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How Long Do They Last? Check These 7 Expired Household Items Off Your Moving Checklist

Posted on May 27, 2020

Check your medicine cabinet and safely dispose of all expired medicine and pharmaceuticals before your packers and movers arrive.

Check your medicine cabinet and safely dispose of all expired medicine and pharmaceuticals before your packers and movers arrive.

Did you know that many household items have an expiry date? These items not only take up space, but they can also be havens for mold and bacteria. Lessen the load before moving by knowing the lifespan and disposing of belongings that have gone past their use-by date. Don’t open your moving boxes to find a mess. Use this moving checklist and purge these 7 items before your movers and packers arrive.


1. Beauty products

Let’s face it. Most of us jam our bathroom drawers and cabinets with lotions and potions that keep our skin from drying and otherwise. Makeup, skincare (especially sunscreen), and toiletries can become ineffective after their use-by date. Throw out any expired beauty products that you no longer use and save precious space.


2. Dry goods

Perishables in our fridge and freezer are not the only food items that expire. Some dry goods in our kitchen cupboards can also go stale or rot from moisture exposure. Before you pack, inspect the expiry date on all your canned goods, and look for any noticeable damage. Throw out any half-used bags or boxes of dry products such as rice or cereal. Pay special attention to items such as tea and coffee, which lose their freshness after three-to-six months.


3. Pillows and bedding

Although pillows and bedding do not come with expiry dates, they are susceptible to bacteria and allergens such as dust mites that accumulate while we sleep. Start fresh by throwing out all your old pillows, bed sheets, covers, duvets, and blankets before your moving company shows up at your door.


4. Towels

Like your bedding, your bath towels only last so long. After many washes, towels lose their drying effectiveness and can become moldy or succumb to stains —toothpaste being one of the worst culprits. Spiff up your new bathroom with new towels and send those old ones to the rag pile.


5. Cleaning supplies

While you’d think most chemical-based cleaning products last forever, that is not the case. Some cleaning products, such as disinfectants, lose their potency after two years. Use this chart as a rule of thumb, and safely dispose of products that have seen their best days:

  • Multi-purpose and window cleaners — two years
  • Disinfectants — two years
  • Fabric softener — one year
  • Antibacterial cleaners — one year
  • Laundry detergent — six to 12 months
  • Liquid soap — six to 18 months
  • Dishwasher detergent — three months


6. Paint

We often store half-used cans of paint for future touch-up projects. The problem is that oil and water-based based paints only have a shelf life of one year once opened. Even unopened, paint lasts for only two-three years, while caulking and varnish have an even shorter shelf life. Luckily, used paint can be recycled. Look for recycling stations in British Columbia that offer the household hazardous waste (HHW) recycling program.


7. Pharmaceuticals

Expired medicine can also pose a severe health risk. Check your medicine cabinet before moving, and dispose of any unused or expired medications by bringing them to your local pharmacist.


Use our moving checklist of  8 Things to Do Before Your Moving Day.


Bekins Kelowna local and long-distance movers have everything you need to make your moving day a smooth transition. Contact us for free moving quotes.