And the linen closet is very seldom used for linen. Unless you married very rich or have illusions of trust-fund-grandeur, most linen closets contain very little linen. And the smaller the house, the less likely you are to find any space dedicated to just one house-hold item. Oh the luxury.
So move over percale, I need packing space for all my packets. Packets you ask? Yes, in all shapes and sizes, in a designated box. On the shelf next to the seven bottles of shampoo that was on sale, the sewing kit, our monthly stockpile of 2-minute noodles, lots of toilet paper, beach towels, and a teensy bit of linen. These precious little packets of promotional products and samples have been collected over time, and all of them shall be sampled and taken out at precisely the right moment. And before you tell me I’m a hoarder - I use every single one of them. It’s all about timing. I love saving money, but I love free stuff even more and I always find a way to use just about any sample giving to me. I am yet to discover an alternative use for disposable baby nappies, but will be re-gifting them in the near future.
What’s interesting is not my very frugal and effective management of available resources, it’s the fact that even though my need and consumption of these packets or sachets is borne from a penny-pinching/hoarding perspective, I have more often than not formed a very clear picture of the product and brand in my mind. It’s probably because of the strong memory link that is created when you form an associative memory - the result of saving something for some time or seeing it regularly, and then using it for a very specific or special purpose.
Like the sachet of sunscreen I scratched out of the bottom of the box on an unusually sunny winter’s day when we went on a hike. The small bottle of shampoo that was enough for the whole family during a very special camping trip. I still use the tiny bottle and fill it with the same shampoo (it’s sooo cute) and now it’s a regular on the packing list when we’re traveling extra light.
I also remember the sample of concealer that was a life-saver on my first day at a new job, after dropping my regular concealer on the bathroom’s tile floor and watching it shatter into pieces (yes, I could have scooped the precious lotion off the floor, and I could also have given myself a very severe and rather bloody microdermabrasion).
Truth be told, I would never have given the product a go if it was not for that precious free sachet, and I’m sounding like a promo ad now, but it really did make me buy the product. This product, which I won’t mention (unless they send me a container full of sachets...), is part of a brand that is slightly out of reach for this single mom of two. But, the difference is quality was remarkable and I was sold - I now purchase it along with my regular “this day might be a waste of make-up” concealer and only use the fancy one for special occasions. And it is special.
I don’t know what other people do with all the samples and promo products they receive - I’ve never actually thought of asking anyone. But I know I’ve yet to find a little something that I won’t save and use at the exact right time, and if people can emotionally bond with shoes or handbags, then don’t judge me for my obsession with small packets of whatever.
Now if someone could please fall pregnant so I can find a use for those nappies, that would be lovely.