National Take Back Initiative

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It is Time to Clean Out all of those Prescription Drugs you have sitting around!

Drug Take-Back Day is an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse and to keep trace drugs out of our lakes and streams (wastewater treatment plants cannot remove many compounds found in medications; so when flushed or put in a landfill, drugs are discharged into our surface and ground water and consumed by fish and wildlife). oag.state.va.us/programs-initiatives/drug-take-back-program

  • It’s anonymous and free
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications will be accepted
  • Please, no intravenous solutions, injectables, or needles

“It’s a great time to clean out your medicine cabinet! Protect our kids, families and environment by properly disposing of your unwanted and expired medicines. Medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning and flushed or trashed medicines can end up polluting our waters. Rates of prescription drug abuse are alarmingly high – over half of teens abusing medicines get them from a family member or friend, including the home medicine cabinet, and often without their knowledge.

What if I miss this event, what I can do? For the safety of our kids, families and environment, some communities, pharmacies, and law enforcement are paying for temporary ongoing take-back programs to help you properly dispose of unwanted and expired medicines in your homes until a permanent statewide program is in place. Click here to find a temporary ongoing take-back program.

Experts agree: Take-back programs are the first choice. Law enforcement, public health, and environmental professionals stand united in support of take-back programs, such as the DEA’s take-back event on Saturday, September 27th, as the safest and most responsible way to dispose of unwanted and expired medicines to protect your family and to protect our waters.”  Click on this link for more information (takebackyourmeds.org) .

Home disposal:  What to do on other days of the year when there is no take-back program available

If a take-back program is not available, home disposal, when completed correctly per the instructions below, is another option to dispose of prescription drugs:

  • Step 1– Remove medications from their original containers. If the medication is solid, crush it or add water to dissolve it and then mix the medication with an undesirable substance, such as kitty litter or coffee grounds. This makes the mixture unattractive to children and pets and unrecognizable to potential abusers who may go through your trash.
  • Step 2– Place the mixture in a container with a lid or in a sealable baggie to prevent the medication from leaking, and throw it into the trash.
  • Step 3– When discarding the original containers, scratch out or remove identifiers on the bottle and/or packaging.

Remember:

  • DO NOT dispose of medications in the toilet or sink, unless specifically instructed to on the label.
  • DO NOT give medicine to friends or family. This is not only potentially illegal, but a drug that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.
  • When in doubt, consult your pharmacist.

Go to http://www.oag.state.va.us/programs-initiatives/drug-take-back-program for more tips on drug dispoal.

Click here to find a local National Take Back Initiative Collection Site Search


Downsizing: How Much Time Do I Allow?

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Downsizing: How much time do I allow? When you havemmade the decision to Downsize, it is important to allow yourself plenty of time in order to keep down the stress.  You do not want to rush into making decisions that you may regret later. You will want to check with family members and friends to see if they want or will appreciate the item you want to give them.

You may need to set up times for organizations to come pick up the items you wish to donate and or an auction company to come pack and pick up your auction items.

Remember, it takes time to go through cabinets, drawers, closets and shelves. Those are the areas that usually take more time go through and make decisions about because they are out of sight, hold more and smaller items and often hold items we forgot about. These areas also hold items from your past that you may want to share with others. You may need time to deal with some of the emotions these items may give you.

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You should allow yourself six months to a year to completely address everything in your home. Once a week deliver donation items to the organization of your choice, check with family members and friends to see if they are interested in what you want to give them and haul away trash if it is not picked up at your home.

Pick a room in your home to begin and do not move to another room until the previous room is completed. Work at least 30 minutes per day, daily, but no more than 2 hours. When clients work more than 2 hours a day, they often get burned out quickly and loose their enthusiasm to continue.

Downsizing can be very stressful, both physically and emotionally so please give yourself the gift of TIME!

 

 


Want to get organized but short on time?

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I often hear people say, “I sure would like to get more organized but I just do not have the time.”  Contrary to what most people believe, getting organized does not have to take up a lot of your time!  There are many things that you can do when you only have a couple of minutes.

Here are three things you can do that only takes five minutes and makes a huge difference in the appearance of your home, making it look organized and uncluttered.

