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It’s that time of the year again. We have already lost an hour of sleep in “springing forward”, the word antihistamine has again become a normal part of conversation and it is also time to begin the dreaded process of spring cleaning. Windows, floors, closets are among the places in one’s home that could use some tender loving care. But, you should also be spring cleaning your life? Often overlooked, this is quite an important part of spring clean-up.
Make-up and skincare can be expensive. No wonder people find it so hard to get rid of unwanted, underutilized or just plain old items. Cleansers and lotions should definitely be thrown out after a year. If it appears discolored, develops an odd texture or loses its appeal before then, throw it out. Lipsticks, glosses and balms are a little easier to manage. If upon applying, the lip product appears goopy, lumpy or does not apply smoothly then it should be thrown away. Malodorous items are a “no-no”. Another clue, trendy shades such as “electric blue” from errors past or if you start a sentence with, “I did not know I still had this”, then you should throw it out. The shelf life on mascara is 6 months. Remember, bacteria love dark, moist places. If you have a closed tube of lipstick, sitting in your bathroom draw for the last 2 years then just know that there are bacteria sitting with it. Ultimately, if your beauty products have expiration dates, then please abide by them.
Although you should clean it at least a couple times a year, I am not going to tackle that here. What I am going to talk about is easier than that. Removing old food and items out of your refrigerator is a must. Old food and drinks muster bad odors and bad odors are usually an indication that bacteria are present also. Not the good type either, as found in food items such as milk and cheese. Bacteria that cause your fridge to smell bad can make you sick. So, do yourself a favor and throw out any cooked items in your fridge that has been there more than 5 days or anything that stinks. Uncooked items such as fruits and vegetables should be tossed out once they go limp, get brown, discolored or start to grow fuzz (aka: mold) The best rule of thumb is to abide by all expiration dates. That goes for the salad dressing and parmesan cheese too.
Now here comes the hard part. Get rid of any prescription drugs (pills, topicals, lozenges etc) that you have had for a year or more. If you still have medicine after a year then that usually means one of two things:
· You no longer need it
· You are not compliant
Any unused antibiotics should be thrown away also. Oral antibiotics should have been for their complete course. Any remaining should be discarded as not fully completing an antibiotic course can cause more harm than good. Either way, it is time to get rid of it. As far as over the counter (OTC) products go, just use the expiration date on the box. After, the expiration dates have passed then toss it. That way, you will ensure that you are giving your family the very best that you can afford.
Spring cleaning your home is an arduous and lengthy task that most people hate to do. Spring cleaning your life however is manageable, requires less effort and can be done in a few short hours and will ultimately impact the health of your family and your life.