Just curious. I see advice all the time on how often to replace things. Toothbrushes? They say at least every three to four months. Mascara? The recommendation is two to three months. Makeup brushes/applicators? Same: two to three months. Your mattress? You’ve got ten years. But your pillows? One to two years. Bath towels? Every two years. And spices? They say eight months to a year.

Of course, this is just a small list — there are replacement recommendations for pretty much everything.

I was thinking of this at Target the other night when I was buying toothbrushes. I’m pretty sure it’s been at least six months since the last time I bought some. I know that will gross some of you out. Honestly, I don’t think I regularly follow a single one of the recommendations I listed. Or if I do, it’s by accident.

The mascara I’m using I bought last June. I noticed it’s been drying out a bit, so I’ll probably replace it soon. I’ve got no idea when I last replaced my makeup brushes. Some of our bath towels are fine, but others we’ve had too long and I admit, they need to be replaced. But at two years? They were still going strong. I recently replaced the kids’ pillows (with these), and it had for sure been about 4-5 years since the last time. As for spices, I basically keep them forever. Apparently we have an unofficial no-expiration-date policy on spices at the Blair house.

One thing I’ve noticed is that since I do quite a bit of household shopping online, I have a much better idea of how often I actually replace things. A simple search of my past orders can tell me exactly when we last bought those particular towels (it was June of 2013 — no wonder they’re worn out). I suppose that before I had an easy-access index of my past purchases, I could convince myself I was replacing things more often. Hah!

Mostly I don’t worry about the guidelines and just keep living my life, but once in awhile I feel guilty. Or gross. Whenever I’m cleaning out our vacuum canister (which happens often), I see a note from Dyson that the reusable vacuum filters should be cleaned and dried each month. I don’t know why, but I always feel guilty when I read that — I only wash them maybe twice a year. Perhaps I feel guilty because we use our vacuum a lot and I know I could be taking better care of it, so I’m feeling irresponsible? Who knows.

What’s your take? Are you good at following recommended replacement guidelines? Is there anything in your house you always replace on time? Do any of you have reminders in place — like alerts on your phone or calendar — to help you keep to a replacement schedule? Are there some guidelines you follow and others you ignore? I’d love to hear.

P.S. — I’m in the market for a lightweight cordless vacuum I can keep in my bedroom. Any you’ve been loving these days?