There are many precautions we can take to keep ourselves, our families and our homes safe. We often forget to take the precautions though. This article details 13 of the most often forgot about precautions that we should regularly schedule.
THE FRIDAY 13 -- Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
Check the batteries in your smoke detectors. This should be done about every 30 days. Make it a standing appointment on your calendar.
Flip your mattress. If yours is one that can be flipped then here's the schedule as per the Queen of Clean: Every three months as follows: Spring and Summer -- Flip side-to-side. Fall and Winter -- Flip from end to end.
Update your will.First of all, if you don't have a will go schedule an appointment and get one drawn up as soon as possible. You want to have control of where your assets go, especially children, when you die. You don't want your loved ones to have to deal with that heartache while they're suffering over your loss. Your will should be reviewed every couple of years. If a major, life-changing event has occured then it needs to be updated. Life-changing events: marriage, divorce, death (of someone named in your will), children, buying property, etc. We even have who should get our cats if we both go at the same time. I have never done one of those online will programs. Do that at your own risk. I would suggest finding a lawyer and drawing one up legally for your state.
Check the expiration dates on your medicine.We do this about once a year but should probably do it more often. You want to keep your medicine up to date just in case it's late one night, your stomach is all gnarly and you'd really like to take some Pepto to ease the suffering but you check the expiration of the stuff you have and it's gone...really gone and you have to suffer through the night with a gnarly stomach. I'm just saying it could happen. It's been said to flush your meds down the toilet, but after I received an article from a good friend about how public water systems have all kinds of trace meds in them (and only one reason is from medicine being flushed) I don't think we'll be flushing ours any more.
Throw out old makeup. Along the same lines as the above. It's hard to remember when I purchased some of my lipsticks. I'm sure some of them are older than my 6 year-old daughter. That's so gross as I type it out, I'm going to take a break now and go throw them away. And really I don't even use them any more. They're sitting pretty in my "lipstick bin" waiting for that one night where I need that exact color. But old makeup can lose its effectiveness and even grow bacteria. Pimples...infections, not something you're wanting from something that's supposed to make you look better. Here are general guidelines: *When Should I Throw My Old Cosmetics Out?* Now, along with makeup comes the applicators. If you use a sponge it should be replaced each week. Brushes? Wash them often. Different sources advise various lengths between cleanings: from washing them between every use to once a month. It needs to be done though ladies.
Get your car serviced. There's lots of oil, liquids, computer parts, and mechanical thingies in cars. Don't wait until yours is sputtering, overheating and every light on the dashboard is lit until it's seen by a professional or by someone who claims to know what they're doing. I'm no expert at this (who am I kidding, I'm not even a person of limited knowledge) but I do know that every car comes with a manual. That manual will tell you how often you should have maintenance done.
Go through your filing cabinet. If you're not married to someone like my husband then you may not have one of these. You should have some sort of system for filing, organizing and maintaining bills, documents and other important papers. We go through these once a year, usually right after we do taxes. Or whenever we can schedule it in. But you can't wait too many years or you'll be busting at the seams. We keep anything that's tax related (investments, accounts, business stuff, etc) for seven years. Regular credit card bills, utility bills, etc we keep for a year. If we close out an account we keep the last bill or statement with a zero balance to prove it was closed out. Once you're done with paperwork shred it. I didn't really have to tell you that right?
Run a credit check. Or better yet, subscribe to a service like LifeLock. If you choose to protect yourself You can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three major agencies. Make sure everything in each is correct and that there's nothing fishy.
Monthly Breast Self Exam. Once a month. The Mayo Clinic recommends performing them a week after your period begins. Here's a great how-to explanation.
Check your children's play equipment. Do this regularly to make sure there are no missing parts, broken pieces, eye-impaling hazards. Test their playground equipment outside to make sure it's still sturdy and that there aren't any huge splintered pieces of wood...or spiders crawling around in corners. Know which toys have been recalled. Here's a link to recalls. Here's a link if you're interested in buying things Not China Made.
Review your budget. Once again, I realize you're not married to my husband so I don't expect you to have the extensive and all-encompassing budget that we do. BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE ONE. That being said your budget should be reviewed at least annually, and definitely with any change in income, expense or investment. If you're just getting your budget up and running a monthly review would be helpful to get everything hashed out.
Review child safety. Check to see if any sexual predators live in your area. These folks move around. So your safe neighborhood of a year ago may have changed. Family Watchdog is a good site. Have the latest info of your child easily accessible: latest picture, fingerprints, DNA swab...Check here and here for info on doing this. Review with your children the safety procedures they should know.
Review your fire escape plan. Ok, we have never done this. We're bad. Maybe I'll make it a priority to do this weekend. You never know when it will happen to you. This isn't the time of year for lots of house fires, but you always want to be prepared. Here's some good info on home fires and escape plans.
More from parenting