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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January Spring Cleaning

Every January and June, I have a ritual that could be called spring cleaning. I throw away make-up, cleaners, paints, and other stuff that can go-south after a while. Why those two months? Well January is a down month. It’s after Christmas. I’m too broke to go anywhere and the weather is usually pretty awful. June is six months later and my birthday. To me, this makes sense.

It started in my teens. I watched some daytime show after school. A doctor told the audience about the bacteria, germs, and crawly things that grow on your eye liner and icky things that happen to the makeup and powder. Six months was the limit on those items according to the forgotten doc.

I’m not a big make-up user—foundation, lipstick, highlighters, powder, and occasional use of perfume. I care that the items are fresh and relatively bug free. My extra cosmetics are kept in the refrigerator. Only the current products are in my bathroom cabinets and purse. Every six months the old stuff gets tossed then I replenish my shelves.

The same logic gets applied to hair brushes, hair spray, shampoos, conditioners, cleaning products, paints, and so on. It may seem like a waste of money but really this is economical. First, I only buy products that I will use over a six month period. I know women with forty tubes of lipstick. I have three—two different colors in the bath and one in my purse.

I also know what kind and shade of foundation I use and how often. I use a bottle of makeup every forty-five days or four bottles per six month period. So I go online look for the best price and buy four bottles of my favorite brand. One goes in the bath and the rest in the refrigerator. I actually save about $6 a bottle that way. Nail polish is the same. I bring my polish to the beauty shop, when I have the luxury to go, because I want the freshest products on my hands and toes.

Since I have been on this crazy diet, I have been reading articles, books, and magazines about the raw food experience. One lady has given up shampoo altogether to lessen the amount of chemicals in her life. I currently keep two different shampoos and conditioners in the bath. She is using baking soda to wash her hair followed by a white vinegar rinse. Although skeptical at first, she swears her hair texture has improved plus she is saving a fortune in hair products. I like the idea but I haven’t figured out how to store baking soda in the shower. Somehow it is going to get soggy don’t you think?

Everything has a shelf life except maybe plastic. So it makes sense to me to keep products in my home that are at the peak of their usefulness. By dumping old products and starting fresh there is a time to understand the value of things around me and the need to use what I purchase—limit my waste or as in the current vernacular, my carbon footprint.

Does anyone know the shelf life of shoe polish?