6 Ways to Clean Out the Medicine Cabinet

With spring cleaning season officially here, I’m up to my ears in small {and big} organizational projects.  You know, in my spare time…  I’ve been slowly photographing all of my kids’ artwork so I can thin out the massive pile of drawings, paintings and handprint art that’s accumulated.  I’m hoping to create a Shutterfly photo album for each kid featuring my favorites of their creations.  Another big project that has been on my back burner for a long time, is to clean out the medicine cabinet.

logoHow to Safely Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet and Dispose of Expired MedicationOk.  Confession time.  About 10 years ago {insert sheepish face here}, I inherited a bunch of my late great aunts’ household items.  Included in those items were two plastic containers filled with band aides, gauze, and other basic first aid supplies.  I was excited to have a ready-made first aid kit, so I stuck it at the top of our linen closet and promptly forgot about it.  When I was cleaning out the other day, I realized that most of the items in these old bins were no longer usable.  The bandages have lost their adhesive abilities, and all of the topical treatments have {really} expired.  And since I had long ago forgotten about those supplies, I had already bought duplicates of almost everything anyway.

How to Safely Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet and Dispose of Expired MedicationWe have a storage cabinet over our master toilet that houses all of our medications and {current} first aid supplies.  But again, over the years, we’ve collected so many bottles and boxes of stuff, that there really isn’t any rhyme or reason to the cabinet.  Because of the disorganization, it’s easier to just buy new rather than searching for what we have already.  So we have many duplicates of over the counter items.  Not to mention the prescriptions that we’ve acquired after numerous medical and dental procedures, including birthing three children!  Some of these I can’t remember what were used for, and some were already expired.  Time to clean out the medicine cabinet.

And how do you dispose of un-needed or expired medication anyway?  The American Recall Center has  the following tips on how to safely clean out the medicine cabinet.

1. Check with your local pharmacies and police stations for any “take back ” programs they may offer.  It’s a great way to safely dispose of prescription medication.

2. If you have to throw away your pills, do not flush them down the toilet or simply push them in the trash.  If you empty the medication into a sealed bag filled with used coffee grounds or kitty litter before putting in the trashcan, it will make the drugs unrecognizable to anyone who may be searching for them illegally after disposal.

3. Be sure to rip off or black out information on the prescription label.  Blacking out the name of the medication, your personal information and the doctor’s information will make the medicines unidentifiable and will protect your personal information.

4. Check expiration dates! Expired medical products can be less effective or harmful due to a change in chemical composition or decrease in potency.  For example, a humid bathroom cabinet can contribute to decreased effectiveness in medicines.  And never share prescription medication with other members of your household, you never know what medication allergies or reactions you may have.

5. When disposing of EpiPens, injectors, or other needles, be sure you have FDA approved needle disposal containers, which are made of heavy plastic and won’t puncture.  You can get these from your doctor, pharmacy or online.  Call your recycling center or medical facility, they will know where you can dispose of them.

6. Visit the website www.recallcenter.com to learn about recalled meds, and sign up for the patient safety alert to get an alert if something pertaining to your medication is recalled.  And as always, be sure to ask your doctor plenty of questions about medications, side effects, etc.

How to Safely Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet and Dispose of Expired Medication

I started out by taking EVERYTHING out of my medicine cabinet.  I wiped down the shelves and doors really well, and separated the expired and old medical stuff with the current.  Then I sorted everything into types of use.  My categories ended up being “Bandages” {Band Aides, Gauze and Neosporin}, “Cleaning” {Hydrogen Peroxide, etc.}, “Pain” {Aspirin and Ibuprofens}, “Allergy” {Benadryl and itch creams}, “Cold” {Nyquil, etc.}, “Eyes/Nose/Ears/Cough” {Nose Spray, Cough Drops, Eye Drops}, “Skin” {Bug Bite Relief, Sunburn, Warts}, “Feminine Care” {Self Explanatory…and I put them in a bin so they are more discrete}, “Thermometers/Dosage Cups” {I saved just a few medicine cups since most medications come with a new one}, “Foot Care” {gel soles, odor eaters}, “Kid” {with each other category that had children’s medication as well}, and “Gastro” {for belly issue meds}.

