I Moved My Deodorant…And It Kinda (Slightly) Changed My World

A pebble in my shoe; an eyelash in my eye. I’ve learned that little things, over time, can become big problems.

*[I constantly have rocks in my shoe – it’s a running joke in my family/circle of friends – but if I thought a little grit now and again was bad, I just finished reading 26 Marathons, a memoir by Meb Keflezighi which includes a horrifying story of running the 2011 NYC Marathon with a Breathe Right strip in his shoe – this was an accident, he intended to wear it on his nose – which ripped his foot to shreds and cost him valuable training time over the long term].

But sometimes little changes on little things can have a big (positive) impact.

We have a small en-suite bathroom in our home and ever since we moved in (over four years ago) I have been storing my deodorant in the top drawer of the bathroom vanity.

From Day 1 this has been a nuisance. I prefer to get dressed in our bedroom, so I either have to go get the deodorant before I’m ready to get dressed (annoying)…or apply it after getting dressed (a recipe for a white-streaked wardrobe disaster).

Then, very recently, I realized I could just store my deodorant in the top drawer of my dresser.

Such a small change, but it’s had a big impact. I’ve been doing this for several months now and I still get a thrill every time I open up my drawer and see my deodorant so conveniently nestled in with my socks (which I have never gotten around to folding a la Marie Kondo).

It reminds me of a story a friend told me years and years ago. My husband and I were moving between apartments and this friend was helping us unbox and organize the kitchen. As I oriented myself in the space – assigning all our plates and mixing bowls new homes – my friend started telling me a story I’ve never forgotten. An acquaintance of hers had moved into a house and one of the volunteer helpers had offered to unpack the kitchen supplies. It was a thoughtful gesture, with all the right motives, and one that was very much appreciated at the time. But apparently, for years, she was always frustrated by how her cups were located in the wrong spot in relation to the fridge, her plates and bowls were in the wrong cupboard for maximal efficiency when unloading the dishwasher. When she finally thought through how she would have arranged her kitchen, she made the necessary adjustments and flourished in her new environment. But it took years of inefficiency to prompt change.

Identify the problem. Then remember, sometimes a little adjustment can have a disproportionately big impact.

16 thoughts on “I Moved My Deodorant…And It Kinda (Slightly) Changed My World”

  1. Oh, this is a great post, because it is so true.

    Little changes can make HUGE changes in how your day goes… and you wonder why we don’t make these little changes more often! Your change – to store your deodorant in your socks drawer – is genius! 🙂
    And I definitely can relate to the kitchen dilemma… if you keep reaching for the same things in the WRONG cabinet, it’s time to switch stuff around!

    1. I think I have things honed to a science in the kitchen, but for a few years after we moved into our house, my husband would go reach for x,y,z and it would no longer be in the same spot. I was constantly tweaking things to improve workflow and efficiency!
      I think a lot of this comes down to just being “present.” I know this might be cliche at this point, but I don’t think we’re mindful enough much of the time at what little irritants we encounter every day that have very simple solutions. Honing in on that problems is where the magic starts.

  2. Yes, great post. Isn’t is funny how we live with things for such a long time, and just accept that it’s inconvenient and annoying? And then in your case it’s so easy to make a change. Glad you’ve improved your life like this!

    1. Sometimes life requires big changes – a move, switching careers, changing a major habit. And then sometimes it just takes moving a stick of deodorant around…

  3. This is so true. Sometimes we are lazy to fix it and continue to be annoyed.. I always forget passwords of different accounts and keep resetting them instead of writing them down somewhere.. maybe it’s time to fix it too. 🙂

    1. I FINALLY wrote passwords down on a piece of paper. It took about 1/2 an hour to reset everything (that needed resetting) and get it recorded, but it has saved me hours and hours of time.

  4. I’m pretty adamant that if something bothers me every day, I need to fix it. However, there’s a small piece of quarter round molding that’s missing in our dining room. It’s been that way since we moved in and it drives me insane. I’ve mentioned it to my husband a couple of times, but he hasn’t taken the hint, so I guess I need to put on my big girl pants and figure out how to fix it myself!

    1. I know exactly what you mean (we have a small piece of molding missing in our dining room too, a byproduct of summer renos this year – I have to admit I stopped noticing it…). The sad thing is – most of these annoying things (that can take up a disproportionate amount of mental headspace) are quick and easy to fix!
      Kudos if you fix it. I have ZERO DIY skills and would likely end up making four more jobs for a handyman if I attempted something on my own.

  5. I’m so guilty of this kind of thing too!! It really is true that just pausing to figure something out pays off a million times over! Sometimes I just get so “used” to an issue being an issue that it almost doesn’t dawn on me that maybe there is another way to approach it or there might be a solution. Or like in your example here, I also probably wouldn’t have thought of this solution right away either- because deodorant belongs in the bathroom! Haha! The idea of storing it in a clothing drawer wouldn’t have occurred to me naturally either. But very good thinking! And good reminder to keep thinking outside the box. I saw a quote the other day from a master chess player: “ When you see a good move, look for an even better one.” 🙂

  6. I love small but high-impact fix! Incidentally, I always keep a stick of deodorant in my bedside table and one in the bathroom.

    1. You are one of the smartest ladies I know…perhaps I picked up this tip subliminally from you? And deodorant in TWO places – never crossed my mind, but genius.

  7. This reminds me of when I heard a comment on a parenting podcast about keeping socks in a basket by the door instead of in the kids room. That has been a game changer for us. Even though I put on socks when getting dressed, our son does not like to or sometimes he is going to be wearing sandals but then we go to the park and he’ll need tennis shoes for that, so the socks are right there by the door – and don’t require someone to go back upstairs! Little things like that make such a huge difference. I started to keep deodorant in both our upstairs and main floor bathroom because there were times I wanted to re-apply during the day (I use natural deodorant which isn’t quite as strong as typical deodorant). I’m all about limiting trips upstairs during the day so that has been a good change, too!

    Also, it makes me physically cringe to think about having someone else unpack my kitchen! Ha! Can you tell I am a little bit type A? hee hee. I wouldn’t even want my husband to do that! Ha.

    1. I’ve heard about the sock-by-the-door trick, too, and have been tempted to try it. The idea is appealing because it is a daily battle to get everyone in socks…but the kids wear different socks and we have a relatively small entryway (plus the kids bedrooms are on the main floor, anyway, so there are no stairs to trek up). But maybe I should just leave an extra set for both of them in our finger glove basket? Or just stop reminding them and assume they will learn quickly that socks are preferable for cold winter mornings?

      Someone else mentioned having two sticks of deodorant in different spots! Genius! I do have extras of lots of things (I actually blogged about this before – I’m relatively minimal, but for some things I think life is so much easier with multiples) !

  8. Oh, man. Having someone unpack my kitchen is a no-go! 🙂
    This makes perfect sense. One I had in the last few years was replacing a bathmat – for $10 or less – because for YEARS when I used the other one I would think, good grief, I hate this bathmat.
    It was a bathmat. Why was I keeping it if I hated it??? Duh…
    Reorganizing something small to make your life simpler? Minimum investment –> huge rewards. (and streak free clothing)

    1. It’s so easy to put up with minor annoyances, inconveniences, or aesthetics we can’t stand simply because it becomes a habit or routine.
      One of my favourite quotes/life advice ever is from Gretchen Rubin who says: “Identify the problem.”
      I’ve learned/am learning, most of the time the solution to the problem is usually quite simple or inexpensive!

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