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Now that we are over halfway through this challenge are you starting to feel the weight being lifted? I know we still have some big areas to power through but little by little we are taking back control from the clutter that has tried to consume our homes! I'm so proud of all the work you've done so far. Even if you've only managed to complete a few weeks I'm still proud of you! That's a few weeks worth of clutter that would still be in your home if you weren't doing this challenge so don't discount the work you've done.
If you are just joining us, here's the deal:
I still had this mindset of decluttering being a big ol’ chore up until a few months ago when I read this fantastic post from Nony at A Slob Comes Clean. It was like a huge light went off in my brain! Decluttering is simply the act of getting rid of what doesn't belong, isn't needed, or belongs in the trash. It doesn’t mean buying a whole slew of new bins for your things to go in or coming up with some type of system that you hope will change your life - that’s organizing. It’s a whole different ball game. Right now, I’m in the game of decluttering. I just want things GONE.
When there’s less stuff, especially less of what has no purpose in your home anymore, organizing can often happen naturally. You won’t be cramming thirty towels into the closet because you only need ten and they fit nicely. You don’t need to dig through a tub of medicines to find what you need only to keep coming across bottles that are long since expired.
Here’s my challenge: Each week, take on ONE area of your home. I’ve already made the list for you so that part is done. Go to the area, throw away trash, put items that you no longer need but are still in good condition into a donation box, and put other items where they belong. Simple!
Week 28: Medicine
This week can be tricky because we can't donate medicine and there are rules about safe disposal. I went ahead and found some information for you so you know how to properly dispose of any medicine you do find.
We keep our meds in a 3 drawer system in our linen closet. It's up on the second highest shelf which means I can barely reach, let alone the kids. I'm 5'7" so it's not like I'm super short.
I pulled everything out of all the drawers and sorted through based on the expiration date because there I can't imagine any other way to do this. The top drawer was a big mix of medicine and first aid/health items so I put those with the other first aid supplies to be dealt with for next week. I also had to grab all the vitamins out of the bathroom and the extra kid meds from our diaper bag. It was a lot of medicine all together!
I was quite surprised but also not so much at how many expired meds and vitamins we had in our stash. A kid develops a rash, we can't find the benedryl, we buy more, we find the old bottle. Or we are out of town and a bug hits the kids so we grab some cough medicine or fever reducer and then add it to the pile once we are home again. We also had A LOT of expired vitamins. I was on several when I was pregnant with the twins but didn't use all the pills in all the bottles and there they sat. Just for reference, the twins will be 3 this fall. And they've just been hanging out in the bathroom.
That's a lot of expired meds! I'm going to have to keep my eyes out for good deals to replenish this stock as the months go by. I know I don't want to buy it yet because of the risk of it all expiring before it gets used again but with winter coming before we are ready (yes, I know it's July, but blink and it will be October) I don't want to be running out when one of the kids is running a high fever or can't sleep due to constant coughing.
Once I knew what was worth keeping I sorted into two drawers: one drawer for fever/headache/pain meds and one drawer for cough/cold meds and misc meds. This seemed to break it up decently and should make the correct meds easy to find. We are definitely in need of new fever reducers for the kids since we are down to a small amount of one bottle.
I'm saving the third drawer for first aid supplies because clearly I didn't need all three drawers for medicine!
Please tell me I'm not the only one with several bottles of expired meds hanging around my house!? How many meds did you find to get rid of for this week's challenge?
Share a picture in the comments or on social media with the hashtag #clutterbusterchallenge of what you found to declutter.
Come back next week for week 22 to clean off the bathroom shelves. I use our bathroom shelves to hold most of the beauty products but there are also other random items that get set there so I'm sure I'll find more to toss out.
If you are looking for a better way of keeping on top of your homemaking tasks now that you are steamrolling through all this decluttering you might be interested in a new course from Humorous Homemaking. Home Management How To: A Guide to Daily Success is open now! I've got a post about my experience with this course here but this is a great course for you to take control of all the household tasks in a way that is tailored specifically to your family and life.