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The Island of Misfit Toiletries

Categories: Decluttering


I like to think that the space under our bathroom sink contains an efficient combination of cleaning tools and extra supplies ready to go at a moment’s notice. While it does contain those things, there’s a whole other category of items squirreled away under there that I call “The Island of Misfit Toiletries”.

In the Island of Misfit Toiletries, you’ll find things like that shampoo that seemed like exactly what I needed at the time, the one that would make me salon beautiful (after I ponied up enough cash), but ended up hating it.

It was expensive, so it’s not like I can throw it out, right? So, under the sink it goes!

There’s also the huge bottle of lotion, a brand I don’t normally use, but it was on SALE! I got it for some reason, though I didn’t really need it. I keep it “as a back-up” while I continue to buy my regular brand, secure in knowing I have a “back up” in the event of a lotion shortage or if I get stranded at home all winter.

(Note: I was actually stranded at home for several days during an enormous flood last year, and I can report my “back-up lotion” was of no use when we should have had “back-up food and water”, but I digress.)

It was on sale, so it’s not like I can throw it out, right? So, under the sink it goes!

I’m unclear what my resistance is in getting rid of these things that I’m clearly not going to use. I tried giving them to my daughter thinking that perhaps her taste was different than mine and she’d use them. This was a great idea until I discovered them in the “Island of Misfit Toiletries Annex” in her bathroom.

Back to the drawing board, or more specifically, back under my sink.

I even tried using them on my sons thinking, “How picky can a guy be?” But, it turns out that there’s only so much smelling like a flower that a 9 year old can take, and apparently floral isn’t a “thing” for high school guys, either. Who knew?

I’m sure I’m violating basic organization principles by keeping things I don’t and probably won’t use, but this is an area that I keep telling myself I’ll, “Deal with it later”. After all, these are perfectly good items, why waste them?

Your turn: Tell us what do you do with that expensive lipstick that turned out not to be quite the right color or that liquid eyeliner you thought you’d try and were inept at using (wait, that might just be me…).

Do you have an Island of Misfit Toiletries, or do you get rid of things right away, knowing you won’t use them?

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6 comments so far...

  • I’m sure that you know the options aren’t necessarily keep or throw away. Sounds like you have a great mixed bag for freecycle, or an awesome donation to your local women’s shelter.

    amanda  |  October 25th, 2011 at 7:41 am

  • Yes, we have many islands. Especially, with 3 girls sharing 1 bathroom (I try not to go in there, it’s too scary) but, I totally get not wanting to throw stuff away. There. I said it. Then again, you’d just be making room for more stuff, right?!?

    Liz  |  October 25th, 2011 at 8:13 am

  • Oh yeah, I have all those things. There’s also a spot in the kitchen that my son calls The Cupboard of Lost Dreams. In it are the food processor that I got for a wedding present 25 years ago, the mini-freezer ice cream maker, the fondue pot, and the waffle iron. And yes, I packed them all up and took them with me when I moved. Because, you know, I’m going to use them someday.

    amy324  |  October 25th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

  • Oh I definitely don’t throw those things away. My daughter is a throw-away gal, but Oh No! not me. I’m the freak that uses a product down to the very last drop and amazingly will actually get to those poor misfit toiletries, hating every minute of using them because I-spent-good-money-on-that!!!

    Headless Mom  |  October 25th, 2011 at 10:54 pm

  • Donate these items! There are people out there that cannot afford soap that this could be useful for. Good luck!!

    xoxo kt

    Katie  |  October 29th, 2011 at 7:25 am

  • Leave the extra lotions and such in the office bathroom. People will use them! We also have a freecycle table at work in one of the break rooms. If no one takes them after a few days, they conveniently disappear (to another Island of Misfit Toiletries, I’m sure the janitorial staff would never throw them away….yeah, yeah). Also, donate to a women’s shelter is a good idea. I just don’t come across very many women’s shelter’s but I’m at work 4 days a week!

    Ami  |  November 1st, 2011 at 12:52 pm