How to Safely Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet and Dispose of Expired Medication

How to Safely Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet and Dispose of Expired MedicationHow to Safely Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet and Dispose of Expired MedicationHow to Safely Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet and Dispose of Expired MedicationHow to Safely Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet and Dispose of Expired Medication

I found some cute little canvas bins at Ikea that were perfect for separating categories, and holding  little stuff like rolls of medical tape and tubes of cream.  I also liked how all of my feminine care items could be a little more discrete in the cabinet.  Then I simply chose an area on each shelf for each category.  I placed categories that may overlap next to each other {i.e. “Pain” is next to “Allergy,” which is next to “Cold” so my Tylenol, Benadryl and Tylenol Cold & Flu can be near each other}.  I was sure to place somewhat safer items on the bottom shelf,  just in case one of the kids got into the cabinet.  I used wash tape and a permanent marker to label my categories on the shelves {and give a little pop of color}.  The other nice thing about using the Washi Tape, is that it’s easily removable, so I can reorganize later if needed.

 How to Safely Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet and Dispose of Expired Medication

I also repurposed the old plastic bins that I had inherited, and filled them with emergency supplies for the car.  I included clean washcloths, bandages, cleanser spray, Neosporin, bug bite and sunburn relief, scissors, medical tape, a couple of tampons/pads, a couple of Q-tips in a tube to keep them clean, some anti-bacterial Band Aides,and a little chart I’ve had forever that gives you the basics of first aid {CPR, Heimlich Maneuver, etc.}.  I think I also might throw in a diaper/wipes, and a trash bag.

How to Safely Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet and Dispose of Expired MedicationI’m quite pleased with the finished product.  And I’m so embarrassed about how much expired stuff we had {and were still using!!}.  So it’s a big weight off my shoulders to know exactly what supplies we have currently, and know that they are safe for my family.

How to Safely Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet and Dispose of Expired Medication

I’ve listed some items in this blog that can be found on Amazon.com.  Here are the quick links if you are interested in finding out more about them.


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*Palmettos and Pigtails is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
As always, all opinions in the post are 100% my own.*
 

April 2015 Cleaning Calendar

I have to say, even though I broke down and hired a cleaning company a couple of times a month….my house doesn’t seem to keep clean for very long!  The cleaning company does a fantastic job of keeping the grime to a minimum by scrubbing my showers, dusting high up places and mopping-all of which I hate doing…so they are well worth the splurge!  I wonder what they’d charge to cook dinner too…..

Here’s my April 2015 Cleaning Calendar!  Since my cleaning company doesn’t “do” windows…I’ll also be adding some window and sill cleaning throughout the month.

April 2015 Cleaning Calendar for all of your Spring Cleaning Needs

Click on the picture to download and print your own copy!

Want your kids to help out with Spring Cleaning?  Check out my list for Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids!!

Happy Cleaning!

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March 2015 Cleaning Calendar

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some spring weather.  We’ve had a pretty cold winter here in the south, and the rain has been ridiculous lately.  My poor girlies have only had 2 soccer practices/games in the whole season so far, thanks to soggy fields.  {I, for one, am not that sad….those early morning bleachers are COLD!!!}  So, needless to say, I’m ready for spring.  And with spring, comes spring cleaning!  Here’s my March 2015 Cleaning Calendar!

March 2015 Cleaning Calendar from Palmettos and Pigtails

download and print here

And, I have a confession to make.  After I cleaned the entire house last week, I caved and hired a cleaning service to come out every so often to scrub. everything.

And they come tomorrow to do just that….so guess what I’m doing tonight?!?!

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15 New Uses for Magic Eraser

15 New Uses for Magic Eraser Sponges

This post is for my good friends and neighbors Tricia, Sandy and Nikki…who have only scraped the surface of all that the versatile Magic Eraser can do!  But I thought maybe the rest of y’all could use some of these hints too!  I found these first few on blogs…new uses for Magic Eraser that even I hadn’t heard of!

