Medication and Healthcare

Organizing Medication and Healthcare Products

“Put your medications in place”

I have never been much of a medicating type of person. I can hardly manage to take prenatal vitamins when I’m pregnant and you can guarantee I would fail miserably if I had to rely on a pill for birth control. I’m not sure what the problem is, I just never think to put a pill in my mouth, even when I am in pain. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have more than enough medication in the cupboard.  On my quest for a ‘junk drawer free’ life I knew I needed a system to wrangle all the pill bottles, band-aids, vitamins, and travel sized personal care items. As with all other organization efforts the first step is to gather all related items, check for expiration dates, and throw away 50% of what you have because more often than not you don’t need it! After the initial organization is complete avoid placing items on the shelf around the containers. If the item doesn’t belong INSIDE one of the containers it doesn’t belong inside that particular storage space.

Here is the medicine cabinet in my bathroom. The bottom shelf and part of the second shelf keep my bath towels, hand towels, and wash cloths in order.

Unfortunately finding the perfect size of container can be very difficult when sorting and storing a category of supplies with such a wide range of products (like healthcare products). Some pill bottles are 3 inches tall and 1 ½ inches in diameter while other bottles are 6 inches tall and 2 ½ inches in diameter. We won’t even mention the Costco sized container of Tums (a necessity for all pregnant women) which is so big and awkward I’m never sure where to put it.  To fit all of my oddly sized products I had to use two different types of storage containers; which is not ideal but was necessary if I wanted to use the narrow cupboard in my bathroom.

 I have all small sized medications and other health related products sorted by type in clear plastic drawers with labels. While larger, bulkier medications are in a canvas basket, also labeled for easy identification. Because I buy most personal products in bulk I keep the ‘extras’ in the basket labeled “Personal Care”. When the bathroom runs out of deodorant, shaving cream, shampoo, hair gel, etc more can be found in the basket.

I have used two cosmetic travel bags for items that are different in type but “go together” in usage. The pink and white bag (on the top shelf) is filled with sunscreen, aloe Vera, and after sun lotion. The small black bag is our overnight travel bag that holds our travel toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, deodorant, medication, razors, etc. Whenever we go on vacation I don’t have to worry about packing the bathroom stuff because it is already in the bag ready to go.

I am a strong believer in labeling EVERYTHING! I have found that the easiest way to label something is to print a label on plain white paper (a black border looks nice and makes the words stand out) and attach it to the container with packing tape. If done correctly the packing tape acts like a laminate and protects the paper from stains and damage. When using a clear container I tape the label to the INSIDE of the container for even better protection. Not only does a label make it easier for your family members to locate a particular item (and remind them where to return it) but you will look and feel more organized when you use labels. To print off my list of medicine cabinet labels click HERE.

Remember, drawers and baskets may not be your best container option. Medicines may work well in a spice rack, a turntable, or even a hanging shoe rack.