Winter is the perfect time of year to get your storage in order. With cold and flu season, I make it my annual tradition to clean up my medicine supply in particular. Here are all the tricks and tips you need to learn how to organize a medicine cabinet….the simple way!
Organizing your medicine cabinet doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task; it can be quite quick and easy. You don’t need any special materials either. I’ll show you what you can use (you probably already have a lot of these items at home!).
Today, I’ll show you 4 steps to organize your bathroom or kitchen cabinet for storing all your household medicine containers in a way that’s practical and easy. It’s time to get rid of expired medications and make it easier to see and reach what you need!
Why You Need to Keep Your Medicine Cabinet Organized
There are a few reasons why this is one of the most important areas to keep organized and tidy. Firstly, when you (or your kids) aren’t feeling well, the very last thing you want to do is run around the house looking for a thermometer.
Even worse? I had a child sick and needed a fever reducer. When I finally found the bottle, it was expired! I felt awful (don’t worry, my husband was able to pick some up and our son was just fine in the end).
Then recently, when I purchased a bottle of medicine and came home to realize I already had it, I decided it was time to get this cabinet under control once and for all. I vowed to learn how to organize my medicine cabinet and keep it that way!
Here’s how it looked like when I started:
How to Organize a Medicine Cabinet:
Empty the Space
The first step for any organization project is to empty out the space. Take everything out of the cabinet. I know it may be tempting to leave a few small items there, but trust me on this one!
As you pull bottles off of each shelf, take note of the expiration date of each. Set expired medication off to the side to dispose of properly.
According to the FDA, expired or unused medication can be disposed of by mixing with used coffee grounds or kitty litter and placing it inside a zipped top bag. The bag is then thrown away in your trash container.
Categorize Your Medicine
Next, organize your medicine containers by category.
I like to keep children/infant medication separate from adult medication. There have been plenty of times I’ve been woken by a sick child, and through my grogginess, I had to double-check to make sure I was grabbing the age-appropriate medication.
Separating them can make your life much easier for those middle of the night interruptions!
If you have a large amount of medicine, you should also organize the medicine cabinet by type of medication.
Some categories could include:
- first aid
- sore throat
- pain meds, etc.
Group Like Items Together in Bins
Then choose bins or baskets that will hold the various medicine containers within easy reach for you but not within reach of children. Clear, short-sided containers are perfect for organizing medicine containers, along with those miscellaneous things like bulb syringes, thermometers, measuring cups, etc.
You may have various bins and containers around the house already. If not, you can see some of my top picks below!
Tip: If your cabinet is tall with one or more shelves that are hard to reach, store your more commonly used items on the lower shelves. (Just be careful to always keep them out of reach of children.)
Label each container to make it easy to grab the appropriate category of medicine when needed. You can use a label maker or colorful washi tape (it adds some fun to the otherwise boring cabinet!)
Medication or first aid items that are not used regularly can be placed on higher shelves in their own organized containers.
Use the Door for Extra Storage Space
The last step in organizing your medicine cabinet is to make use of the inside of the cabinet door. This area is often overlooked but can be used in many ways. You may choose to skip this, but I highly recommend you consider it! (For a simple, no DIY required idea, scroll down further!)
Creative DIY Idea to Help You Organize the Medicine Cabinet
Attach a piece of sheet metal with foam tape to the inside of the cabinet door. The sheet metal is magnetic and the perfect place to store notes, lists, phone numbers, a calendar, etc. Sheet metal can be found at your local hardware store and easily cut to size with tin snips or a saw blade for cutting metal.
Just a word of caution, if you don’t have an inset area on the door, you’ll need to cover the entire sheet metal in fabric or just the edges with decorative tape because the sheet metal is very sharp.
Use cute magnets to spruce up the door and hold dosage charts or emergency contact information of family members or poison control.
You could also do a similar concept by hanging a small corkboard on the back of the door with command tape.
Buy a simple command hook and attach it to the door. Then you can clip any lists/emergency information/medication instructions, etc that you need for easy access!
All finished! Now you can easily find and access medicine bottles from your beautifully organized cabinet whenever you need them!
You’ll also save money so you don’t end up buying something you already have (like I did!) And you’ll have peace of mind that you won’t be giving out expired or incorrect medication to your loved ones.
5 Must-Have Medicine Cabinet Organizer Supplies
As you see from above, I’m a big believer in grouping items into bins. While you absolutely do not need to buy additional supplies, they can go a long way in helping tame the clutter. I encourage you to shop your home for bins and boxes; however, if you want to invest a bit of money for supplies, these have served me well and have lasted for YEARS.
1. Clear Organizing Bins
Use these to group vitamins, or assign one bin to each person in the family.
2. Multilevel Cabinet Organizer
I love this one for first aid supplies or random tools such as thermometers, bandaids, etc.
3. Divided Storage Container
If you have packets of vitamin C powder, or probiotic and electrolyte packets for your the family, keep them organized in these divided containers.
4. Stackable Bins with Lids
I absolutely love small baskets that stack like these! Especially in a space like a linen closet or kitchen shelf where you have a lot of wasted vertical height, these bins shine.
5. Turntable Organizer
Perhaps my favorite medicine cabinet organizer? The lazy Susan! This is such a brilliant way to keep everything in sight – just give it a simple spin and find what you need.
More Bathroom Organizing Hacks:
- How to Organize Under the Bathroom Sink – learn how to get your toiletries organized once and for all. This includes everything from bobby pins to medicine.
- How to Organize Essential Oils – essential oils are a huge part of my life, so I like to keep them orderly (read more about essential oils here)
- Natural First Aid Supplies – these are the 9 things I recommend EVERY mom keeps on hand!
- How to Organize Your Makeup Drawer in 4 Easy Steps – trust me, this one is simple and will take less than 30 minutes to do.
- How to Store Toothbrushes – this briliant hack will seriously change your life!!
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