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How to Organise Medicine Cabinet to Simplify Your Life

If you’ve ever found yourself frantically searching through your bathroom cabinet during a late-night fever or a sudden bout of flu, you know the importance of a well-organised medicine cabinet. Today, we will delve into how to organise a medicine cabinet, exploring not just the benefits of an orderly space but also how it can significantly simplify your life. 

Home Organisers: Your Partners in Decluttering

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Having a well-organised medicine cabinet is not just about finding the right pain reliever when you need it; it’s a key element in keeping your home tidy and efficient. This is where home organisers and home organising services come into play. 

 

Home organisers are professionals who understand the art of decluttering and can help you to organise a medicine cabinet in a way that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. So, whether you choose to do it yourself or enlist the help of experts, the goal remains the same – an impeccably organised medicine cabinet.

Best Easy Steps to Organise Medicine Cabinet

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1. Empty the Space and Check Expiry Dates

The first step to organise a medicine cabinet is to empty the entire space. Yes, everything. This is where you bid farewell to expired cough syrups and medications that have long lost their potency. As you clear the shelves, take note of the expiration dates, setting aside anything that needs proper disposal.

 

2. Categorise Your Medicine for Easy Access

Now that your cabinet is an empty canvas, categorise your medicines intelligently. Consider creating sections for children, adults, first aid, allergy relief, and specific ailments like sore throat or digestion issues. Thus, this simple step can save you precious time during those late-night emergencies, ensuring you grab the right remedy without fumbling through various bottles.

 

3. Group Like Items Together

To take your organisation to the next level, invest in clear, stackable plastic containers or baskets. Since these will keep your medicine containers within easy reach while maintaining a visually pleasing and ordered space. Also, for commonly used items, opt for lower shelves, making accessibility a breeze. Reserve higher shelves for less frequently used items, keeping them neatly arranged in their containers.

 

4. Label Medicine Cabinet Shelves for Enhanced Visibility

In a household with multiple hands reaching into the medicine cabinet, labels become your best friends. This step is particularly important if you have a babysitter or family members who may need to find specific items quickly. Hence, clearly labelled shelves, indicating categories such as toiletries or specific medications, ensure everyone can locate what they need without unnecessary confusion.

 

5. Use the Door for Extra Storage Space

The back of your medicine cabinet door is an often-underutilised storage space. Maximise this area by adding a magnetic memo board or slim magnetic containers. These can hold personal-care items, allowing the door to shut completely. Additionally, magnetic hooks can store small tools, and even items like lip balms can be attached directly to the door’s surface. This creative use of space ensures that every inch of your medicine cabinet serves a purpose.

 

6. Regular Stock Takes for a Well-Maintained Cabinet

Consider every illness in your family as an opportunity for a quick stock take of your medicine cabinet. So, whether it’s an additional bottle of cough medicine or a new prescription, use these moments to organise the medicine cabinet. By making this a regular practice, you prevent the cabinet from becoming a chaotic mess that is daunting to clean up.

 

7. Disposal of Expired Medications

Dispose of expired medications responsibly. Your local doctor or general practitioner can guide you on proper disposal methods. Also, consider donating surplus medical supplies to your local charity. This responsible approach not only keeps your home organised but also contributes to a safer environment.

 

8. Children’s Section: A Must-Have to Organise Medicine Cabinet

If you have children, dedicating a section of the medicine cabinet to their items is a game-changer. Hence, keep children’s paracetamol, kid-friendly Band-Aids and essentials in an easily accessible area. This ensures you can handle late-night emergencies efficiently, even when tantrums are involved.

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Choosing the Right Location for Your Cabinet

Where you store your medicine cabinet is a personal choice. Some prefer the kitchen for accessibility, while others find the bathroom more suitable. It depends on your family and the available space. Ensure that wherever you choose, it’s safe from little hands, easily accessible, and not exposed to extreme temperatures that could affect medication potency.

 

Tune in to our Radio Podcast featuring Bonnie Black for additional tips and insights on how to organise a medicine cabinet.

Transcript

 

You’re listening to ABC Radio, Brisbane & Queensland. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

While I was away, Kelly Higgins-Divine with you, by the way, one of the tasks I set myself was to tidy up the pantry, something I had been, and it’s just really a cupboard, something I had been looking at doing for six months. Every time I looked, I thought, Yeah, I’ll do that later. I’ll do that later. I finally did it. And the feeling of accomplishment was truly overwhelming. I felt like I needed a parade, Bonnie Black. In another area I know that needs a good going over every now and again is the medicine cabinet. So, from littlemissorganised.com.au, Bonnie Black. Hello. 

