Organize your medicine chest

Last year we shared some advice on organizing a medicine chest. Now that cold and flu season is upon us, I want to revisit the topic with a few more best-practice tips and tricks.

As Erin previously stated, don’t store medicine in the bathroom. Humidity isn’t good for many medicines and unlocked cabinets can be an invitation to curious kids (or nosy house guests). Instead, invest in a lockable cabinet that can be mounted in a closet or somewhere similar. You’ll find the rest of Erin’s great tips here.

In this post, I’d like to offer some tips on how to organize the items within your medicine cabinet.

First, round up those little cylinders that love to fall over, roll around, and make a general nuisance of themselves. I’m talking about lip balm, sunscreen, and the like. Clear acrylic canisters will keep them tidy and easily identified.

Next, round up small metallic items like bobby pins and tweezers and stick them to a bit of adhesive magnetic strip. It will save you hours of hunting around trying to find them.

Move “leftovers” into smaller containers. You don’t need to store the last four bandages in that gigantic cardboard box that is already falling apart! Move them into something like a zipper lock bag or coupon organizer. The same goes for cotton balls, cotton swabs, etc.

If you keep cosmetics in the medicine chest, consider these stick-on mini-shelves for the inside of the door to keep them organized and separate from medication.

Lastly, give the cabinet a good cleaning. Remove everything, wipe down the entire interior with sanitizing wipes, and properly dispose of anything that is expired or no longer needed. When that is done, re-arrange the contents based on how you live. Put oft-used items front and center while moving the stuff you rarely use on a top shelf. You’ll spend less time digging around.

This is tangentially related, but I keep a dopp kit ready to go at all times, with the following inside:

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Shampoo
  • Mouthwash
  • Deodorant
  • Disposable razor
  • Shaving cream

That way I don’t need to tear the medicine chest apart to find these things in an emergency or when I’m packing for a trip.

2 Comments for “Organize your medicine chest”

  1. posted by SkiptheBS on

    The small cylindrical items are easy to corral in small Dollar Store plastic boxes. These are a couple of inches on each side and usually hold four lipsticks, mascaras etc. each. The lids can be stacked and stashed elsewhere.

    Combination lock boxes with luggage handles are under $20 at WalMart. I use them for medications and vitamins.

    This leaves the hair dryer, curling/smoothing irons, and spare shower caps in the now uncluttered
    cabinets. If I could find a flat plastic box with lid to hold combs and sanitizer, I’d be happy.

    Cotton balls deserve their own pretty container: a small ginger jar or vintage powder box, perhaps.

  2. posted by Rosemary B on

    it is always a good idea to have a little running list of necessary items to grab and pack
    in an emergency. We DO live in a time that an actual emergency could happen, but keep a detailed list handy. I am forever grateful that I did this years ago and it came in so handy when my mom had her stroke. I could pack and go to my parents home.
    You can make a list on an index card and keep it in your bedside drawer, or tape it to the inside of a cabinet

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