Category: 365 things

2015 – Goals! Oh nooo!

Oh boy!

It’s ridiculous how long I’ve been working on this post… I started it weeks and weeks ago.. and then I completely forgot all about it lurking around in the drafts folder… until I suddenly went.. oh crap.. didn’t I..??? Yeah you guessed it, I suddenly remembered that I had not posted it after all. How the heck could I forget?

And here we are, almost done with February. And I still haven’t given you the update on how I did with my 2015 goals! 😳

How can I make it up to you? Well I guess I could just go ahead and give you that update!

Before I do, I have a teensy-weensy disclaimer!

2015 turned out quite differently than I had anticipated. As some of you know, I had to throw in the towel at work, June 2015 for health reasons. Following that particular decision, a few things happened during the fall, things that was completely outside of my control, which unfortunately, took a toll on my health.

I know, I know..  it’s a poor excuse…  But excuse or not, it is an explanation for why I completely flunked on some of my goals, as you will see below.

I did have quite few goals, and even though I flunked a lot,  I did accomplish one or two…

So here it is, my (ahem) “quick” update, starting with one of the ones I actually passed 🙂

FINANCIAL GOALS
My overall goal when it comes to my house mortgage, is to pay it down as quick as possible. Every January I pay a lump sum towards the mortgage (a quick explanation of my mortgage). My goal for 2015 was to to save up NOK 60 000,- for my lump sum in January 2016. And I did it. Actually I was a ahead of schedule and had saved my yearly down payment by October. With a little extra savings in November.

I did debate paying down more than my 60 000 this January, but I decided I’d rather invest that extra money in mutual funds, as the interest rate on my mortgage is really low.

With this last payment, I’m down to 1/4th left on my mortgage, only 9 years in 🙂 Do I get a woot, woot?

DECLUTTER
I had a bunch of declutter goals. Just as in 2014 I wanted to shed an item a day. In addition to that, I had a few other “projects” like reading myself out of my bookshelfwatching myself out of my movie collection, and (the big mother of projects) photos!

My declutter goals for 2015:

  • 😀 365 items 561 items out the door – the big purges are mentioned here, here and here
  • :-/ 100 Movies – 68 movies
  • 😦 Cut physical DVD series collection by 30% – I’ve only gotten rid of one series which probably amounts to all of 1%
  • :-/ 34 books – 27 (I ran into too many I wanted to keep)
  • 😦 Photo collection – I never had a proper goal on this as I have thousands of photos, and the idea was to – keep key photos as physical photos, scan the other ones I’d like to have access to, and get rid of the rest. – All I can say…. it IS on the list for 2016 (and 2017… and 2018… and…)


ONLY BUYING NECESSITIES

2014 was a year I focused a lot on only buying necessities ( I want, I want – I want it now!!!), and it served me so well that I continued in 2015. I had some non necessities allowances though;

  • 😀 Books – buy only 10 books/magazines – I bought 6 books (4 of them e-books), no magazines
  • 😀 Flowers and plants – same level of 2014 – I cut about 60% on 2014 results
  • 😦 Eating out – reduce 25% on 2014 results we have already established that this item is something we struggle with. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that we flunked this one completely. Here are the statistic:
    • we ate out 39% more times than 2014
    • average cost per meal was reduced 9,5% – resulting in
    • total cost for 2015 was increased with “only” 25,9% 

Even though the results are pretty bismol (with the exception of average cost per meal) there is one upside in it all.

You see, both B (my eating out partner in crime) and me stopped working early/mid 2015. B took out an early retirement + was hit by company downsizing, leaving the workforce early spring. And I, well I started the year working only 20% until I left completely in June, when I went out on 100% sick leave.

