Friday, April 29, 2016

Organizing... Your Home Pharmacy

This medicine cabinet got a facelift for $10... all purchases were made from the Dollar Tree!

The "home pharmacy" or "medicine cabinet" is neglected in many homes.  Often times, it becomes a stockpile of pills, bandages, ointments, and more.  Allergies acting up?  First let me dig through this cabinet of vitamins, pain killers, and sunscreen to find what I need.  Or how about when you get a paper cut and the only bandage you can get a hold of can cover the whole surface area of your hand?

More importantly, when someone is truly injured or in pain, there shouldn't be any time wasted on finding what is needed.  This is why it is important to maintain your medicine cabinet.

How should a medicine cabinet be "organized?"  First things first.  Wherever you choose to store your medications, make sure it is in a temperature-controlled, dry space.  The kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom are popular choices.  Second, you want to make sure it is out of reach of pets and children.  For example, the picture shown above was located in a bottom drawer of the laundry room.  This worked great for the couple... until their grandchildren came to visit.  In this particular instance, we chose to move the medicine cabinet from the bottom drawer to some upper cabinets.  Not only was this safer for the grandbabies, it was easier on my clients because they no longer had to bend over to get what they needed!

Moving right along... using the ESCAPE method, first Empty out your medicine cabinet.  Next, Sort all the medications.  This is when you sort what you will keep and what you will dispose of.  Begin by checking the expiration date.  I get a lot of push back for this, but you know how the saying goes... better to be safe than sorry!  Also, many medications lose their potency over time.  If you view the expiration date as a mere "suggestion," your headache/backache/pain won't go away if your medicine doesn't work!  You'll also want to get rid of anything you no longer use. Be sure to contact your local pharmacy to determine the safest way to dispose of unused, unwanted medications.  Next, Categorize your medications.  I tend to separate by use - for example, pain killers, stomach meds, cold/allergy, prescription, vitamins, etc.  This is a great time to make a list of anything you need, or will want to have on hand.  I always restock my bandages, anti-itch ointment, and benedryl before summer hits. After you've sorted and categorized, it's time to Purchase and/or Put back.  In the example above, we purchased items from the dollar tree.  Many people tend to use the plastic shoe box sized containers.  Risers are another great choice.  You don't have to break the bank on this one.
TIP: Choosing a container without a lid makes for easy access, and increases the chance that items will be put away.  Placing a few labels using a simple label maker will finish things off.  Finally, Enjoy!  It is amazing to see the time you'll save by making sure things have a place, and that they are in their place.

Happy Organizing, friends!