Use Magic Erasers to Prep Your Chalkboard Walls

1. Chalkboard Wall Primer A Step in the Journey

Use Magic Eraser Sponges to clean grease off of Pyrex Dishes

2. Pyrex Grease Stains Tasteful Space

Use Magic Erasers to Recondition Cricut Cutting Mats

3. Reconditioning Cricuit Mats Fantabulous Cricut

Clean Up Nail Polish Spills with Magic Eraser

4. Cleaning Up a Nail Polish Spill I Heart Naptime

A Gazillion different uses for Magic Eraser Sponges!  Pin for Later

5. Huge List of Uses The Fun Times Guide

6. Even more uses, with some personal experience notes from The Fun Times Guide

And here are a few of the ways that I’ve used Magic Erasers:

7. Cut in half and float in a toilet bowl overnight to get rid of toilet rings

8. Removes dried paint splatter {think hardwood floors from overspray and door hinges}

9. Removes melted plastic bag from the side of toaster ovens

10. Cleans sticky/greasy grime on the top of your stove and microwave

11. Removes coffee and tea stains from cups, pitchers and coffee pots

12. Removes pet dirt marks from the sides of doors {If you have a dog, look at the edges of your doors and you can see where they’ve been pushing through!  Gross!}

13. Removes stains from under the toilet seat

14. Gets rid of scuff marks on your car interior, and cleans the steering wheel

15. Cleaning out rust stains from the inside of the dishwasher

 

One final thought….Magic Erasers are primarily made of melamine foam, and cost about $1 per eraser.  However, you can buy 50 of them for about $5 on Amazon!

Here’s some quick links to find the generic melamine foam as well as the brand name:

 

How do you use Magic Erasers?  Got any other ideas?  Please share!!

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*Palmettos and Pigtails is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

As always, all opinions in the post are 100% my own.*

February 2015 Cleaning Calendar

Happy February!  It’s the season of love and birthdays!  February is always a super busy month for us.  Jayna’s birthday is on the 9th, and it kind of sneaks up on my every year, for some reason.  We’ve quit doing big birthdays every year, so Jayna is just having a few friends over for pizza and cake next weekend.  Following our traditional pedicures!

I’ve made a mini resolution as well, and that is to try to streamline our “products.”  Cleaning, hair, makeup, cooking….everything.  We. Just. Have. So. Much. Stuff.  So, without wasting, I’ve decided not to buy any new products until our current ones are gone….attempting to use up all of our half-empty bottles of shampoo and all.  So while I was attempting to consolidate our cleaning products, I ran across a box of Magic Erasers, which reminded me of a conversation I recently had about the merits of the Magic Eraser.  My friends had no idea the scope of use available!

So stay tuned, because on Thursday I have a bunch of really neat ways to use Magic Erasers.  But here’s a little sneak peek in the February 2015 Cleaning Calendar…I’ve marked all of the chores you can do with a Magic Eraser with an ME on the calendar.  You’ll get more information and instructions on Thursday!

Happy Cleaning!

February 2015 Cleaning Calendar with special ideas for Magic Erasers!

Click here to get your own copy to print out!

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December 2014 Cleaning Calendar

So….everyone fat and happy at your house?  We had a wonderfully chill Thanksgiving this year…just us, Loo and Doc, and the kiddos.  We used the fancy napkins, but not the fancy glasses and plates.  We smoked THREE turkeys.  {FYI, we would have been more than fine with just one….so if you have a good “leftover turkey” recipe, please share!}  And we played board games when the kids fell asleep.  The perfect Thanksgiving!

And just like that, with the late holiday this year, December has descended upon us!  Time to break out the Elves on the Shelves…or if you are like me, you’ve already forgotten to put him out {and where did we hide him anyway?!?!}.  We always spend the day {or three} after Thanksgiving, decorating for Christmas.  So now that we’ve dragged out all the decor boxes, it’s time to clear off the mantle to make room for holly and stockings…and I guess I might as well dust while I’m up there!  So here’s the December 2014 Cleaning Calendar, ready for all of your cleaning and organizing needs!

