A New Year brings a fresh start for many with goals to achieve and lists to create on what your plans are for the year.
Here are some helpful tips to help guide you into 2010:
Prescriptions - Go through your medicine cabinet and toss out all medicines that are beyond their expiration date. If a product smells or the color has changed you need to toss it in the garbage. Many medicines are still okay after the expiration date, but they are not as strong as they once were. Antibiotics that are in the refrigerator need to be disposed of. Nose drops and eye drops can become contaminated and should be tossed out.
When going through your medicines also check all the over the counter medicines to see when they should be used by and follow suit as well. Make a list of the items you have removed and purchase new bottles/products. Make a note on your new 2010 calendar to order refills on existing medications/prescriptions.
Coupons - Many over the counter medications have coupons available in magazines and newspapers. Go through your supply of coupons to remove all those that expired in 2009 and organize them according to categories. Make a note on your shopping list which items also have a coupon to redeem.
Brushes - Start the New Year by removing the germs of 2009 and invest in a new toothbrush and cover for each member of the family. Do the same thing for hairbrushes and combs you keep on hand and for your purse or handbag. For those with pets purchase new care products for them also. Don't forget cosmetic brushes in your makeup case and vanity.
Glasses - We should still be wearing sunglasses during the winter - this includes children too. I was disappointed to find out that Walgreens does not stock kids sunglasses at this time of year, so we had to go elsewhere for a new pair. For those who wear prescription glasses make an appointment to have your eyes checked.
Cosmetics - Many cosmetics should be tossed and replaced every three months. Start by changing your mascara, powder puff, lipsticks and balms. This includes the cosmetics stored in your handbag, gym bag and at home.
Soaps - For bar soap users clean out the dish the soap is stored and open a fresh bar. If you use a sponge or mesh puff sponge purchase a set of new ones in bright festive colors before removing the used puff. Consider trying a new brand of soap, shampoo and shaving creams.
Message Systems - Change the message on your answering machine and voice mail systems to reflect the New Year 2010 and wish everyone a prosperous New Year. Have the kids leave a message or say their name and Hello as well. Listen to the message before setting it so everyone is pleased with the results. Do the same thing with your work message.
Subscriptions - Check the expiration date on all magazines and newspapers for your family members and the professional journals you may subscribe to at the office. Decide if you want to renew or cancel subscriptions.
Allowance - Start implementing one now or make an increase for the New Year, unless you do this during the birthday month.
Calendars - Hang up new ones and have the children take part in writing down birthdays and events they want to be reminded of. Have calendars for desk and purse noted with dates of interest. We purchased at Border's last week at 50% off a daily cat calendar, a penguin calendar for the wall and a datebook.
Batteries - Make sure all smoke detectors have new batteries and are in working order. Check flashlights inside and in automobiles for working condition and store new batteries close by.
Photographs - Take a current photo of each child and note their height, weight, age and school information on the back. Keep in your wallet, car and purse for emergency purposes. Consider placing a family photo in the child's wallet or backpack.
Taxes - Get your taxes done quickly this year. Consider having more taken out of your paycheck by filling out a new W-4. If your family qualifies for Earned Income Credit obtain a W-5 form from IRS to have advanced payments in each paycheck.
Food - Clean out your refrigerator of old, smelly food and label plastic containers so you know what is inside. Toss out the old eggs and spoiled milk. Post on the outside of the refrigerator the emergency numbers for fire, police, Doctor, Hospital and poison control.
This is also a good reminder to take a class at the local community college or Red Cross to learn CPR, first aid or a number of other emergency related techniques that could save a life. Look inside the trunk of your vehicles to see if emergency kits are up to date and adequate for your family needs. Store bottled water indoors and canned food to last three days for each family member.
Start an activity as a family, whether it be roller skating one night a week, visiting the book store once a week or implementing a game night for all members. Take an active role in your children's education and their extracurricular activities and interests.