New Year, New Beginning - Do It Right - CARiNG Pharmacy

New Year, New Beginning - Do It Right

New year marks a new beginning. Are you reflecting on what you have achieved in the past year? Maybe you are thinking of what to set for your new year’s resolution.

Spring cleaning might be the practice of many as we clean our house and mark a new beginning of 2024. For me, spring cleaning is a time where I get to focus on my inner self. Spring cleaning is also the time when I get to have a good laugh at myself for all the unnecessary items I have bought throughout the year. Every year, I clear out piles of books that I never get to read, expired products that I left in a corner of my room and many more.

While I was googling the history of spring cleaning, I was amazed by the fact that people around the world also perform similar cleaning albeit at a different time and for a different purpose. Some fun facts that I have learnt:

The people of our neighbouring country Thailand, as an example, performs cleaning during the Songkran festival that symbolises the cleansing of bad luck. So Songkran is not all about water fighting after all.

In Guatemala, the tradition of cleaning has been part of the festival Quema Del Diablo. If that sounds diabolical, that is because it is. Guatemalans believe that the devil lurked in the home, crouching behind furniture, tucked under the bed, or concealed in piles of rubbish. So they rid themselves of the trash and burn the trash.

Japanese also perform similar cleansing activities in December to prepare for the new year. This is known as Ōsōji. The roots of Ōsōji can be traced back to the tradition of Susuharai which is an annual cleaning away of soot and dust. The tradition goes all the way back to the Heian period (794 – 1185).

After some interesting facts about spring cleaning, here is a checklist that may help you with your spring cleaning:

  • Make those mirrors and windows shine
  • Make your floor squeaky clean
  • Clean your sofa
  • Wash your bedsheets and pillow sheets
  • Clean the grease off the gas stove
  • Polish wooden surfaces
  • Declutter your wardrobe
  • Clean Ceiling Fans
  • Tidy up your medicine cabinet

You might realise that you have a lot of unwanted or even expired medicines while you clean up your house. In fact, many of the medicines I bought during 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 years are expiring. Here are the three simple steps you can take to clear your unwanted medicines:

  1. Read: Read your medicine labels and check the expiry date
  2. Remove: Remove expired and unwanted medicines and place them in a bag
  3. Return: Return all your expired and unwanted medicines to any CARiNG Pharmacy, Georgetown or Wellings Pharmacy

Do not throw your medicines into the bin. That will pollute our waters. While you clean up your house, our waters deserve to be clean too. 

I wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope that we all get to throw out what was bad in 2023 and only luck follows us all into 2024. 


  1. Five cleaning traditions from around the world that you can adopt in your own home [Internet]. Yahoo!; [cited 2023 Dec 5]. Available from:
  2. Burning the Devil in Guatemala [Internet]. National Geographic; 2021 [cited 2023 Dec 5]. Available from:
  3. Yamano Y. Oosoji (大掃除), Japanese big year-end-cleaning [Internet]. Seattle Japanese Garden; 2023 [cited 2023 Dec 5]. Available from: