again? Hang in there!! And great tip for conditioner! I use an EVOO/castor oil combo to wash my face (thanks to Tsh). xoxoxo

      1. Jen Hanson

        Weeeellll… we’re meeting with our realtor again tonight to discuss if we’re being realistic with our house specs and budget. Aaaannd…. it seems our deductible for medical is more than we remembered, so this whole having-a-baby-any-week-now might cost us more cash than we were planning for. So all that to say – we could get our own place in a few weeks, or a few months. We just don’t know yet.

  7. allison

    I have gone through the bathroom a lot in the last year, so there wasn’ t much, but I threw out a few things, found a hair clip to give my niece, and consolidated two bins into one. I am coming to the conclusion that there is rarely going to be a space that can’t be tweaked (not unlike editing a piece of writing. .. It’s never finished, you just decide it’s done for now).

  8. Amanda

    I threw away or recycled more than 15 things from my travel toiletries stash. Most things were half used or so old that they smelled funny! Eww! I got rid of most of my chemical-laden things from the bathroom a few months ago since I’ve switched to mostly natural items. I was amazed by how much space we had after that! The items that had cluttered up the shelves now fit into the bins where they belong!

  9. cyndee

    I know we’re not supposed to be buying bins, but when I had six of us sharing one bathroom, each person had a container for personal items. It helped keep the bathroom closet neat and made it easy for me to keep down on the excess. Now that it’s just my husband and me, the closet is still full! Ugh! Definitely need to do this challenge when I get home!

  10. Jennifer Martinez

    A suggestion for the travel sized bottles… Donate them to a local homeless or outreach center. Ours are always looking for them to put in the hygiene bags they hand out!

    Going through my bathroom drawers tomorrow!

    Thanks for this experiment!

  11. Rachelle

    Great post! I did a bathroom purge this past fall and found that a local shelter sometimes takes products you don’t use. A recent stay in a Days Inn hotel had a notice that they recycle the unused products left for shelters.

  12. Jill Foley

    I remember how free I felt the first time I left a hotel without any soap or little shampoo bottles! It’s so nice to not have to take every little thing home with you just because it’s free!!!

    I got rid of 5 things in my bathroom…it’s pretty minimal to begin with, but I always seem to find something else that can go.

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