Simple Living Challenge Week 2: Out of date medicines and foodstuffs

Life in 2022 in starting to feel normal again. Last week was a whirlwind of jetlag and returning to work for me. We are all tired, yet frustrated at our tiredness because we have a burning motivation inside us to start this year right. When I was in New York over new years, I picked up a new book: Messy Minimalism by Rachelle Crawford. Its not available in the UK yet but it is available to pre-order. Funnily enough I am on Chapter 6 – “Combat the what-ifs” – as I write this, which is exactly what I’m tackling with this weeks task… Throwing out medicines and out of date foodstuffs.

A bit of New Years reading

I am the queen of creating “what-if” scenarios, particularly in the medicine department. But come to think of it, how often do I really go to the medicine cupboard when I’m ill? Or do my sicknesses often require a new medicine which I get a prescription for or can buy over the counter? In a good-bill of health, I can’t think of many reasons why I should be stockpiling medicines and plasters. Especially when I’m allergic to plasters, anyway.

Similarly with food; I tend to hang onto items far longer that I should in the name of preparedness. It’s very easy to forget these smaller consumable items when they sneakily clog up your cupboards. Regardless, with the turn of the new year it seems like a perfect time to draw a line and throw out any out of date medicines and food stuffs. I try to do this clear out once every 6 months. Albeit, we moved to this house nearly a year ago and I know I haven’t done it since moving here.

I’m not totally wasteful and throwing away food gives me shame. I haven’t simply thrown out every past it’s best before date – for example, I will trust tinned food up to year past its best before. There is plenty of information on the web regarding the expiry of food and generally speaking: if it’s airtight then its okay for a little longer. I looked at donating some items to food banks but turns out they can’t accept out dated produce (which I completely understand). Instead, here’s a useful list of 10 things you can do with expired food. I found the point regarding using mayonnaise as a cleaner interesting and I’m eager to give it a go before I throw out my next bottle!

Below is a photo of everything we shifted this week. This always highlights to me how much we waste and it is utterly frustrating. However, making a habit of clearing out these items means I get clearly view and assess which products I do have. A great example is that I cooked myself a korma tonight with sauce that I didn’t even know I had in the back of the cupboard until now.

This week’s decluttering efforts

Now that my cupboards feel a little clearer, I’m starting to get the decluttering bug. Being only two weeks deep on my 30-week journey, this is fantastic!

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