 

Bonnie Black:

Hi, Kelly. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Pantry.

 

Bonnie Black:

I’m impressed. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

It’s a thing of beauty. You’re beautiful now. If my daughter came over and went, Wow.

 

Bonnie Black:

Yes. How long is it going to last?

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

I reckon maybe a month.

 

Bonnie Black:

Okay, that’s pretty good. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Yeah. Once it’s tidy, I can keep it tidy. It’s just that tidying phase.

 

Bonnie Black:

Yeah. It becomes bigger than Ben her, that task, doesn’t it? I really don’t want to do it, but I really need to because everything’s falling over.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

That’s it. So, I got little containers and I got a stacker thing, a stacker shelves, and it’s a thing of beauty. But it does give you… It’s really strange what a sense of accomplishment it can give you to actually look at a or something. I made that look pretty.

 

Bonnie Black:

It’s functional and beautiful.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

So, you must get that sense of accomplishment every day.

 

Bonnie Black:

I do, although I have to admit, I’ve just been thinking about my pantry, and I only did it a year ago, and I’m already thinking, Oh, it’s time for a refresher. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Yeah, I need to do it again. 

 

Bonnie Black:

Yeah, just things, your food habits change. And so I think it’s important to reassess things like that fairly regularly.

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

But it does give you a better idea of… I know we’re going to talk about medicine cabins in a minute. But it does give you a better idea, too, of what you’ve got and what you need to use.

 

Bonnie Black:

Yes, absolutely. It’s really important not to let food expire. The average household, I think, wastes about $3,000 worth of food every year. So, knowing what’s in your pantry is important to make sure that things don’t get out of date. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Absolutely. And if you’re going to buy it, use it. Exactly. Now, the medicine cabinet. This is another area that can get a little bit out of control, especially with expired medicines, sunscreens, all sorts of things.

 

Bonnie Black:

Yes. I only found out a few years ago, probably when I first started a Little Miss Organised, that sunscreen actually goes out of date. As a kid, you just never think about these things. And sunscreen generally shouldn’t be used after two years from the manufacturer. So check your sunscreen.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

I have been burned because- 

 

Bonnie Black:

Literally? 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Yes, I have literally been sunburned because I used old sunscreen.

 

Bonnie Black:

And you just don’t think about it. You think, Yeah, sure. Sunscreen. It’ll protect me. It’ll last forever. But no.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

No, it certainly doesn’t. So how often should we be having a look through the medicine cabinet and giving you a bit of a tidy up?

 

Bonnie Black:

I think every time someone in your family gets sick and you need to buy an extra bottle of medicine or you get a prescription for something, that’s a really good time to have a quick stock take of what’s in your medicine cabinet. Especially this last winter, with it not being super cold, there was a lot of sickness going around. There was probably three or four times during the winter in our household that I had to I buy a script for something or add a cough medicine in or something like that. I just would do a little tidy up, have a quick check of things while I was putting that bottle in. That just helps keep things on top of… You just keep on top of things a lot easier. I think it’s like the pantry. If you let it get out of control, then cleaning it up becomes this bigger than Ben her moment, and you just avoid it and put it off. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

I can’t do it too much. 

 

Bonnie Black:

But once you stay on top of it, it’s actually quite easy. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Well, it’s interesting, too, because when you’re talking about when you’ve had an illness and the things that you go back into your medicine cabinet and you look a little like calamine lotion. Can I throw that one out there? Who doesn’t have a five, at least five to 10-year-old bottle of calamine lotion sitting in their medicine cavity?

 

Bonnie Black:

So true.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

I wonder if that’s still good.

 

Bonnie Black:

Yeah. Oh, 99. Maybe not.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Exactly. You do look at the date sometimes on things. I’ve had that a lot longer than I-

 

Bonnie Black:

Yes.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

That I’d have had that. Some you go through really fast. But even with children’s medicines, you get them really careful, don’t you?

 

Bonnie Black:

Oh, absolutely. My son had a case of conjunctivitis over the winter, and when I added something into the medicine cabinet this week because my daughter’s now sick, I found the eye drops and I thought, oh, I wonder if these are still good enough. They were gone in July, so okay, out they went. You just have to be on top of these things because you do not want to be using expired medications. Especially on your kids.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Bonnie, how should we store our medicines and first aid items?

