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Kicking the Clutter: Items you need to replace in your home

The easiest way to keep your home functional and your family safe is to replace the broken, rusty and dirty things. ~ Ranka Burzan
A woman checking on the expiry date on the food can.

The things we buy today will not last forever. Sometimes we have to replace them.

Canned food
Some people might believe canned food can last forever. They might ignore the expiration date to save money. Also, the expiration date may have faded away and we assume the food is still edible.

When you open the can, the colour of the vegetables or fruit might be different. Keeping or eating canned food beyond the expiration date can be dangerous and might make you sick.

Disposable razors
I’m guilty of keeping the razor past the expiration date. Because we don’t buy them often, it’s not on our priority list. Store them in a dry place to keep them rust-free and replace them after 10 shaves.

Mascara and eyeliner
When you open your mascara or eyeliner, put the date on. Replace them every three months to avoid eye infections. Plus, mascara will not work well once it begins to get dry and clumpy.

Old toothbrushes
If you see your dentist every six months, they will usually give you a new toothbrush. However, to ensure your teeth and gums are getting properly cleaned in-between, your toothbrush should be replaced every three months. Use your old toothbrush as a cleaning tool.

Fire extinguishers
If you can't remember the last time you replaced your fire extinguisher, it’s probably due for a replacement. A traditional fire extinguisher should be changed every 10 years.

Toilet brushes
Many folks keep their toilet brushes way past this tool’s life. You should be changing your toilet brush around every six months, or as soon as you notice discoloration or damage.

Wire hangers
They’re not durable and easily bend out of shape. They can rust and damage your clothes. Replace them with durable plastic hangers. If your budget allows you to buy wooden hangers, do it, as they will last a lifetime.

Kitchen sponges
You may be surprised to know that four weeks is about the lifespan of a kitchen sponge. Keeping it longer means you’re wiping more germs onto your dishes than you’re removing.

Bed pillows
Yes, you likely change your pillowcase often enough, right? But to keep your actual pillow supportive, clean and free of allergens, it should be replaced every two years.

Non-stick pans
If your non-stick pan is scratched, the non-stick coating can flake onto your food. As a rule of thumb, when food starts sticking to your non-stick pan or you’re beginning to see scratches, it’s time to replace it; every three to five years depending on how often you use it.

Shower curtain liner
Once you begin to see mildew, it’s time for the new one. Shower curtain liners are inexpensive to replace. Consider doing so twice a year, once at the beginning of spring and again at the beginning of fall.

The easiest way to keep your home functional and your family safe is to replace the broken, rusty and dirty things.

Life coach Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in the qathet region and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to


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