Organizing a Medicine Cabinet


Recently, I helped some of my family settle into a new home in Edina, Minnesota. I rolled up my sleeves, eager to help them put organizing systems in place.  My immediate family is well aware of my love for organizing, so they let me be as I busily began clearing off kitchen counters.

Opening a large cardboard box in an adjacent room, my sister unearthed a plastic shoebox and a paper bag filled with pharmacy items. With three little ones under the age of seven running around the house, there were bound to be ‘owies’ in need of anti-bacterial ointment and sore throats in need of cough drops, so I parked myself in front of a cupboard to create a family medicine cabinet. I began by sorting the lotions, potions and pills into two major categories: adult medicine and children’s medicine. Items that were expired were tossed out and the name of the product was added to a shopping list.

The adult medicine made its way into containers on a higher shelf. Without having my usual tools in place (my beloved label maker, three kinds of sharpies, bins with dividers…), the task to compartmentalize and label to my heart’s desire was initially daunting. I improvised with the items I was able to scrounge up: post-its, a pen and tape.

For the children’s medicine and the remaining items, I sorted like-with-like. Soon, I noticed we’d need a way to help items stay with their brethren in the cabinet, reducing the likelihood that it would become a catch-all shelf of jumbled products. Rummaging through a hallway closet, I happened upon two unused pot-lid organizers, which were repurposed to serve as shelf dividers for the items most frequently purchased. By lining up the duplicate bottles of Benedryl, Pepto, Motrin and Tylenol in rows as you might find on a store shelf, the hope is that my brother and sister-in-law will easily be able to see if they have enough of these commonly sought after items ‘in stock’ before purchasing another.


The medicine cabinet organization in progress…I wish I had brought my label maker!

Cough drops were poured into a canister. The collection of thermometers and syringes were corralled into a small container. A box for ‘my tummy hurts!’ was labeled and filled with the accompanying items.

We were only in Minnesota for the weekend, so although it was not a picture-perfect result, it is now more functional than having all of the products mixed into a box and a bag at the bottom of a moving box.

You may have seen from a previous post on Triple Knots how I organize my medicine. It’s still one of my favorite organizing systems in the house! If you’re looking to get your pharmacy purchases in order, I recommend checking out the video and related blog.

Do you have any great tips for organizing a medicine cabinet? If so, we’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.

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