(Expiration Dates on Meds / Out of Sight, Out of Mind)
The smallest room in your home needs attention…
Even in design, the bathroom is too often neglected. It’s the smallest room in your home, and contains so many and important things. For sure, there’s most likely the medicine cabinet, and the average person spends 30 minutes a day in the bathroom. If this statistic is true, then what’s behind the closed door of the medicine cabinet is ever-present and inevitably neglected until the moment calls to use something hidden from every day view. Medications have a way of accumulating and are contributory to the “unseen clutter”. And by taking the steps to declutter your medicine cabinet it is also a best way to prevent misuse or accidental use of medications.
When you open up the medicine cabinet, what do you see? Assuredly, what you see isn’t comforting. Besides the half-empty bottles of aspirin, bits and pieces of first aid solutions and personal care products, there is a collection of old prescription bottles from a previous illness. And those prescription bottles contain meds that are long past the expiration dates. There may even be medications that are not in the original container.
Of course, the first step is to throw out all that has expired. It’s a telltale sign if you can’t remember when you bought it or if the medicines have changed color – it needs to be disposed of properly. (Doubly telltale if you can’t remember what color the original medicine should be). But there is a protocol for the proper disposal of unused and expired medications that is important for health and safety reasons.
There are precautions, environmental, and safety concerns for proper disposal of drugs and inhalers. When disposing of medications it is important to remember that the illegal use of prescription medications is a concern as well. Medicines are classified into categories because not all medicines can be immediately disposed into regular house-hold trash. Community take-back programs provide options for disposal, and require preparation for the expired meds for disposal or call your local Police Department, they might be part of a federal program that allows you to drop bagged medication into a receptacle at any time. Recycle the plastic bottles or boil and take to your local Humane Society or Pet Adoption Center.
Cleaning out your medicine cabinet and exposing of expired medications should be done two times a year. Assigning this task to an important date like daylight savings time and changing the battery in your smoke detector, or New Year’s Day and July 4th can serve as an important reminder and keep your medicine cabinet free and clear of the accumulation of expired medications.
DeClutter By Deirdre is committed to assisting people & their families who struggle with where to start and complete de-cluttering their homes so they can de-stress and enjoy a full life without extra burdens they could not previously tackle on their own. People who are ready to take control of all they can in their lives and develop solid systems that allow them to step away from items and stresses that no longer serve them and to enjoy the company of others and have the leisure time to pursue family time, interests and hobbies. Remodeled/organized spaces reduce the mental burden of clutter, allow easier movement about the house when physical challenges present themselves or changes to the home have to be made to allow those individuals who will be aging in place to stay in their own home.