We have found out in the past, during holidays and such, that we eat out more when we are not working. In lieu of the fact that most of the year have been non working days, for us both, I’m actually surprised that we did not increase our cost by more than 25,9%. So yeah, we gotta look at the bright side of this 😉

  • ❓ I can buy up to 10 non essentials throughout the yearHmm lets see, I bought:

    • 2 lamps at an antique fair – the lamps are going over my dining table (been looking the last 5 years – finally found some I think might be cool.. as soon as I change the wiring 😉  )
    • 1 pair of shoes (needed a pair that can work as my one pair only for minimalist travel)
    • a few Lush products to test out deodorants and shampoos in solid form (travel)
    • a couple of eagle creek super light travel pouches (travel)
    • 6 pieces of clothing – 4 replacing worn out items, 1 item filling a hole in my wardrobe, and 1 just because I wanted it…
    • 1 frame for a poster (picture finally on the wall after years and years in a roll)
    • a set of omaggio vases

Depending on how you want to count these non essentials, it’s either a flunk or pass scenario. If you look at it from a “if every single item counts separately” then, yes I bought more that 10 items. But if “each purchase count as one” (eg lush, lamps, vases..) then I guess I kinda passed? You know what? I’m leaving it to you to decide 😉


ACTIVITY AND EXERCISE

The goal for 2015 was to build up to, by the end of the year: 7 days of activity a week, with 3 of these as real workouts.

Yeah, that didn’t happen (re my disclaimer) – I did pretty good during summer with an average of 6 times a week, but I took a crashing nosedive end of August, resulting in this goal going straight out the window for the rest of the year. So yeah.. a big, big fail 😦

OTHER ACTIVITIES/PROJECTS
As always, I enjoyed my garden as much as possible. In addition I had a few other projects.. mostly helping out family and friends with little things in the house.

I did however have a bit of a larger task, helping a friend who got a new house in 2015.  Picture this, a house built in 2000 with interiour like the 1970s! Yeah, non painted pine, red, orange and yucky cream/brown/puke coloured wall… and thats for starters. For her it became quite a renovation project.. so B and me tried to help out as much as my health would allow. You know things like; painting, drawing up the new kitchen, delivering doors to be spray painted, changing door handles, cutting moldings to fit new wardrobes, more painting, installing the wifi, hanging curtain rods, “create” (rather adjust) a couple of ikea kitchen units to fit the space… you know.. all the little things that comes up during move in and renovation 😉 It turned out to be a fun and very social summer as she had lot and lots of friends helping.. oh yeah.. and there was lots and lots of great food, do I need to say more 😉

All in all, it was a great summer season!

This concludes my “How did I do on my 2015 goals”!

About time, you might say! All I can say is.. Yeah, I know 😳

Starting with a bang!

Who knew that my new year would start with my fridge/freezer going belly up?

I suppose it is understandable that this particular item would throw in the towel eventually, as it’s probably somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15-17 year old.

I really liked my fridge/feezer (I spend a long time looking for the right one when I bought this) so I tried everything under the sun to find a solution to making it hang around a little longer.

It stopped turning itself off all together! The fridge was nice and cold inside, but the outside of the cabinet, was turning awfully hot. So I tried putting it on a timer, a timer that would turn it off for a while, and then on for a while, hoping this would help.

Unfortunately somewhere in the midst of that, I was stupid enough to turn the thermostat down a little from where it originally was, with the result of it no longer cooling properly. It didn’t help turning the thermostat back up, so I figured that it obviously had to be broken.

Next I did was get a new thermostat, make sense right? Well guess what, after having spend a back breaking evening changing the thermostat on the darn thing (we had to just about take the fridge/freezer completely apart to do the swap) it turns out that it did not help 😦

No other choice but to go out and get a new one! With all the new stuff out there, you would think this would be a great opportunity to get one with all the bells and whistles… and I guess I could, if it hadn’t been for one tiny little issue!

I have a height restriction. You see, I store my microwave on top + one of the sensor for my house alarm sit’s in the corner above the microwave. So I’m limited on how high the cabinet can be, not only for me to be able to reach into the micro (I’m tall but not that tall 😉 ) but also for the alarm sensor to detect people moving around.

I could of course reorganize my kitchen to try to fit the microwave somewhere else, but I’m not really willing to do so, as I only have three options for what to do with it. End up with next to no counter space (which it’s small enough as it is), put it on my dining room table (not a good look) or get rid of the microwave all together (ehhh.. don’t think so).

So off to the store we went, hunting for a cabinet no more than 180cm tall. Turns out fridge/freezers have grown a bit since last time I bought one. They had some lovely cabinets, with great interior layouts, but guess what, they were at the smallest 190cm and that just won’t work.

