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This Is How to Spring Clean Your Medicine Cupboard


 Did March 20 come and go without any special observance of National Clean Out Your Medication Cabinet day? Or maybe your spring cleaning sessions did not get around to that space below or above your bathroom sink?

Do not despair. Spring is not over yet! Read on for how to give your medicine cabinet a spring cleaning!

Take stock of your nutritional supplements and vitamins.

When was the last time you remembered to take your vitamins? If your vitamin E capsules or your vitamin C pills have exceeded their expiry date, are they still safe to take? And do nutritional supplements even go out of date? Here is what you should know about that:

The FDA does not require supplements and vitamin manufacturers to list an expiry date on the packaging. But many companies will do so because their potency declines with time. The long and short of it, when it comes to supplements and vitamins, you want to be sure that you adhere to the “best by” date. This way you can be assured that you are not wasting your money on something that has lost its effectiveness.

Take a moment now to toss out old vitamins. And make a list of what is lacking in your lineup that should make an appearance. If there are new health issues that you or a loved one is tackling. Research the latest supplements for that issue and make a point to place an order. For example, if your partner is battling with prostate problems, you could look into prostagenix for symptom relief.

Look at your meds.

Did you know that in a 2016 survey on drug use, unused prescriptions were one of the most common ways teens got high? Prescription misuse is a growing problem in the US. According to the CDC, 46 people die daily from prescription opioid overdoses. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that the 3 top misused medications include:

  • opioids, used to treat pain
  • depressants, used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety
  • stimulants, used to treat attention deficit disorder

Go through the medications that you have in your medicine cupboard. Dispose of all medications that you are no longer taking. (Now might also be a good time to ask yourself if you should still be taking a certain medication. Of course, such reflections should be backed up with counsel from your doctor.)

Proper disposal of medication is not just flushing the medicine down the toilet. Doing so can pollute our rivers and other water sources. Dumping it in the trash is often an unsafe measure, as teens and other individuals looking for a high will check trash bins.

So how do you get rid of your unwanted medications? Look up a take-back program that provides a safe disposal method for medications. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day comes along twice a year, which provides the opportunity to safely get rid of expired prescriptions.

Inventory your first aid kit and supplies. 

Perhaps you bought a stellar first aid kit years ago. But after much use and many tears later, the remains of what used to be your stock of first aid supplies have dwindled. And now, you are just lucky that no emergency has occurred that necessitates the use of gauze and antibiotic wipes.

The Red Cross provides a first aid kit list that you can use to see what supplies you are out of and what needs to be on your shopping list. Also, some items in your kit might have exceeded their expiry date, so check for that, too, as you inventory your supplies.

Rethink where you store your medications, supplements, and vitamins.

A last note about your medicine cupboard: if you have been keeping your meds in the bathroom, reconsider its placement. Medications, supplements, and vitamins should be stored in a cool, dry place. Most bathrooms and sink rooms share a space with your shower room, which makes the room an often hot or humid space. Not an ideal environment for your meds.

Time for a little reorganization! A better place for your medications would be a kitchen cupboard. Store them above the sink, not under it, to keep it away from the reach of your children.

John Miller is a home improvement and design expert who loves sharing what he has learned throughout his career on various online media and websites.


  1. Mary Ambrosino says

    My worst habit is keeping expired over the counter medicines. My daughter was horrified when she helped me clean mine out when we moved and found some from before she was born. (They were way in the back and I didn’t see them).