3 Tips to Spring Cleaning Your Medicine Cabinet.
One of the traditional chores of spring is to clean. Doesn’t it seem like we are always cleaning? Spring cleaning though seems like the biggest job. It feels so good to open up the windows and let the fresh cool air flow into the house. We pick up rugs and wash the floor getting the cobwebs out of the corners. Sometimes we may even tear apart our closets and giveaway old clothes, move out the winter gear and bring out our entire lighter, more colorful spring and summer clothes.
When we get around to tackling the bathroom, it seems like that room needs extra attention. We clean the shower and tub, toilet and sink, but what about the cabinets. Have you ever really looked at those drawers and cabinet and thought, “Later, no one will see it anyway.”
Well, it really is time to tackle the “medicine cabinet.” Whatever your cabinet looks like, a drawer, a bin or a bag or a hodge-podge pile, you need to look at it and see what’s really there. How many times have you reached in there to find the cough syrup tipped over, leaked and all your lozenges are a lump, like a petrified rock?
When you need your medicine, it will be easy to find and it will be organized. No one wants to dig for a pain relief medication when you don’t feel well. If you begin this spring cleaning, once it is done, it is easier to maintain your medicines going forward.
Here are 3 easy steps to begin the task of spring cleaning:
1. Look at what you use and don’t use
Realistically look at the products, over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions which you actually still use. We all have “stuff” in our medicine cabinets. How much of it is still needed. Start a pile of medicines and products which you need and those you no longer use. Be honest. Even if you think you may need it someday, if it has been sitting there for a year, you probably won’t miss it.
2. Discard old medications
This is really important! Old over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions should not be used. Look at the expiration date and discard all those that are not current. They have lost their potency and may be dangerous for you to use. If you need to get a refill on your medications, speak with your doctor.
Another reason to discard old medications is that you may confuse the older medications with your newer medications. This can happen easily, especially if the drugs look similar.
Be sure and discard all medications safely. Do NOT put them down the drain or flush them down the toilet. This puts potentially harmful chemicals into our water supply by contaminating our water sources. Check with your community or pharmacy about how to safely discard all your medications. Oftentimes communities have designated times and places to drop off these drugs.
3. Organize products and medications
After you have gone through the process of sifting through your medications, work on an organization system which works for you. Make sure that all your products, over-the-counter medications and prescriptions are put in a safe place and out of the reach of children and pets.
Determine where the best place is to locate your medicines. Is it the kitchen, bathroom, closet? Once you determine what works for you and your family, get a bin or cabinet or drawer where you can store these items. Depending on how much you have, you may want to organize them by family member or purpose of the medications. Place vitamins and herbal remedies in a different area if the amount is extensive so they don’t get confused.
Take your medications and prescriptions and organize them by purpose: cold medicine, allergy relief, pain medication, etc. You may want to get a small bin for each type.
Once you begin this “medicine cabinet” spring cleaning, it will be a big relief to have this task accomplished. Keeping your life a little less cluttered can help minimize your stress and make the day to day living a little easier!