I plan on adding it to my House Manager, in my Holiday section.  It’ll be the perfect addition to my Holiday Planning Guide…what’s one more free printable for ya?!

December 2014 Cleaning Calendar from Palmettos and Pigtails

Click here, or the picture above to download a copy for your fridge.

Happy Cleaning!!

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9 Easy Ways to Save Money Right Now

It’s that time of year again when those once-a-year bills come in {like HOA dues and the like}, Holiday shopping begins, and extra expenses {big family meals, stamps for Christmas cards, etc.} pile up.  Everyone is looking for ways to save money.  Personally, Dave and I are in the final week of our Fall session of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  We teach the class twice a year, and this year we have begun to issue a challenge to our class each week…a small way to save a few bucks.  In addition, my Small Group has been doing Jen Hatmaker’s Bible Study, Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  This week’s focus is on spending.  With all of this going on, I thought today would be the perfect time to share some of our ideas on how to save a bit of money.

Obviously, there are bigger and better ways to get more money this holiday season.  Whether it’s working extra hours, getting a side job, or selling the kids on Craig’s List…there are some drastic measures that are sure to work.  But what about the little stuff?  As they say, those pennies add up!

Here’s my list of 9 easy ways to save money right now:

9 Easy Ways to Save Money Today from Palmettos and Pigtails

-Don’t go grocery shopping this week…see how creative you can get with the items in your pantry and fridge.  And while you are in there, clean it up and organize it a little!  And while you are cleaning out your freezer, take an inventory of the food that’s in there with my handy Freezer Inventory List!

-Put a full water bottle in the back of all of your toilet tanks to displace the water in the tank, use less water, and save on your water bill.

-Save any $1 bills with significant letters on them {We save J’s, A’s and L’s in honor of our kids’ names}.

A great tradition and a way to save money: collect dollar bills with the letters of your kids' names on them

-Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use.  Big culprits in our house are laptops, the coffeepot and cell phone chargers.

-When paying for items, don’t use exact change….round up to the nearest dollar.  Save the change you get back, and each night empty your change into a jar…those coins add up quickly!

-Only drink water…no buying drinks or coffees at the store or restaurants.  You’ll save between $2-$5 for EACH DRINK!  {so put aside those $$$ you would have spent on the drink…and watch it add up fast!}

-Pay CASH instead of using a card….it’s a lot more painful to see those precious dollar bills disappear, than using that “magical” card.

-Establish a Swear Jar or a Manners Jar….each infraction costs a dollar out of one’s personal blow money.

-Get organized with your meals.  Use a weekly meal planner and Southern Savers to plan out meals and create a grocery list based on  your grocery store’s weekly specials.  Only buy what is on your grocery list.  My family of five usually spends about $80 a week on groceries.  That’s it!

Hope this simple list helps save you some cash TODAY!  Need a couple more ideas?  Check out this list of stuff you can sign up to do to get paid.

Got any others?  Leave a comment with how YOU save money during the holidays!

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{House Manager} Holiday Planning Guide with Printables

Every year it’s amazing to me how early Christmas arrives in stores.  This year, it was Kohl’s that won, with Christmas arriving in their store the first week of October.  Crazy.  We don’t do a ton of decorating or gifts for Christmas, so shopping each year is relatively stress-free for me.  When Santa comes, he brings one “big gift” per child, and then a few little things for their stockings.  So far, Dave and I have managed to avoid buying the kids anything “from us”….they haven’t noticed they didn’t get a gift from Mom or Dad.  And as for gifts for immediate family…we do homemade gifts from the kids and then school/family pictures to frame.  There are about a million cousins, and we’ve never exchanged more than Christmas cards with them.  So shopping is pretty easy, and all about the kids.

As for entertaining….different story.

