The Businesswoman's Wife® since 1999

Organized Living: 4 Places to Check for Expirations

by Susan Hamersky, California Concierge LLC

Now is a great time to clean out your house and prepare for organized living before the busy summer months. As you’re cleaning, make sure to check expiration dates and toss anything that is past the date. Here are 4 places we often forget to check.

Medicine Cabinet

medicine cabinetTake a few minutes…maybe while you’re brushing your teeth to check expiration dates on medicines.   You may be surprised at how quickly time has past since you bought those eye drops or that cough medicine!   A long-ago date confirms you’re not using it, and it’s just taking up space.  Toss it!

For prescription drugs, the FDA says if there are no specific disposal instructions on the label, throw the drugs in the household trash following these steps.

  1. Remove them from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter.(This makes the drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs).
  2. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
  3. Of course, before throwing out a prescription container, scratch out all identifying information on the label.  And, when in doubt about proper disposal, talk to your pharmacist.

Spice Rack

spice cabinetA good rule of thumb for replacing spices is one year for ground and two years for whole.  But, if you don’t know how old they are, a good, simple test is to open the jar and smell…if it smells strong and spicy, then go ahead and use it. If not, then toss it. Old spices will not go bad, but they won’t accomplish their purpose of adding great flavor.  A fun way to throw out old spices is to pour them on your grill when cooking. This releases the remaining oils and adds flavor to your grilled food.  And, to keep track of freshness, use a marker on the container to record the date you open it. By the way, the best place to store spices is in a cupboard or drawer, away from heat, light, air and moisture.

Refrigerator Door

refrigerator doorThe refrigerator door is a favorite hangout for condiments and other small jars and containers that may not be used very often.  And, if they’re not used very often, it’s easy to forget how long they’ve actually been there.  Take a moment to check expiration dates and dispose of, accordingly.  (That dressing has been in there how long?)



Make Up Bag

mascara2What’s lurking in your makeup bag? Like food, makeup has an expiration date and over time cosmetics can harbor harmful bacteria that can lead to infections. Check out the dates below and find out when you should toss your makeup stash.

 Expiration dates — beginning from the time you first open these products

Powders and shadows: 2 years

Cream shadows: 12 to 18 months

Foundation: 1 year

Lipstick & lipliner: 1 year

Mascara & eyeliners: 3 months

Makeup brushes: Clean weekly using a mild detergent

Makeup sponges: Replace weekly, or when sponge becomes soiled

California Concierge LLC is known as The Businesswoman’s Wife®.  We’re all about taking care of “the home front” so you can enjoy the life you’re working hard for.  You’ll find more helpful tips and ideas for your Life-Outside-The-Office at  Sign up today for our blog!

For a California Concierge Membership so you can focus at work, relax at home and have time for yourself and your family, contact us at (818) 883-8550 or

Copyright 2015 California Concierge LLC.  Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit, except with written permission, but may be freely distributed electronically provided that the entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

What Clients Say

Ken Jeong, Actor; and Tran Ho, MD

“Thank you so much for another wonderful year. You always go above and beyond.”

(Dr. Ken) (Mr. Chow) (Señor Chang)


Sherman Oaks, CA

“Thankfully, you are there for me. Just want you to know how much I appreciate your concierge service. I feel like I have my own Mrs. Doubtfire!”

Amy H.; Executive Assistant to Tim Ferriss, Author: The 4-Hour Workweek

“Thank you very much for your help. It was very much appreciated, and you’re a pleasure to work with.

Heidi Briguglio; Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research

Alexandria, VA

“Thank you for your wonderful service! You are absolutely worth your weight in gold!!!!”

Wayne and Mary Edington

Woodland Hills, CA

“We are so glad to have your While-You’re-Away service during our vacations. Your messages giving updates from your visits made everything that much more enjoyable knowing that everything was taken care of back home.”

Jenny and Chris

Los Angeles, CA

“Thank you for making one big part of Chris’ time away from home much easier on all of us. I am so grateful that you were recommended to us.”

Ronald Melin Supancic, Attorney; The Law Collaborative LLP

Woodland Hills, CA

“We are all faced with trade-offs in life. California Concierge is the best friend to have that allows you to grow your business while someone else does the time-consuming chores that get in the way of increased profit margins.”

Carla Carpenter

Los Angeles CA

California Concierge gives me the freedom to have fun in my down time. I use them for everything from booking tours for my visitors to weekly grocery shopping, errand running and overseeing home repair projects. They even delivered personal items to me from home when I was hospitalized and cleared the refrigerator of items that would spoil before my return. They are life savers.


Woodland Hills, CA

”Thanks again for your service!  I had a great trip back east, and I never could have prepared for it without your help.”