After a couple of hectic days looking, I’m now the “proud” owner of a new fridge/freezer. I didn’t really ever find the “perfect” cabinet, but I’ve found one I think might work! It wasn’t too expensive, it covers most of my needs and it’s the perfect height.

Should I by any chance find that I can’t get used to the layout (turns out I can’t change the interiour around like I’d like to) it’s quite fortunate that the store have a 30 day return policy 😉 I’m hoping it won’t come that that, as the only other cabinet I kinda like is waaay expensive, a tiny bit noisier, have quite a bit smaller freezer, but is slightly more energy efficient!!

For now at least, my new fridge/freezer it’s sitting in my kitchen and I’m hoping it will grow on me 😉

The old one? They took it with them when the new was delivered, and to date it’s my my biggest item out-the-door!

One fridge/freezer out, one fridge/freezer in! I suppose that is one way to start the new year 😉

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A post Christmas purge…

Christmas this year was a quiet affair, just mum, B and me. For some reason we ended up with a casual approach to it all, not the typical dress up versions we normally have. I have to admit, I like the casual approach much better. Had I known in advance, I could have packed half of what I brought, clothing wise that is 😉

I’ve been home for about a day from my UK trip, and I’m all unpacked, the washing is done, I’ve finished the book I got for Christmas, and it’s time to get back into the declutter game 😉

You might remember, my plan was to shed 210 items this month. I didn’t quite get there before I left on my trip. I did have a few things that was all ready to go, but since I never got around to writing about them….

So I figured, this is as good a time as any to catch up on those items, and while I’m at it, why don’t’ I just throw a couple of more items into the mix to see if I actually might make it to my 210?

Here we go – 80 items out-the-door:

  • 28 DVD’s (18 movies and 1 DVD series) – part of my  “Watch a movie program
  • 7 books – part of my “Read myself out of a book shelf” program
  • 1 worn out CD case
  • 4 flower pots
  • 3 flower pot trays
  • 1 T-shirt
  • 1 long sleeved top
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 21 items of miscellaneous stuff
  • 13 used notebooks and user guides

I believe this will be my last purge for 2015, considering new years is just around the corner 😉

Did I manage my 210 for the month of December? Well, why don’t you check this out;

69 items of clothing and stuff  + 79 CD’s + these 80 = 228 items out-the-door

I’d call that a PASS, wouldn’t you?

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CD galore!

While I was going through my living room during my “pseudo packing party” earlier this year, my music collection was one of those things that jumped out at me as being a separate tiny project for a later date.

Well the later date have come and gone, and its time to do something about the amount of music CD’s I have lurking around.

Once every blue moon, I go through all my music CD’s and clear out the ones I don’t want anymore. I tend to rip all my music to my computer first, so that I can keep the music I love, but I don’t necessarily need to keep the physical disks.

My rule is! Rip them all, but save only as many as will go into one CD case! Now that is not as restrictive as it might sound, as my CD case will take 80.

Why do I keep any CD’s at all? Well in the early days I used to play them at home as most of us did. Nowadays I stream my music through Wimp (similar to Spotify) at home, but I still have an old fashion CD player in my car. So if I want anything other than radio music, CD it is 😉

And since I’m one of the crazy people, who loves driving with the top down on the car, “singing” at the top of my lungs along with the music, you see why I just have to keep some of my favourites around 😉

For the time being I’m keeping around 50 albums, I’m sure some of these won’t make it through the next cut, but for now I’m good with that. Fortunately there are a few more going out the door… 79 CD’s to be exact…

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There is stuff…

…finally going out-the-door! Long overdue, I know 😉

About a week ago, I mentioned that Heather over at Simply Save was inspiring me, to get back into decluttering with her minsgame.  Now, my original plan wasn’t really playing the minsgame, I just wanted to get back into decluttering. To finish off my goal of 365 item out-the-door for 2015.

But I was thinking today, that maybe it could be fun to play part of the minsgame anyways, kind of a minsgame light 😉

As we all know Christmas is a big part of this month, and that holiday is a time to spend with family and friends (not decluttering), so come Christmas time I won’t be around the house much.

My plan is to play the minsgame until and including December 20th. After that, my holiday starts with me leaving for a few days to hang out with family.