So, so stressful.  But you know, in a good stressful way.  As in, I-wouldn’t-have-it-any-other-way.  I LOVE entertaining.  I love that we made the executive decision that {since we made the grandkids} everyone can come to us for the holidays.  Not to mention our Christmas Eve Brunch that we do for the neighbors each year.  But, the joy of entertaining also means the stress of cleaning, cooking and planning.

Holiday tradition of footy pajamas on Christmas Eve!  Palmettos and Pigtails

Last year, I finally got smart and wrote everything down.  I basically make the same food every year, but I always struggle to remember what I make, and fumble to find the recipes.  So last year I got organized.  And I made a bunch of documents that will go straight into our House Manager Binder.  Although, with the amount of entertaining we do, it may need it’s own binder soon!

Holiday Planning Guide with Free Printables to Keep Your Holiday Organized!  Palmettos and Pigtails

****Disclaimer****

Because I’m making this for my own personal use, I’m gonna give you access to the files.  However, you won’t be able to edit them.  But feel free to print them out and use them for yourself!  I got all the little buttons as free downloads from the digital scrapbooking site, Shabby Princess.  And I got the fonts (Pea Carol) from Kevin & Amanda…also free.  So technically, you can make your own version of these as well!  And if you decide to pin any of these images, please remember link them back to this page!! Thanks!

I’m telling you, there are a lot of printables in this file, but it’s really everything you need for planning your whole Christmas week.  Here’s a sneak peek of the Table of Contents.  See below for the links to each document.

Holiday Planning Guide from Palmettos and Pigtails: Free printables to keep you organized!

Click on each link to get to the Google Drive Document.  You’ll be able to download, but not edit.  You’ll see some items have two pages…they are the same document, but with different graphics in case you want to print two different sets!

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page AND Table of Contents

December Calendar

Gift Planner

Christmas Card List

Party Planner 1

Party Planner 2

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 1

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 2

Event Planner

Christmas Eve Meal Planning

Christmas Day Meal Planning

Christmas Eve Shopping List

Christmas Day Shopping List

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 1

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 2

Thank You Note List

I’d love your feedback on this guide…did I miss anything?  What was the most helpful page for you?  Happy Planning!

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October 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Happy October!  It’s my favorite month of the year…because it’s my birthday, AND Fall kind of officially arrives here in the Lowcountry.  The end of September kind of knocked us upside down with allergies and sinus infections, numerous guests, beginning a new sports/Bible Study/Dave Ramsey Class schedule.  So, I’m glad that October is here, and we can get back on track!

So here is my October 2014 Cleaning Calendar. Click on this link, or on the picture to download and print a copy for yourself.

October 2014 Cleaning Calendar - Palmettos and Pigtails

Please feel free to pin this!  And if you don’t follow me on Pinterest yet, head on over to check out what I’m obsessing over today!!

Have a great week!

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September 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Good morning!  There is just something about September that makes me want to break out my boots and order a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Even though it’s still 104 degrees outside!  Dave and I have had many discussions lately about decluttering and simplifying our life, so I figure this month is as good as any to really do a good cleaning out of the house.  In addition to the things listed on my September 2014 Cleaning Calendar, I plan on making some much-needed trips to Goodwill, and really paring down the amount of “stuff” we have around.

September 2014 Cleaning Calendar from Palmettos and Pigtails

Click on the picture above, or here, to download and print your own copy of the September 2014 Cleaning Calendar

We are blessed to have a big beautiful house, but I feel like we take it for granted most of the time, and use all of that extra space to collect “stuff.”  We have so many projects and improvements we’d like to do to the house, but I feel like we can’t get our thoughts together because of the clutter!

For me, our worst room is our bedroom.  We have mismatched furniture, piles of “stuff” looking for a home, and admittedly, it’s the last room in our house that gets cleaned {mostly because no-one ever sees it!}.  One of these days I’d love to do a makeover in there….I have lots of ideas {just no money or time!}.

If you could make-over a room in your house, what would it be?

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