It’s a space that is supposed to help us when we’re sick – but most people
would say it’s their medicine cabinet that’s sick!
Professional Organizer Annie Burdett shares tips for pulling off a medicine
How many times have you gone to your medicine cabinet to look for a
specific medication or item only to search and search and not find it? Then
you head out to the store, purchase the item, only to find it a week or two
or month later amongst all the clutter! Not only did you waste your
precious time but you wasted money on gas.
I recommend a good “medicine cabinet cleanse” twice a year. Good rule of
thumb is once in the Spring and once in the Fall. (when the seasons
change) Typically allergies are up in the Spring time so you can stock up on
your cold/allergy medications, sunscreen, first aid, etc. and in the Fall you
can stock up on Cold/Flu & pain medication.
Items that don’t belong in a medicine cabinet are: tools, games, money,
sunglasses, car keys, garage door openers, swim goggles, magic markers,
1. First and fore most, start out by clearing out your entire medicine
cabinet and place the items on a nearby countertop. This is a good
time to decide what really belongs in the medicine cabinet and what
doesn’t. Taking everything out will also give you a good idea as to how
much storage space you actually have to work with.
2. Group like items in categories. For example, Cold/Allergy,
Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever, Sunscreen, etc. Doing this process will help
you figure out the different categories you will have stored in your cabinet
and also help you see if you have duplicates, etc.
3. Next, discard any medications that have expired or ones that you
no longer need or use. For over the counter medications AND
prescription medications, there are specific steps you have to take to get
rid of them. One easy thing you can do is contact your pharmacy and ask if
they have a recycle program for old or unused medicines. You really
shouldn’t just throw them in the trash and NEVER flush those medications
down the toilet or down the sink! They pollute our waterbodies and are
dangerous for our environment. For more information on properly
disposing of medications, please visit http://www.medicationd
One last tip about medications when you travel: Buy a pill box/holder (the
ones with the days on the week on them-found in your pharmacy
department) and keep your medications safe and sound in there. That way
you can easily find them, divide them into days and you don’t have to take
a bunch of pill bottles in the plane/car and you can easily get to your
4. Measure, measure, measure! Before you buy any type of
organizational item, you must measure your space so you know the items
will fit. One of my favorite organizing products are Lazy Susans. They are a
fabulous way to not only store but visually see the items in your medicine
cabinet. You can find them at Target and Bed Bath and Beyond and
depending on the size, they range from $6-$15. Clear containers with snap
top lids are also a great way to store items because you can see through
them and stack on top of each other or even tiered expandable shelves
work well too. Those products are also found at Target.
5. Last but certainly not least, labeling. Once you have figured
out where and how you want all of your items in your medicine cabinet
displayed, labeling is the finishing touch so not only you can find your
items but so can other family members. If you have a labeler, put it to good
use! Plain white address labels are another good solution for labeling-
anything you can write on will work. Labeling really helps you and all family
members keep things put away in an organized fashion.
Annie Burdett is a professional organizer. For more information, visit
or call (801) 872-9767.
You can also go to Facebook, “like” Modified Order, think of one area of
your home that you feel is the most disorganized, take a picture of it, post
it and one lucky winner will receive 3 hours of hands on organizing! (a $75