That means (if my calculations are correct) that 210 items should be leaving the house this month. Now, I know a lot of people that play the minsgame, get rid of the number of items that follow the date. Something that Moving Forward is doing, right now. But me! I’ve never been good at following rules 😉 so I figure that as long as 210 items leave the house before the 20th, it doesn’t matter if it’s 1 or 77 at a time.

So here it is, my first installment of 69 items out-the-door!

Clothing – 44

  • 1 windproof fleece jacket
  • 6 t-shirts
  • 1 pair of sweatpants
  • 1 nike nylon sports pants
  • 2 thin fleece tops
  • 1 medium thick sweater
  • 1 thin cotton long sleeved top
  • 1 knitted jacket
  • 1 high neck sweater
  • 1 pair of jogging shoes
  • 5 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of office pants
  • 6 bras
  • 15 undies
  • 1 bicycle shirts

Other stuff – 25

  • 2 drinking bottles
  • 4 egg holders
  • 2 “Pc covers”
  • 1 exercise ball
  • 1 exercise ball DVD
  • 1 pc backpack
  • 2 flower pots
  • 1 cup
  • 7 small plastic containe
  • 1 network cable
  • 2 CD disk cases
  • 1 pc cover

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Focus…

I can’t believe it’s almost December. One more month and 2015 is over. Where the heck did the time fly off to? Just a short month left (yes, it’s a short month, with Christmas and all, interfering with normal routines 😉 ) to finish up my goals for the year.

I know there are a couple of goals that I will fail at, but there is one goal in particular that it’s time to snap back into.

For some reason I’ve been finding it hard to keep the focus up on my decluttering goal! Last year I was all for it, but this year it’s almost like I’ve lost a step and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I feel I have my home under control (no, not really), or maybe it’s because I’ve already been decluttering for years and I’m getting down to the “nitty gritties” and it’s much harder, or maybe my heart just haven’t been in it?

Whatever reason, the fact is that there aren’t much stuff going out-the-door! Now, fortunately there haven’t been much coming in either, as I don’t buy much, so I’m not cluttering it back up 🙂

But it’s time, it’s time to focus. It’s time to get at least some of my decluttering goals out of the way.

Heather over at Simply Save, has spent November playing the minsgame. So I figure I could take a cue from her, focusing on my decluttering goal for a minute 🙂 There is no way I’m going to be able to shed 465 items like Heather have been working on. But that’s not really the point. The point is just to get back with it, to get the stuff out of the door, to finish my goal for the year, of 365 items out-the-door.

So there you have it… over the next few weeks. The focus is… decluttering! And yes, please hold me accountable.. because it is sooooo easy to slip…

 

October in a nutshell!

Last month I promised I would do better at getting the monthly sum-up out in a timely matter. I’m not exactly doing stellar at that promise, but at least we are not quite half way into the month like I was last time 😉

Activities and exercise
I’ve started a new treatment in addition to the osteopath treatments I’m already doing. It’s been a bit busy with an average of close to 2 treatments a week (hopefully that will slow down soon). Some of the treatments wear me out a bit, and don’t leave me much energy for regular activities and exercise. Which means I’m still squeaking by, at an average of only 1,5 times a week. 

As my current schedule will continue a while longer, I think my yearly goal of average of 6 times a week by the end of the year, will be a big fail. Next year maybe?

Declutter
Weirdly enough, a couple of items did make it out-the-door in October. But I never posted about them. So here it is, my decluttering effort of October;

  • 1 Logitech computer speaker set
  • 7 plastic compression bags
  • 2 Natural Cotton/PEVA Storage Bags
  • 1 grey storage bag
  • 1 Tigger cup

That’s 12 items out-the-door, pictured below.

Still not much I know, but hey.. one item here, one item there.. it still racks up.

I will, I will get a few more items out-the-door in November… I’m sure 😉

Only buying necessities
Eating out – We are back to our usual poor performance 😦 Yep! You heard me right. We are back to eating out, a lot! I’m sure that doesn’t come as a big surprise now, does it!

My fault entirely, and I “blame” it all on the treatments (gotta blame it on something, right?) as I’m worn out afterwards and just want an easy meal.

