In my 2007 quest for ORDER in my life, I've been digging through cupboards and finding all kinds of things. I have a sad tendency to hang onto things for one or more of the following reasons:
a) I love it too much to use it, often for sentimental reasons (I think they call this hoarding)
b) I forget that I have it
c) I'm in too much of a hurry to use it
d) I don't need it now but MIGHT need it someday (this is the reason I have boxes of rocks and wiggly eyes in my basement)
In looking through my bathroom closet, I discovered a plethora of travel-sized lotion bottles. Even more bottles recently appeared on my vanity after DD organized her bathroom and decided she no longer likes certain scents. For some reason, people give me lotion with some frequency, and I also stock up on it when Bath & Body Works has the big annual sale. You get the picture: I have more lotion than an entire group of people could use in a year.
But here's the deal: I never use lotion.
Why? I obviously like lotion, but for reasons a), b), and c) above, it accumulates without being used. Another reason I don't use lotion is that I don't particularly care for it on my hands (even though that's where I most need it), especially if I'm doing something crafty, playing the piano, or handling kitties. But I can use lotion anywhere else on my person without issues, so there is really no excuse for this massive build-up.
So, in my quest for order, I'm on a mission to USE IT UP. This not only goes for lotion, but it also applies to scrapbooking supplies and the mounting problem I have with unpleasantly scented shower gels. To tackle the lotion problem, I devised a simple solution: Fill this cute little basket (made years ago by DD at the state fair) with small bottles of lotion and make a concerted effort to use them every day after showering until they are gone. I've been doing this for a couple of weeks now and have gone through several bottles of lotion. I have so many that I just keep filling up the little basket.
I do confess, however, that there are a few little bottles (with matching soaps) that I will never use -- see reason (a) above -- like the ones from the Dolphin and Contemporary hotels at Walt Disney World (they're just too cute) and the ones from our stay at Dave Longaberger's house in Dresden, Ohio (yes, the guy who started the basket company, and yes, he has his own lotion) which have a neat design on the front. But there are many, many other bottles to which I am not sentimentally attached. Those will be used up and the containers dutifully recycled.
So here's an amazing discovery I've made about order: If you actually use things, they don't accumulate. And in this case, you even get to smell (mostly) good in the process.