Disclosure: This post is sponsored by DEA Drug Take Back Day.
Anyone else find that they are organizing and cleaning all the things with so much time being spent at home due to our current lifestyle? You’re not alone! I’ve been burning off all this nervous energy and anxiousness, by cleaning out all the cupboards, closets and junk drawers that I can find.
One of the areas that I always make sure to do a thorough cleaning and purge this time of year is my bathroom and medicine cabinets. I find it’s one of those areas that often gets completely overwhelmed with items and neglected until we are bursting to the brim with stuff. Many medications (both over the counter and prescription) can have a relatively short lifespan and can cause issues if used beyond their expiration date so keeping tabs on expirations dates is super important. More-so, with a growing opioid epidemic in our country, it’s essential to make sure that they are safely stored and disposed of.
Below are a few of my favorite tips & guidelines for cleaning out your medicine cabinet.
Take Everything Out
I like to take every single thing out so I can start with a clean slate. Use a multi-purpose cleaner to wipe out the inside and outside of cupboards.
Toss Expired Medication, Cosmetics & Products
Expired, old and unused medication and products can be unsafe to use, less effective and germ-ridden. Make sure to check the expiration date on all products and safely dispose of them, as needed.
It’s so important to be mindful of expiration dates and old, unused prescription medications, but especially opioids. We are battling a massive prescription drug abuse problem in our country so safely and properly disposing of them before they end up lost, stolen or simply misused is so important. Removing opioids and other medications from your home, can significantly reduce the risk of any possible poisonings or overdoses. The opioid crisis has grown, touching individuals of all ages, races and genders. Sadly, the opioid crisis is one that I have seen claim the lives of countless friends and family, as well as creating so many turbulent and tough situations as well. To solve this issue, we ALL need to take action and steps to ensure that we can prevent them from being misused to keep our family and community safe.
To safely dispose of medications, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a great way to collect and dispose of unused or expired prescriptions. At Take Back Day, you can safely and anonymously dispose of expired and unused medication. They will be holding an event on October 24 with locations across the country. You can search for a nearby collection site at DEATakeBack.com. If there isn’t a collection site near you on that day, there are also 11,000 year-round drop boxes available. For now, I’ve collected all of our old prescriptions and packed them away in a box high in our cabinet where they can be safely stored until we can dispose of them.
While most medications don’t typically have expiration dates, once they’re open they can have health risks if used for too long. This is especially important for eye makeup. For mascara and eyeliner, aim to replace open products every 3 to 6 months. Powder makeup (eyeshadow and face) should be replaced every 2 years at the least. Creamy face products and shadows, should be ditched after 6 months. Throw out open lipsticks after a year of use.
Anything with a funky smell or odd color, should be tossed immediately. Most products last for about a year after you open them so consider trashing anything that’s over a year old for optimal results and safety.
Once you’ve cleaned out your cabinet, make sure to restock with all the essentials! The last thing you want to happen is to need a medication or product when ill or injured and not have it stocked. A few must haves are:
- Fever and Pain Medication
- Bandages and First Aid Products
- Gastrointestinal aids
- Allergy mediations
When putting items back, it’s important to consider whether they should be stored in the bathroom or medicine cabinet. For best storage practices, medications should be stored in dark and dry spaces for best efficacy and longer expiration dates. Also, always keep medications in locations in which kids cannot access on their own.
Things like deodorant, hair products, cosmetics, toothpaste and other hygiene products are safe to be stored in the bathroom as they are regularly and quickly used.
When’s the last time you cleaned out your medications?
Remember, Take Back Day is a great opportunity to responsibly dispose of prescription medications anonymously. The event will take place on Saturday, October 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To find collection sites near you, you can search at DEATakeBack.com.