I’m sure.. that will change when I get into a more regular treatment schedule again… Well… I can hope, can’t I 😉

Buying non essentials – I’ve been looking for a nice looking “fleeze”/indoor jacket for quite some time, and I finally found a black one I like.  As I quite often do, I ended up having to buy from the men’s department, the woman’s versions just don’t seem to have long enough arms .. go figure? But it will explain why the link is to the men’s department 😉

Financial goals
I’m still putting away every cent I can towards my yearly down payment, and I’m happy to announce that I’m already there and then some, 2 months early 🙂

Projects
No projects this month. My friend (who moved this summer) is working away at sewing stuff for some christmas markets that are coming up, which means that any of the leftover tasks in her house have been put on hold until the markets are over.

That’s it for October sum-up.

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September in a nutshell!

It seems I keep dropping the ball on my monthly sum ups, here we are already more than half way into the month of October before you get an update from me 😦

But you know what they say, better late than never… right? So here goes!

Activities and exercise
Having been ill for a long time, and me now being on a 100% sick leave from my company, I ran into a major bump late august (company related), that unfortunately have taken a toll on my health.  

So my happy average of 6 times a week (that I had during summer) took a crashing nosedive during the month of September, to where I think I just about squeaked by to an average of about 1,5 a week 😦 

Declutter
My decluttering is slowly… sloooooowly picking up again, not quite as much as I hoped, but still, there are a few things that have gone out the door.

I cleaned up some of my medication, and said goodbye to my old vacuum machine. In addition there are a couple of other things that went out the door, that I completely forgot to take take pictures of or even write about. Not really anything big, just some junk, a flowerpot or two, some pieces of clothing ++

Together with the medication and vacuum cleaner, it racked up to about 23 items out-the-door.

Not a lot, but hey.. I’m on my way again 😉

Only buying necessities

I think I’ll change this up a little. Earlier I used to list all my allowance categories, regardless if I bought anything or not. The next months I’m changing that to just mention the categories I’ve spend money in.

Eating out – As most of you know, we seem to struggle with this category month in and month out, so I’m sure it will come as a big surprise (it sure surprised me) that we did “fairly” well during the month of September. we “only” ate out 5 times 🙂 Big shocker, I know!

Now if we can only keep this up for October, we might still have a shot at the overall yearly goal (when it comes to money spent, not the amount of times eaten out.. because that one, we have already failed miserably at).

Buying non essentials – as most years, Christmas sure came early this year too! I think it’s crazy how the businesses start Christmas three months before the real thing. I mean, no wonder people are sick of christmas by the time Christmas actually rolls by.

IKEA tends to be one of the first ones out, and they started to roll out their wrapping papers, ribbons and tree decorations late September. All their good stuff seems to disappear in no time, so if you actually want some, you have to hustle. So guess what 😉

Yep, I got some. I got wrapping paper, ribbons, and a couple of really cool tags (picture below). This time around I went for paper that wasn’t all that typical christmassy. Which means I can use most of it, all year round, for anything that needs to be wrapped. How very “frugal” of me 😉

Financial goals
Interest rates are going down like crazy, which is wonderful for my mortgage, but suck even worse for any money I have in the bank.

I’m thinking, that it’s probably time to “do something”, as the money I have in the bank, won’t be generating much interest after they reduce the rate again, December 1’st.

I haven’t decided yet, between making another extra down payment (like I did in March), or maybe stocks or mutual funds. Hmm, maybe a little of both is the smart way to go. I’ll let you know, when I figure it out 😉

Projects
Well… projects, just like activity, kinda went out the window, except as always I did get to enjoy my garden a little.

Oh yeah, and my stepmom got a small Cinderella Classic Incineration toilet for her allotment cabin. If I ever make or buy an tiny house, this is the system for me, as they have an RV version that doesn’t take a lot of space. Now to the exciting part! Guess who had to install it? Yep, you’ve guessed it 😉

B and me spent a few hours one afternoon. It involved a hole in the roof, some pipes and a few new composite shingles, and then we were done.

There are still a few of bits and bobs left to do at my friends house (the one that recently moved), but we had to put some of that on hold in September. But hey, there are still a few days left of October, so we might have a shot at getting it done this month 😉

Well, I guess that’s it, not much else to tell ya. Better get this out, while there is still a few days left of this month, because before you know it, it will be time for the October update… which, by the way, I promise to be a bit more timely with 🙂

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A belly filled with dust…!

