Raise the Bar in Your Bathroom: 6 Things It’s Well Past Time to Declutter
There are some rooms that are just easier to keep clean than others—or shall we say, where it’s more obvious when stuff needs to get tossed. Like in the kitchen, when freezer-burned food has more icicles than the North Pole. Or in your kids’ bedroom, the third (and even fourth) time you trip on an overflowing pile of their toys.
But the bathroom? It’s an easy place to forget. After all, most of the things in there tend to last forever, right? Not really, according to the experts. In fact, keeping things like cosmetics and medication for too long can actually be harmful to your health. Which is why this latest installation of our “New Year, Clean House” series is all about raising the bar in the bathroom.
So if it’s been a while since you’ve thought about all of the random crap in those cabinets, here are a few tips from the experts on what it’s time to toss.
1. Old cosmetics
Cosmetics might seem like they should last forever, but Ali Wenzke, author of “The Art of Happy Moving,” explains otherwise.
“Cosmetics have an expiration date, so you don’t want to ruin your skin or eyes with built-up bacteria,” she says. “You can hold on to your foundations for up to two years. However, items like mascara and liquid eyeliner only last about three months. If you have a lot of free make-up samples, decide to use them this week. Otherwise, donate them to a local women’s shelter.”
This goes for all of your unused travel-size deodorants, shampoos, perfume samples, and lotions as well. Toss out the old stuff, and replace it with new versions of the things you actually use. Consider even labeling these by date to keep track of when they’re due to be swapped out
2. Expired medication
From old cough syrup to those remaining prescriptions rattling around the medicine cabinet, medical supplies are vitally important to keep in check.
“Expired medications can not only lose their effectiveness but also become a risk to take as their chemical composition changes,” says Melissa Groff, owner of Namastay Organized.
Some medications can also become contaminated by bacteria, she points out. Set up an appointment with your doctor to get a new prescription and then properly dispose of expired medications.
Before chucking pill bottles in the trash, Groff recommends following these steps to make sure they’re disposed of the right way. First, check the label for specific disposal instructions. If there aren’t any, consider using a local take-back program, or follow these instructions to mix (not crush) medicine with dirt or kitty litter before throwing it away.