 

Bonnie Black:

Well, I’m a big fan of plastic, clear boxes that are stackable or baskets that are open if you need to reach in and access things really easily. It all depends what cupboard storage you’ve got. For us, we actually store our medicines in our linen cupboard, partially because we don’t need medicines every day, so it’s an easier spot for us. My pantry is full of food, so I don’t really want medicine in there. But for some people, the pantry is where they put it, and that’s totally fine. It’s whatever works for you and your family. I’ve got a clear plastic container with no lid that’s got the kids’ stuff in it, and that’s the easy grab in the middle of the night when someone’s got a temperature Panadol, that’s the type thing. Then I’ve got another box that’s open once again with the sunscreen and the repellent and all that thing. Then I’ve got more of a deeper first aid box that actually does have a lid on it, and that’s got bandages and the eye patches and all those. Oh, my gosh, we need ambulance type items in there. It really just depends on what your usage is for your family.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

What do we do with those expired medicines that we’ve been talking about?

 

Bonnie Black:

Well, there are actually charities out there who will take expired medicines and bandages and things like that and reuse them overseas because the laws over there aren’t as strict. A lot of the laws that we have here in Australia, while they’re really good to keep us safe and protect us, they’re sometimes on the strictest side of things because drug companies don’t want to be sued, obviously, because our country has become a little bit that way inclined. Vintage. Yes, just a little bit. There are charities out there that will accept expired medications. If you don’t know of a charity, you can find one on our website, but also take it to your GP or your local doctor, and they’ll either pass it onto a charity that they know or they’ll have it destroyed properly. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

What essentials should we have in a medicine cabinet?

 

Bonnie Black:

Well, I think if you’ve got children, the most important thing is to have a section for your kids’ items as well so that you’re not trying to look through bottles when the temperature goes up and the tantrums are happening. Making sure in your kids, you’ve got the children’s paracetamol, whatever brand that is that you choose. Kids designed Band-Aids because what kid doesn’t want a Cars or Princesses Band-Aid when they’ve got a booboo? Yes, it does matter. It does matter. Things like Sol Udell are a great product. They’re really clear, it’s non-sticky, it doesn’t hurt for the kids. Just a couple of key essentials like that, if there’s any mosquitos’ bites or stingose, that thing for the kids’ stuff. Then making sure for the adults, you have a separate section where you’ve got your cough medicines and your Panadol and your anything that’s going to help with the sore throat and that thing as well.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Is the storage of this other than things that have to be stored in a fridge? Is this a kitchen deal or laundry bathroom?

 

Bonnie Black:

I think it really just depends on what location those rooms are for your family, because for some people, they find that storing it somewhere in the kitchen is the most accessible place for them. In our house, our kitchen is fairly compact, and I would never store medicines anywhere that little hands could reach them. That doesn’t really work for us.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

We’re really careful with that.

 

Bonnie Black:

Do indeed, yes. Our linen cupboard is perfect because it’s just down the hallway, but then we keep any medicines that are adult-only medicines in our en-suite. Once again, they’re out of the reach of little hands as well.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

The top of the fridge, which I suppose is where most people keep their first-aid kits.

 

Bonnie Black:

A lot of people don’t realise how hot the top of the fridge gets. When they put wine racks or they put medicine chests up on top of the fridge, they don’t realise that it actually makes your sunscreen and your medicines go bad a lot faster. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Which is not what you want. 

 

Bonnie Black:

No, it’s not. Top of the fridge is probably a bit of a no-no.

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

All right. Well, some good advice there. Getting to those medicine cabinets, people. It’ll probably take you 10, 15 minutes and make all the difference.

 

Bonnie Black:

It’s a very good feeling. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Bonnie Black, thank you so much. 

 

Bonnie Black:

Thanks, Kelly. 

 

Kelly Higgins-Divine:

Bonnie Black is from littlemissorganised.com.au.

Conclusion

A well-organised medicine cabinet is not just about tidiness; it’s a strategy to simplify your life. With the right categorisation, storage solutions, and regular maintenance, you can transform your medicine cabinet into a functional and efficient space. 

Whether you choose to organise a medicine cabinet independently, study home organising courses, or enlist the help of home organisers, the benefits are undeniable. So, take a moment today to declutter, categorise, and label your medicine cabinet – your future self will thank you during those midnight moments of need.

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