Perhaps you received new bath towels or a gift card to your favorite department store this holiday season, or maybe you just want to freshen things up a bit. The new year is the perfect time to take stock in household items that might need to be replaced. Consider this list of everyday items that may need an update:
- Spices - After you're done with all the holiday cooking, take stock in what spices need to be replenished. Check expiration dates and throw out expired items. Whole spices typically last up to four years and ground spices should be replaced every two years.
- Water Filter - The water filter on your refrigerator should come with a schedule for replacement in the owner's manual. If you can't remember the last time you replaced it, it's probably overdue. After installing the new one, put a label on it with the date so you can keep track for future replacements.
- Make Up and Make Up Brushes - Take some time to go through your makeup bag after the holidays. Eye makeup like mascara and eyeliner should be replaced every three months to help avoid eye infections. Powder makeup such as blush, eyeshadow, and bronzer usually last about two years. Throw away liquid and cream makeup if you've had them longer than a year. Dirty brushes can harbor bacteria so they should be cleaned regularly. Dish soap will do the trick!
- Medication and Vitamins - Over-the-counter medications and supplements expire and need to be replaced as needed for effectiveness. As you clean out your medicine cabinet, check the expiration date on the packaging and toss anything that is expired.
- Sponges - Depending on how often you use your sponges, you should replace them every 2-8 weeks. If you wash dishes by hand, you will need to replace them more frequently. In between purchases, you can put your sponges on the top rack of the dishwasher, boil, or microwave them to keep them clean.
- Toothbrush - Whether you got a new toothbrush in your stocking or not, there's probably a good chance you need a replacement soon. Your toothbrush will wear out and possibly harbor bacteria over time. Replace your toothbrush every three months to ensure your teeth and gums are getting a good cleaning.
- Fire Extinguisher - Every home should have a properly maintained fire extinguisher. If you don't already have one, it's a good investment. Keep it in the laundry room or kitchen and check the pressure gauge about once a month. If the needle isn't in the green area, it's time to recharge or replace your extinguisher.
- Pillows - A long, restful sleep is one of the best ways to improve your health in the new year. Invest in a few quality pillows to support your neck and make your bed more comfortable. Ideally, you should replace your pillows every two years or as needed.
Most common household items are relatively inexpensive to replace. Start your new year off on the right foot by defining your immediate needs. Going forward, keep a calendar handy to jot down dates for future replacements.