Do you have a stash of medicine just waiting for an illness? Today I challenge you to go through your medicine cabinet/ drawer/ case and let go of at least four medications that are not serving you or your family and then find a safe way to store the remaining drugs. Here’s an easy way to do it:
***MAKE SURE NO LITTLE KIDDOS OR CURIOUS PETS ARE ABLE TO GET INTO THE MEDICATIONS WHILE YOU ARE GOING THROUGH THEM! SAFETY IS KEY AT ALL TIMES!***
- Collect all the meds in your house – make sure to check purses and nightstands as well as your usual storage locations.
- One at a time, check each medication – making two piles as you go – one for keep and one for “let it go”. Think about these things while you sort.
- Is it expired (or is it going to expire before anyone will use it)?
- Does it look right? (Sometimes medication goes bad even before the expiration date – usually this is caused by improper storage, but sometimes they just get weird.)
- If it is a prescription medication – is this a current medication? A current dose?
- Do you have multiple bottles or boxes of the same medication (sometimes this is necessary for school/ work or emergency response meds – like an epi-pen, but usually one is enough.)
- Is it something you bought but it didn’t work? Or for an ailment that someone had but doesn’t anymore?
- Get rid of any miscellaneous items that you don’t need. – How many pill splitters, measuring cups, and empty bottles or sorters do you need?
If you are feeling a little overwhelmed, it may help you to know; According to the Mayo Clinic 70% of Americans take a prescription drug and 20% take 5 or more medications. That is just for prescriptions! U.S. consumers make 26 trips per year to purchase OTC drugs. You are not alone.
Now that you have two piles, it is VERY important what you do with BOTH of these piles.
- Your keep pile NEEDS to be safely stored (preferably locked) in a cool, dry (probably not your medicine cabinet!) location. This is both for the safety of the medication and for the people and animals that come and go through your home.
- Your “let it go” pile also needs special attention. A little research is key here.
- Depending on where you live you may have the option to drop this medication at a local police, fire, or hospital department. (Do it right away!)
- We don’t have that option, so we chose to dispose of this medication with our cats dirty litter.
- Basically you want to find an option that is going to make sure that this medication is not found by someone seeking drugs, accidentally ingested by a creature, or causes chemical changes in our water and wildlife.
You did it! Now remember that this is something that needs to be done on a regular basis to keep your home and family safe.
The AMAZINGLY SIMPLE way to keep a healthy medicine cabinet.