Essentia Health, Self Care + Wellness, Simplify

Decluttering Your Health Habits | How to Simplify Your Health

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From abandoned treadmills and yoga mats to Suzanne Somer’s ThighMasters that have lost their relevancy, our homes are littered with the fallout of Good Fitness Intentions Gone Bad and are proof that decluttering our health habits is a necessity of life.

As Laura and I (Becky) dive deeper into our quest to de-junk and declutter our homes, we can’t ignore our health and our health habits.

The biggest health-related culprits that add to the clutter and chaos are the wide assortment of exercise and fitness gear that was purchased with big plans only to become extra places to hang clothes.

If you are truly committed to getting your physical health in order in the New Year, then, by all means, keep ONE or TWO of these pieces of exercise equipment. The rest need to hit the road.

And be real. Do you really need two yoga mats, four yoga blocks, and three yoga CDs?  We applaud the motivation that drove you to purchase these items, but in the scope of downsizing…less is more.

Today is the day to take a hard look at these items that are taking up space in your home and no longer serving you.

Today is the day to reaffirm that your new goal is to focus on one or two items in your exercise gear collection.

Today is the day to look at the rest of these items with new eyes and determine a “path or a home” for them ASAP.

What To Do With Unwanted Fitness Gear

Use it: Like we suggested, when it comes to treadmills, Bowflexes, Max Trainers, and exercise bikes, pick one or two and commit to dusting it off, oiling it up and getting on it. Except for the ThighMaster. No one wants to admit they own(ed) one of those.

Sell It: Facebook is filled with great Garage Sale Groups and they are an excellent place to get a few dollars for your no-longer-needed exercise gear. If posting in one of these many groups seems a little daunting, you can get a better feel for best practices and guidelines in The Scoop on the Garage Sale Groups on Facebook blog post on

Donate It: Smaller items like hand weights, yoga mats, and exercise balls can be donated to the many local thrift and donation centers. Larger items like treadmills are a little harder to dispose of. Non-profit pickup services like The Epilepsy Foundation and Habitat for Humanity ReStore will not take bigger pieces of fitness gear. Online sites like Fitness 4 Charity may be an option because this organization distributes donated equipment to churches, schools, hospitals and foster homes. It also outfits police and fire stations. To start the donation, fill out an online form specifying the type of equipment, how old it is, condition (whether it’s in working order or needs repairs), brand name and model and where it was used (commercial facility or at home, for example). Freecycle is also an option if you are willing to have your item hanging around the house or garage until someone expresses interest in it.

Other Health Items to DeClutter

Decluttering your health habits is not just about getting rid of the big equipment or “gear” designed to make us healthier people; it includes the smaller items as well.

From vitamins to OTC medications, our cupboards can be bursting at the seams with medications and supplements that are no longer needed, used or have even expired. Hanging on to expired meds can pose health hazards and can actually have a detrimental effect on your health if ingested past their expiration date. Many people (us included!) hang onto expired meds because we really don’t know what else to do with them.

Unwanted Medications

The good news is that many major medical clinics across the U.S. have disposal programs to help people get rid of expired, unwanted or unneeded medication for good. Essentia Health of Baxter is no different.  Now, people can get rid of their drugs safely, by removing identifying information, walking into an Essentia Health pharmacy, locating the blue MedSafe household disposal kiosk, and dropping their expired meds in.

And they don’t need to be a patient at Essentia to use this service either!

People who are unsure of where they can dispose their medication safely can also go to the online site,, plug-in their zip code, and discover a disposal service near them.

Unwanted Vitamins

Vitamins are another item that should be removed from kitchen cupboards or bathroom medicine cabinets if they are past their expiration date.

Most vitamins lose their potency once their shelf life ends and contrary to popular belief, flushing them is NOT the best way. The Environmental Protection Agency does not recommend flushing expired vitamins or medications down the toilet because when vitamins, supplements, and medications are flushed, they pass through waste-water treatment plants and may enter the water supply of rivers and lakes.

After doing a bit of research, we’ve concluded the best way to dispose of these OTC medications and vitamins is also at local MedSafe household disposal kiosks like the one mentioned above at Essentia Health of Baxter’s Pharmacy. When in doubt, talk to your pharmacist about proper ways to dispose of old vitamins and expired OTC drugs as well.

How are YOU doing on your Simplifying Journey?

P.S. Don’t forget to connect with us on social media with the hashtag #UpNoPaSimplify!

Decluttering Your Health Habits _ How to Simplify Your Health

Becky Flansburg | Up North Parent | Parenting Website in MinnesotaBecky is an “old-ish” mom of “young-ish” kids who thinks bacon is the world’s most perfect food. She is a veteran blogger, freelance writer, virtual assistant and project manager for the non-profit children’s literacy event, Multicultural Children’s Book Day. She is also a proud mom to her amazing 12 year-old daughter Sara and 15 year-old son Jake. Parenting a tween and a teen is a challenge, but she truly believes that being a mom is the Best.Thing.Ever. When she is not hiking (#plussizehiker), reading, selling on eBay, playing with her pets or working on a story for the various magazines she writes for, you can find her on her main blog, Franticmommy. Connect with Becky on Mom Squad Central or on social media: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook!

2 thoughts on “Decluttering Your Health Habits | How to Simplify Your Health

  1. These are all such great tips. I’ve been struggling with adopting a healthier lifestyle and lately I’ve been wondering I I just haven’t been making it all too complicated. I like your idea of de-cluttering. This might help me put things into perspective.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tonya! We hope this post will help you jumpstart your healthier lifestyle. It’s hard work but worth it. We’re rooting for you!

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