How to Organize a Medicine Cabinet

A disorganized medicine cabinet

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 30 mins - 3 hrs
  • Total Time: 30 mins - 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5

Medicine cabinets are an area of the home that is rarely organized well but desperately should be. It's a space that houses numerous products, from Ibuprofen to baby powder. At a glance, many of these bottles and boxes are nearly identical, making it difficult to locate what you need when you need it. On top of that, odds are you don't use most of the products in your medicine cabinet regularly. You may even travel to the grocery store and purchase a duplicate bottle of Tums, unaware of the two bottles you already have stuffed in the back corner of the cupboard.

For many reasons, your medicine cabinet deserves a thorough clean and a clearly organized system. Next time you need some Tylenol, you'll be happy you spent time sorting through the mess.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Cleaners

  • 1 All-purpose cleaner

Materials

Supplies

  • 1 Wash rag
  • 4 to 8 Plastic bins

Instructions

How to Organize a Medicine Cabinet

  1. Remove Everything

    First things first: to get a clear picture of what you own and how it should be organized, start with a clean slate. Begin by emptying the cabinet completely. Pull every bottle of lotion and box of tablets out and set it all on an open workspace, such as your kitchen table, where you can sort through it later.

  2. Wipe Down the Cabinet

    Once you've removed your various vitamins and medications, give the cupboard a deep clean. All you'll need is a damp wash rag and a light all-purpose cleaner. If you discover any stains from spilled cough syrup or nail polish remover, consider purchasing a shelf liner for your cabinet to prevent further damage.

  3. Toss Expired Products

    Before you jump the gun and move every bottle back into your cabinet, remember the goal of this project is not merely to clean, but to organize. Begin this process by evaluating every product and removing those that are expired or damaged. You may also discover products that have simply been misplaced or would be better stored elsewhere, such as hair accessories and shampoo.

  4. Sort Products into Categories

    Now that you've weeded out all your expired goods, it's time to begin sorting. Arrange your products into categories, such as the following: first aid, cold/flu, pain relief, beauty essentials, etc. If you have children, you may want to create separate categories for adult and child items. Feel free to add categories as necessary, but as you do so, consider whether or not your medicine cabinet is the ideal location for every product previously stored.

  5. Select Storage Bins and Tools

    Now that you've divided, it's time to conquer. You may already have some plastic bins, lazy Susans, and other storage containers that you can use to organize your cabinet. If you don't, select and purchase the appropriate storage solutions, based on the categories you chose above and what will fit into your cabinet. Additionally, even if you already have containers you can use to organize your cupboard, they may not work well with your categories. For instance, you may need larger bins to accommodate your storage, or perhaps you'll need to divvy up your categories further.

    Tip

    Use labels and/or markers to clearly mark your categories on the face of each storage bin.

  6. Put It All Away

    Finally, it's time to return your products back to their proper home. That said, even this step requires some intentionality. As you slide your plastic bins on the shelves, think about the frequency of use for each category. For example, if you have young children and are headed into a new school year, perhaps the "Cold/Flu" bin should be more accessible. If you live alone and rarely need Band-Aids and triple antibiotic ointment, move the "First Aid" bin to a higher shelf.

How to Keep Your Medicine Cabinet Organized Longer

You've done the hard work and have walked away with a freshly cleaned and tidy medicine cabinet. To keep this space functional, however, you'll want make sure you're checking up on the cupboard every once in a while. Every six months to a year, assess your products and toss expired ones. You might also consider adding a pad or paper or dry erase board to the inside of your cabinet door to help keep track of which products need replenishing. Stick to these steps and you'll be sure to stay tidy.