If you’ve ever rummaged through your bathroom medicine cabinet searching for relief from an aching head or a runny nose, only to find expired bottles of cough syrup and half-empty prescription bottles — you know how important it is to keep that space organized! Here’s how:
The best cure for a disorganized medicine cabinet is prevention. To avoid being caught unprepared for the flu or minor injuries, clean out and organize your medicine cabinet at least once a year, discarding all old or unused prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, ointments and medicated creams. If there’s no expiration date, take a look at the condition of the container. If it looks old or damaged, discard it. For new prescriptions or over-the-counter medications without expiration dates, mark the date of purchase on the containers and throw them out after a year.
For medicine cabinets that are in need of an organization treatment, start by examining contents thoroughly, taking note of the package sizes and types of health care products, as well as other items stored on cabinet shelves. Determine if there are personal toiletries — such as shampoo, shaving cream, make-up and toothpaste — that might be stored better elsewhere in the bathroom. These items can be stored in baskets under the sink, in a drawer or on a shelf to free up valuable space in the medicine cabinet. If cabinet space is limited, add wall-mounted shelving to store toiletries.
Once the medicine cabinet’s contents have been pared down to health-care and first-aid essentials, make a list of products needed to stock the medicine cabinet, as well as the size and type of containers needed to keep first-aid supplies and medicine bottles organized. Since most medicine cabinets are only 3- to 4-inches deep, look for narrow organizer trays to fit this limited space. Choose acrylic organizer trays and containers to keep medicine bottle labels and other supplies in view. Most medicine cabinets also have limited space between shelves, making it difficult to store large bottles of antiseptics and other medicine. To alleviate this problem, keep limited amounts of these items in refillable smaller leak proof bottles with the contents identified using erasable labels.
To keep medicine cabinets organized, hang an erasable marker board on the inside of the door with a message reminding all household members to throw away empty medicine bottles and packaging. The marker board also can be used to keep a shopping list of items in need of replenishment, as well as reminders to take medication. For medicines taken on a regular basis, consider consolidating them in a pill organizer. This will free up space by reducing the number of bottles stored in the cabinet. Each section of the pill organizer can be identified using erasable labels.