Relief for Travlers with OCD!

I can’t really pin-point that time in my life when I realized I “thought” differently about everyday things.  However, over the years, it has become more and more obvious to me that I do.  Thus, before you read this post, as I know some of my “routines” may be a bit out of the ordinary, I kindly ask that this be a “judgement free” zone.    (Thanks in advance.) I hope this post will give you and other’s with the same perspective a glimpse into the way I am able to “dill with it!”

Dill with what you ask? Let me paint a picture…

  • Always wash my hands after touching a menu and buffet serving spoons
  • Ensuring that my head never directly touches the seat at the movies (or on an airplane)
  • Wash my hands after driving home
  • Using a paper towel to touch the fuel hose/nozzle for the pump at the gas station
  • Wash my hands just because they “feel” dirty
  • Wash my hands some more
  • Never sitting on my bed with clothes that aren’t freshly washed
  • Washing my “exposed” (not covered in clothes) skin throughout the day before I climb into bed 
  • Never (and I mean NEVER) touching a public door knob, faucet, toilet flush handle, elevator button, etc..with my bare hands.  I will always find something else to touch these items with, or I will clean them myself.  
  • Always have “airport security socks” that I can put on so I don’t have to walk through barefooted.  And, of course, I take them off & fold them INSIDE OUT so all the “feet-germs” stay inside them. Then immediately put my shoes on without touching the floor – – yep…it’s a balancing act for sure!

(Yikes! RIGHT??)

And these are just a few. If you want to push me TOTALLY over the edge, just wear shoes “in” my house. 

My name is Tamara Foster, co-owner of “In A Pikle,”  AND I am often labeled by others as a “germaphobe.” Many even lovingly, yet non-medically diagnosed, label me as Obsessive & Compulsive (OCD).  According to the experts OCD is a disorder of the brain and behavior, causing severe anxiety in those affected. OCD can involve both obsessions and compulsions that take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities the person valuesNow that we have the “clinical” definition out of the way, let me tell you more.  

For those who know me well, you know that I am a “glass is more than ½ full” kind of person. I’m always trying to see the positive side of life and avoiding labels like “germaphobe” or OCD. By now, you may be wondering what all of this has to do with “In A Pikle”. 

First and foremost, I acknowledge that my brain processes things a bit differently than most, and yet in order to remain true to my “glass is more than ½ full” life motto, I MUST find ways to “dill with it!”. One of the things I LOVE to do is travel.  I know what some of you may be thinking right about now: “How does someone who struggles with germs like Tamara, bare the chaos of travel germs?” Well…let me tell you.  I LOVE to travel because I have developed routines that help mitigate the germ-anxiety and allow me to continue living life to the fullest possible extent.

Even before Marianne and I decided to create the “In A Pikle” bag, I was already using similar items throughout my day.  Imagine my OWN PERSONAL excitement when we decided to create this wonderful, compact product that I could take with me wherever I went!  I was THRILLED because this was right up my alley!  (Slightly off topic:  You should have seen my reaction when we rolled out toilet seat covers!  I was COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY ecstatic!!)

As a traveler, I have stayed in a myriad of hotels both domestically and internationally and, my “routines” have saved the day (and my sanity too!) Here is a peek into my hotel “routine” and how my “In A Pikle” products are a total HOTEL MUST HAVE!

The first place I go is to the antibacterial wipes. (I will usually stock up on these before I leave home, so I have plenty!  But..for all of my eco-friendly friends, you will be happy to note that I will use the wipe many times, just “folding” it over as I go.)  I immediately wipe off all door knobs, toilet flush handles, toilet seat, towel hooks, hangers (that I plan to use)….and I never forget the phone and the TV remote too! For me, wiping off these items provides a mental safety net and gives me the feeling of a “fresh start”…this really helps out my mind at ease right from the beginning.

You will never catch me putting my toiletry items directly “on” the counter or any hotel surface. So….out come the tissues, three of them to be exact.  One for my makeup bag to sit on, one for my toothbrush bag to sit on, one for my phone.

Of course, part of my routine will always include my thorough examination and specific placement of the bedding / sheets / pillows; 1 clean towel placed on the bottom of the bathtub; and…I NEVER, EVER forget my “hotel shoes” (I cannot even think about putting my feet on the floor!)     

Along with all of the other uses for the “In A Pike” products, I have also discovered some additional “In A Pikle” hacks that are perfect for all my traveling friends:  

Use the paperclips to create a phone stand – because some of the surfaces are a little scary!

The rubber bands or hair bands work great to ensure your clothes don’t slip off the hanger and fall on the floor (who knows what’s been on that floor! Just place them on the end of the hanger to keep your clothes from slipping.

How many of you pack your “almost” empty large toothpaste tube?   To keep it from touching the counter, fold it once and then once more, put a bobby pin on the fold and keep this tube compact and off the counter!

The list is endless!  Since these routines are such a large part of my life, I could go on and on with all the ways I have figured out how to “dill with” the way my brain works.  In the spirit of travel this summer, I would love to hear what your Hotel’s Must Haves are.  Post to any of our social media sites before August 312016 using #hotelmusthaves, and one lucky person will win a kit created by me! Yes…you can be assured it will have all the “In A Pikle” essentials that I use when I travel!

Thankfully, I have the most wonderful family, friends (and business partner ) who may not  understand how (or why) I think this way, but choose to support me as I find new routines when I think I am “In A Pikle”! case you wondered, my “travel” bags go immediately back to their specific shelf – just to make sure that all these travel germs stay in 1 place!

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