I remember when I was a little kid and I was staying with my dad and my step-mom. When going to the bathroom, we had a two square maximum on toilet paper that was ruthlessly enforced. My family also frequently spouted the phrase, "If it's yellow let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down." As with most things you find annoying as a child, the toilet paper rule makes much more sense now that I have kids of my own, but at the time I chalked it up to a crazy hippie parent thing. The point being that anytime I can find a way to repurpose something instead of throwing it away, it makes the process of purging that much easier.
Which leads me to my first Repurpose Project; Guest Kits. I was staying over at my friend's house a couple years back and noticed that she kept the little hotel shampoos, lotions, etc in her bathroom for her guest to use when they come over. It was such a fantastic idea and I wanted to take it one step further by using my samples, travel products and items you get from a hotel stay in a welcome kit for when guests come to visit.
It is common for people who are pack rats to have a problem saying no to free stuff. We think that we are going to eventually find a use for every item, even if it is your twelfth branded water bottle or yet another t-shirt from your quarterly company blood drive. I have a habit of going to those free sampling sites like SampleSource or Target's sampling page and requesting stuff that I probably won't use. Especially shampoo and conditioner samples. When I was organizing my bathroom closet the other day (that post to come soon!), I realized that I have about 7 different shampoo samples. I have a dry scalp problem so I can only use specific shampoos but I really didn't want to throw away the samples. When I took a look at all the different sample size and travel size items I have, I realized I had enough to make an entire kit for when friends and family stay over.
There is nothing that drives me more crazy than when I forget to bring soap when I travel and the person I'm staying with only has a bar of soap in the shower. I don't know what to do with that! I know soap is self-cleaning but a bar of soap is so...up close and personal. Unless the person I am staying with says, 'Feel free to use my bar of soap on all your parts and pieces!' I usually end up using shampoo as my body wash. The obvious fix to this problem would be for me to bring my own soap when I travel but when I travel with my family, I usually remember to pack everything but the stuff in my own bag. The process of creating a Welcome Kit for your guests is very straight forward but here are a few tips and tricks:
- Assess your stock: If you already have a stock of travel and sample products then this is just a matter of assembling the items together for one complete Welcome Kit. Otherwise you can pick up travel size prodcuts in stores like Target, Walmart, CVS, etc. I'd recommend including a shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, face wash, body wash and a tooth brush.
- Find a container: I was at Michael's the other day and I took a walk down the isle with all the lower priced items like trinkets and small crafts projects for $1-$10. I found this set of travel pouches and a set of letter stickers from the scrap-booking isle.
- His and Hers kits: Most personal care items are gender specific so you can either put together two different kits or one kit with items for both genders in one, if you have the space.
- No guests? If you don't have visitors often, you can throw the pre-assembled kit in your bag when traveling and eliminate some of the stress of packing.