One of my biggest pet-peaves is having an uncontrollable amount of “stuff”laying around and taking up space. There is not one single junk drawer in our home. Not one. Sorry, just can’t go there. We all have flaws and mine just happens to be perfection. (You may continue reading after you’re done laughing.)

Really though, it’s not just me. Neither Michael or I like the feeling of being weighed down by lots of possessions. So I frequently go through old clothes, books, cds, dvds, decorations, etc. and make donation boxes. It seems like I’m always making little mental notes of what’s in our container/closet inventory to see what can stay and what can go. I imagine the way most women feel when they shop is the way I feel when I rid out. It’s like some kind of therapy or something.

But that all gets overridden he moment I enter a hotel room.

Suddenly my mind enters what I like to call “Complimentary Strategic Accumulation”. It’s like I turn part gerbil and start stuffing my cheek pockets with every little free shampoo, pen and sugar packet I can get my hands on. And in an extended-stay hotel, the selection of free stuff is even more generous than usual.

So far these are the complimentary items we’ve been “hoarding” since we’ve been here:

From the Breakfast Buffet:
  • Bananas and other fruit (for our smoothies)
  • Oatmeal (breakfast)
  • Honeynut Cheerios (snacks for Michael at work)
  • Sugar packets (for coffee)
  • Milk (for cereal and Michael’s good old chocolate milk)

From our room service:

  • Shampoo/Conditioner, toiletries, etc (for Veronica’s Voice)
  • Pens and notepads (Hello? To-Do List Queen!)

I’ll admit my excuses for hoarding everything else may still make me tacky — but my excuse for reserving the travel-size toiletries has a noble cause… On Friday and Saturday nights, volunteers from Veronica’s Voice hand out “care kits” with sandwiches and sanitary provisions to sex workers in Kansas City. 

Most people are unaware that the majority of women in prostitution have been abused into it – and not willingly as some are determined to believe. Basic needs like food, shelter, clothes, and proper sanitation get lost in a world of darkness. So the care bags that Veronica’s Voice volunteers hand out on the weekend nights are literally a God-send to many broken women.
See, there is some redeeming value to my hotel hoarding problem.
What are some “freebie strategies” you use when shopping or traveling? Do you think it’s “cheap” to take advantage of complimentary items or offers?

For more information on Veronica’s Voice and how you can help those in the Kansas City commercial sex industry, please visit their website:

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