For years, I’ve been living with Miss Anne.

I remember when I was young (a long, long time ago), she brought me home and we were both excited about the life we would lead together.

I was all powerful, with a spring in my step!

For years, I worked hard and we lived harmoniously together… Her in charge of the house, me in charge of the floors.

7 or 8 years ago I started to fade a little, and there was a moment she brought in a replacement helper, but she decided she wanted to stick with me a little longer and gave the replacement away 🙂

And we’ve been chugging along since.

The last year or so I’ve been running out of steam a little quicker, and when there is serious, serious work to be had, I need a few breaks to recover.

No longer capable of doing the heavy duty work, I suddenly found, a new, all singing, all dancing suction machine in the house. Yes, you heard me right, a new vacuum cleaner moved inn..

Still, she wasn’t ready to let me go, and I appreciated this, after all, with more than 20 odd years together, it’s hard.

So the last few months I’ve been the designated king of the 2nd floor, while the new blue have gotten to flex his muscles downstairs in the kitchen and living room..

I could probably have continued this semi retired life, if it hadn’t been for Anne’s neighbour desperately needing a vacuum cleaner… (you know where this is headed, right?)

So a couple of weeks ago, I said goodbye to Miss Anne, and all my long time friends, and said hello to a new family 🙂

And, would you believe it? As a few of my older friends, moved earlier from Miss Anne, to this place, I’ve got to reconnect with some lost pals. Which makes this transaction a little easier, as it’s a little bit like coming “home”.

It was a bit sad to leave my old house, but hey, I’m back to being the king of the castle 😉

So yeah, life is gooooood!

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Expired medication…

As I started to unearth my pile in the guestroom, I decided to start with a bunch of old medication that I had sorted out a while ago. I had put them all together on a small desk and they have been sitting there ever since, waiting for me to do something about them.

Having tried just about every medication “under the sun” over the last few years, while I’ve been trying to kill off my headache problem, my medication drawer has gotten bigger and bigger. And off course, just like food, medication expire after a certain time.

I know there are people out there that have medication laying around the house that they have had “forever”, and I’m no exception. I have however gotten into a routine over the years, where I go through all my medication every so often, check the expiration date and discard the stuff that is just too old.

Now, what’s the big deal you say, does it matter if the medication has expired?
The answer to that, is, it might have, yes! And I’ll explain why!

Just like with food, medication ingredients might spoil, and lose it’s potency. An expired medication might not have adverse effect, but there can be risks. In a lot of the over-the-counter pain relief medication, a loss of potency might not be a big deal, but in medication like heart or diabetes medication, it’s important if not critical to get the dosage right.

My understanding is that tablets and capsules have the longest shelf life, and might be fine for years after the expiration date, but I’m not sure if I want to risk holding on to them very long past their date. So I normally don’t.

And since I know that liquids and injected medication very often have a much shorter expiration date, than tablets and capsules, I don’t mess around with these past their expiration date, at all.

If it has lost some of it’s potency can’t I just take one extra?
Well, that might be a bit risky. Since we don’t know how much the potency have changed, there could be a danger that with taking an extra pill or two, that we get somewhat “overdosed”, which might just generate it’s own problems.

Can how I store them make a difference?
Absolutely! To make sure I that my medication keep for as long as possible, I store them in a drawer in my bedroom, which keeps them dark, cool and dry, as it is the coolest room in the house. I keep them away from the bathroom as I know that high humidity, and high temperatures will cause degradation of the medication quicker.

What about disposal?
In Norway, there is a program that allows you to return unused medication to the pharmacies, and they will dispose of it, the proper way. Rather than throw any medication in the trash (which you shouldn’t really do, because you never know who might get their hands on them, and here in Norway medication is considered hazardous waste that should not go into the trash), or flush them down the toilet (which from an environmental point of view you might not want to do too much off) , I use the drug return program.

If you want to read more about expiration dates, dangers and how to dispose of medication the correct way, there are some great guidelines on this FDA’s website, this NHS website, and in Norway this Legemiddelverket site.

So out-the-door, to the pharmacy they went, my pile of old medication 😉

Have you looked through your medicine cabinet lately?

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