  • Make the Bed! It is usually the largest item in the bedroom and if it is made, the room looks 75% organized and uncluttered.  You do not have to make sure the bed is perfect just pull the comforter back over the bed and put the pillows at the head of the bed will make a huge difference.
  • Clear off the Bathroom Countertops! Put the toothbrushes in their holders and toothpaste away in the cabinet or drawer.  Slide make-up into the drawer, put combs and hair brushes in a drawer and pick up towels.
  • Pick up Laundry! Hang up clothes; put clothes in a hamper or drawer.  Do not leave them hanging on a chair, bedpost or thrown on the floor.  Place shoes inside the closet or under the bed.

These three things take less than five minutes to do daily and will make your house look more organized and uncluttered.  Just remember that anytime you have unexpected guests, they will most likely want to use your bathroom.  Now you will not have to worry what it looks like!


Positive Purging!

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Go From This....

Let’s Change Our Thinking!

Today I have decided to change my vocabulary and thinking by eliminating the word “Downsizing” and start using the words “Positive Purging”.
The word “Downsizing” often has a negative connotation to it such as “job loss” and with many of my senior clients I have noticed that they feel they are being forced to get rid of their possessions because they are getting too old.  Let’s face it, none of us wants to be forced into feeling we are too old to take care of ourselves or our possessions.

When I work with clients that are needing to purge because their health is not as good as it used to be or because they are moving into a smaller home, I have found that they become much happier with the process of purging when they feel their possessions will make a positive difference in their lives or someone else’s. That is where the change in thinking comes in, which then changes the questions we are asking.

For example, instead of saying, “You do not wear all these clothes anymore”, we could ask, “Do you have any clothes you think another person could use?” Instead of saying, “Dad, you do not need all of these tools any longer, let’s just let them go”.  We could ask, “Dad, do you know of someone who is just starting out in a new home that could use some of these tools?” These are only two examples but I hope you can see how it would make someone feel their possessions are going to be useful to someone else and not just simply discarded like old news. Again, this where we have to change our thinking and our words to make someone feel that they themselves and their possessions are valuable.

I have to say the reality may be that not all of their clothes will fit into their new closet or they will not have a good place to store a lot of tools but I believe there is a positive way to to get the same results and that is by changing our words and thoughts into “Positive Purging”.

 


Keep Chaos out of Easter

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Easter is approaching and planning your party ahead of time will ensure everything goes smoothly. Between planning for your Easter egg hunt, games and food, there is a lot you should consider. Here are a few simple tips to help you organize your Easter party, and maybe you can even enjoy it too!

Plan the Easter Egg Hunt

1) Plan the Date and Time:        
First you need to decide on the day and time on which you want to throw the Easter party. Remember on the Easter day itself people have family dinners and gatherings to attend. Selecting the day before Easter should be good option. The best and most commonly opted option is for late morning or afternoon. If you are planning to host the party on Easter Sunday, opt for an afternoon event.
2) Design an Easter Egg hunt according to the age group: 
 For younger children, hide the Easter eggs in places they can reach. For toddlers you can spread the eggs in the lawn. For more older guests you can hide the eggs on trees, in bushes, or a top car tires.
3) Choose the Easter game locations: 
If you are planning to have the Easter egg hunt outdoors, have a backup plan ready in case the weather turns bad. If you are going to do it indoors, make sure you remove small items off the shelves so the little ones will not break anything.
4) Set up the boundaries beforehand:
Communicate the boundaries to everyone participating. All of this will help keep everyone in the same area and will help with safety.
5) Have some Prizes: 
We have “special” eggs that have either candy or coins in them for participants to find. If you do this, make sure you purchase candy that will fit in the eggs and have a small stash of coins. The small children are always accompanied by an adult so they do not accidentally swallow the coins.(Read More)

Plan Your Menu

If you are going to be the host for the Easter Dinner, now is the time to start planning your menu and shopping list!
Quick Tips:
1) Think about your guests. Does anyone have any allergies, likes or dislikes?
2) Write down your Menu.
3) Plan your shopping day and list.
4) Ask yourself if there is anything you can decorate or cook ahead of time.
5) Use Disposable plates and cutlery.
6) Think about dividing your menu and having guests be responsible for bringing various items such as: dessert, drinks, salads, paper plates, etc.
7) Finally, when you are planning the meal, think about what you will need for an easy clean up.
Helpful Recipes:

What to do with Easter “Stuff”

Leftovers:
1) Freeze for later.
2) Divide and send with your guests.
3) Take to a local Homeless Shelter.
Check out these sites to recycle:
1) www.kcedventures.com for fun ways to recycle plastic eggs.