Medicine Cabinet Make-Over

We have a small medicine cabinet in the main bathroom but it doesn’t hold any medicines.  Our medicine cabinet wasn’t really a cabinet at all but rather an unsightly bin.  When I organized the pantry, I also wanted to do something about this:

This was not very pretty and was just barely functional.

The hodgepodge comprising our medicine cabinet

I started by clearing it out shortly after finishing the pantry project.  You know how you’re supposed to throw expired medicine away every so often?  Six years might describe our every so often.  We were also keeping some interesting items including the rest of a prescribed antibiotic that I’d had caused me an allergic reaction.  Why?  I have no idea.  Around the beginning of this organizing process, we took an unrelated trip to Walmart (which means my husband was in charge.  If I’m in charge, we go to Target) and I found a set of three small, narrow plastic bins for just a couple of bucks.  I started using them to categorize our medicines:  Cold/Sinus, Stomach Ailments, and Kid Stuff.  It turned out the bins weren’t quite big enough and I had a few more (although not many as we are incredibly blessed with good health in this family!) categories than I had bins.  Here’s what the process looked like midway through:

Three categories weren’t enough. I have no idea why there is blue food coloring the picture.

Since I didn’t have enough bins to complete things, I shelved the whole project by placing our unsightly bin that now contained 3 additional smaller bins back on a pantry shelf.  When I was cleaning out and re-doing our refrigerator, I decided to get my organizing supplies at Walmart so I could pick up 3 more additional bins to finish this project.  They didn’t have any!  It was as if they had never existed.  I found it quite frustrating.  I opted to finish the project with these bins:

I didn’t like these bins quite as well but they worked.

My categories ended up as: Kid meds, stomach meds, cold/sinus meds, pain relief, and vitamins.  The idea is that we can now simply grab whatever bin we need as opposed to digging through a giant mash of medicines and dosing cups to find what we need.  This should also help me know what we actually need.  For example, I can see at a glance that we are out of the children’s cold/allergy medicine that I like to keep on hand.  Here’s the final result:

Now we can grab the medicines we need quickly and easily.

The wider bins held the larger vitamin bottles and square packages better but all the bins didn’t fit on the shelf quite as I anticipated.  I still like opening the pantry door and seeing my neatly labeled medicine row even if I had to stack a couple to make it all fit:

This side of the shelf isn’t as pretty but it still functions.

Overall, this project didn’t take very much time or effort unlike the linen/hall closet project I began this weekend.  That project is in process and I’m hoping to get a post or two about it up sometime this week.  It is giving me quite the headache but at least I can easily find some medicine for it!   Do you have a medicine cabinet?   Does it actually store medicines?


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15 thoughts on “Medicine Cabinet Make-Over

  1. susan

    that turned out great! We use a set of small plastic drawers that fit on a shelf. i keep the thermometer and first defense meds in one drawer (ibuprofen, benedryl). I have one drawer for extra bottles of the 3 month rx refills, one drawer cold stuff, etc. i have a second set of drawers for 1st aid supplies.

    it’s worked well and it’s portable. when someone is sick, i just pull out the right drawer.
    susan recently posted..Thankful Thoughts – Small ThingsMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      Seems like you have a great system going there! It does make it easier to have a portable system.

  2. Deanna

    I just checked my ‘medicine cabinet’ and in there, which it’s the bottom half of a baby wipe container (so you know how old that is)is a box of women’s laxitives (tmi, but not expired, and only one tablet used, so in it stays unless you’d like me to send it to you for your stash ;)) – also, an accuscan ear thermometer – never worked properly, a regular digital thermometer, and some pain reliever gel that came with our walk prize bags. The vitamins, about 5-6 bottles, are in the kitchen, shoved way in the back 😉

    1. Jean Post author

      I don’t need to add to my stash, thank you. I hope you threw away the nonfunctional thermometer?

  3. Christie

    You know I am loving all the pictures!! Very organized, I love it. I cleaned mine out about two weeks ago and it is so much better. I organized it by shelf. The bottom is for all the “kid” realted things, the next is ours, etc. You have your super organized by type, so that is EVEN better!!!!

    1. Jean Post author

      Aw, thank you! By shelf would be a great way to organize if we were using an actual cabinet for our medicines!

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