The medicine cabinet organization project is something I’d been putting off for a while. I shouldn’t have and you shouldn’t either! It took me less than an hour to complete. Read more for tips to prepare your family for potential illnesses AND how to organize your medicines at home!
The Medicine Cabinet Organization // How to organize medicines at home:
Our medicine cabinet is in our kitchen. This is the most central location in our entire home and it seems to be convenient for everyone.
Of course when my kids were small, the cabinet was high enough that they couldn’t reach the medications. But, now that they are older, they are able to easily grab a cough drop or bandaid without needing my assistance.
However, somehow over time, the cabinet became a complete mess.
There was no real system and items were all over the place.
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Before the medicine cabinet organation:
Before diving into the medicine organization, you may want to catch up with my month-long organizational journey:
- Week 1: 5 Week Organizational Challenge for Your Entire Home
- Week 2: Declutter Your Desk and Mind to be More Productive
- Have You Joined the KonMari Bandwagon?
- Week 3: Real Life Closet Organization Ideas
- Week 4: Efficient Kitchen Ideas to Maximize Space
Ok! Back to the medicine cabinet!
Step 1: Take all items out of cabinet:
It’s best to completely remove all of the medicines out before trying to organize. This will give you a much better idea what you are working with.
Step 2: Get rid of expired medicines:
I found it a bit shocking how old some of our medicines actually were. As you are purging outdated medicines, be sure to make a list of anything you might need to replace.
It is no fun to wake up with a miserable cold only to find that you have NO cold medicine to take! That is definitely not the best time to make a quick run to the store.
Step 3: Group medicines of like items together:
Some general categories for medicines are:
- cold / flu / allergies
- Sore throat
- Headache / pain relief
- First aid / bandages
- Bites / stings
- Stomach related sickness
You might find other categories that are necessary for your family. By all means, make the categories as personalized as necessary to fit the individuals in your home.
Step 4: Put items in DIY medicine box or other organization / storage container:
Keep the items you have already grouped together! If you are feeling ambitious, use a label maker to clearly identify the contents of each container by specific category.
I have yet to do any container labeling, but that is on my list!
To avoid purchasing new containers, I love using contact paper to cover old sturdy shoe boxes. This is a great way to repurpose a shoe box AND save money.
The Medicine Cabinet: AFTER
Although this isn’t the “prettiest” organizational project I’ve ever completed, it is incredibly practical. Considering I’m practical to a fault, I consider that a win!
Some helpful tips for your medicine cabinet organization project:
I learned a few things during the course of this little project and hopefully you can learn from it, too!
Write what prescribed medicines are for on label
There were three medications in my cabinet that had been prescribed over the years that I really wasn’t sure what they were even for!
Even after googling the medication name, I still had a hard time knowing what specific ailment we might have been attempting to treat.
So save yourself some frustration and write some notes describing exactly what prescribed medications are for and any other helpful notes that will jar your memory down the road!
Schedule a time every 6 months to re-organize your medications
By taking a few moments a couple times of year, you can get a better idea of any items you might need going into different seasons.
Some medications are simply not necessary (or rarely necessary) certain times of the year. For example, I had to toss a bug sting medication because it was very outdated. I will NOT be replacing this any time soon. It is a cold January in Missouri right now and mosquitos and ticks are of zero concern.
But, as warmer weather approaches, that might be something we need.
This leads me to another tip…
Make a list of essential medical items and stock up
Remember me mentioning the bug sting medication above? This is probably not an “essential” medication for my particular family. I could likely wait until it was needed to grab some. This would keep me from buying something we might never use.
However, items such as headache medicine, cold/flu medicine, or certain stomach medications might be essential. As mentioned earlier, if you wake up in the middle of the night needing one of those, you definitely aren’t going to want to take a trip to the drug store.
Being prepared will save your sanity and likely save you a little cash!
Not sure what medicines are essential? Real Simple has a glossary of medicine cabinet must haves!
You are now well on your way to having the medicine cabinet organized and ready for anything!
One last little nugget of information you might enjoy. One of my neighbors who is a former pediatric nurse gave me this tip that has saved my family lots of medical insurance co-pays. At home Strep Throat Kits!
I had NO idea that was a thing, but she indicated they are basically the same kit that is used at the doctor’s office to test for Strep A. Keep in mind, this is no substitution for visiting a doctor when needed!
For more details on using these tests I wrote an entire post about them here: Home Tests for Strep Throat.
Take a moment and pin this to your favorite organizational Pinterest board:
Have a great week and happy organizing!