How to Organize the Medicine Cabinet and Find What You Need Every Time!

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Why should you learn how to organize the medicine cabinet?  Have you ever had a sick child at 3 AM only to realize that the medicine is expired? Yeah…that stinks, right?   In my offline life, I spent years working as a pharmacy technician.  I got a lot of questions from my customers about over the counter products and which ones they should be stocking their medicine cabinets with.  Organizing your medicine cabinet is a chore that may seem rather dull but it is an important one to do on a regular basis.  When you or your child get sick or hurt, you want to make sure you have the appropriate products available to handle the emergency.  And by organizing your medicine cabinet every year you will also help ensure that those products are not out of date.  Expired medicines are not going to help anyone if they get sick! Once you learn how to organize the medicine cabinet and do it on a regular basis, you will never again find expired medicine in your bathroom! I am going to include a few affiliate links that might help in organizing your medicine cabinet.

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How to Organize the Medicine Cabinet

How to Organize the Medicine Cabinet

1.  Start from scratch:  Remove every single item from your medicine cabinet and wipe down the shelves with a damp cloth.  Sometimes cough medicines or tubes of antibiotic cream can leak and leave a sticky, gross residue on the shelves.  Make sure your medicine cabinet is clean before putting things back in!  To make cleanup easier, lay down contact paper before putting things back in.

2.  Rearrange the shelves:  Many cabinets have adjustable shelves so you have room for taller items as well as small ones.  Usually, larger items are also heavier so you may want to place these on the bottom of the cabinet.

3. Stock the  most used items first:  When organizing your medicine cabinet, you probably are not going to be able to fit every single item you need in it.  Most medicine cabinets are just not that big.  I have an ‘overflow’ box in the hall closet where I store extras that I find on sale and items that are not used very often.  Your medicine cabinet should hold only the items you use on a regular basis.  Everything else can get stored elsewhere.  The first step of learning how to organize the medicine cabinet is to thin down how much is in there.

4. Invest in small storage containers:  Items like cotton balls, Qtips, makeup brushes, etc can often be stored in small plastic cups or containers to take up less room and make storage easier.  Small magnets glued on the wall of your cabinet can be used to organize tweezers, bobby pins, or small manicure scissors.  Check out places like The Container Store or even your local hardware store to see how you can fit more items into your medicine chest while still keeping it organized.

5.  Group like things together:  Keep all your cough and cold products on one shelf, your health and beauty products on another, etc.  By organizing your medicine cabinet this way you will make it much easier to find what you are looking for!

6.  Check expiration dates before restocking:  Do not put a single item back in your cabinet without making sure it is not expired.  Expiration dates can be hard to find sometimes but look carefully.  Sometimes they are written on the folded end of a tube of antibiotic cream or near the barcode of a bottle of cough syrup.  When in doubt, throw it out!  If you can’t remember when you bought it, chances are it is probably expired.  Make a list of everything you are throwing away so that you can restock next time you are at the store.  You don’t want to be left without an important medicine when you really need it! Use small adhesive labels to write the expiration date on so you don’t need to go find your glasses the next time you need to check.

Learning how to organize your medicine cabinet NOW means that when you actually get sick, you can find what you need to feel better fast!

Have any other tips on how to organize the medicine cabinet?


Need to do more home organizing?  Check out these kitchen organization tips!

 Kitchen Organization Tips and How to Organize the Medicine Cabinet


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  1. We use little baskets and sort them by type (colds, wound care, allergy, stomach, etc.). Works great when you need to find something right away!
  2. Great tips! I just recently did this in my cabinet and it makes a HUGE difference!
  3. Kim Croisant says
    First thing I saw were the cute red flowers in your medicine cabinet. What a great idea.
  4. Raijean S says
    Love this! Can someone please come an organize mines. It's a mess but I'm going to work on it this week
  5. You gave some great ideas. I was just thinking the other day that this is really something I need to do, it's getting hard to find things in there.

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