When I wrote the post last week on How to declutter, I used my utility as the example. For the post I purely decluttered the visible items, but me being me, I had to go a little further and check everything on the inside of the cupboards was organised.
Well – I’m being quite harsh there really – most of the cupboards were working perfectly well for us – but there was one that wasn’t – and that was the medicine cabinet.
When I first put everything into this cupboard, I used my tried and trusted ADORE method of organising and organised it for what we needed at the time. That was to have everything together, in a space that was out of reach of my daughter, and stored so we could grab it when needed.
This did work, but as you can see it wasn’t sustainable for how we used it. It wasn’t working as well as it could have been for us.
“A”ssess the problem
So – I decided to have a rethink (organising is an ongoing process and not a one hit fix, as I always say!)
We had lived with the method I had thought would work best, but it hadn’t been ideal.
When I assessed it again (the A in ADORE!) – I came up with the following problems:-
- It was too out of reach for us to see everything we had easily
- We had a basket in there, but this didn’t fit in all the medicine, so often we found medicine past its use by date at the back
- Everything got jumbled up too easily and was difficult to keep tidy
- Too unclear what we had there – so we could find that we had run out when we needed something
- There was a lot of wasted vertical space in the cupboard
- Not easy to carry things into different parts of the house when needed
Nothing too big or damaging really – but niggles that we could do without.
So – I wanted to find a way to fix these issues, and make it easier for everyone.
“D”eclutter and Clean
I firstly got everything out of the cupboard, got rid of anything that was past its use by date (took to the local chemist as they dispose of medicines safely), and cleaned the cupboard out.
Now I could see exactly what we had, and what I needed to organise.
TIP – When I could see what we had, I made sure we had the basics we as a family need (pain relief, plasters, cough medicine, hay fever tablets etc…) – and any that were lacking got added to my shopping list for that week.
“O”rganise the medicine
The next step of the ADORE process is to Organise what you are dealing with.
The main issue we had was the location of the medicine – so I looked at where else they could be located. The utility was still the best room for us, and I found a couple of unused shelves there, of which the larger one would be perfect.
I found these and knew they’d come in handy for a couple of projects I have on the go at the moment so I grabbed them. This one was the larger version and fit perfectly into the shelf I had allocated for the medicine.
TIP – When out shopping, have any measurements and dimensions you are looking for for storage or other items in the house, as you never know when you may come across the perfect fit!
I loved this storage for a number of reasons:-
- It was deep enough to hold the medicines we had upright so they didn’t spill
- It fit the space available perfectly
- It had changeable compartment dividers so I could make the internal space suit our needs
- It was clear – so everything is visible
- It had a handle on the front – so could be pulled out of the shelf and taken to where it was needed (great in the middle of the night!)
The perfect solution!
I then grouped our medications together (First aid, colds, hay fever, pain relief, thermometers etc…) and worked out what sized compartments each needed.
I then got out my trusty label maker and created labels to show clearly what went where (great for putting things back, and also for showing others whats what!)
Putting it all together didn’t take much time – but the results are fantastic!
Its been this way for a week now – and is so much easier to use already.
Its a pleasure to open the cupboard with this stored in this way, knowing that I can find what is needed so quickly, and it now ticks all our boxes of niggles.
Of course, just as I did at the beginning of this post, things get evaluated over time to see if they are still working – and you never know whether our needs will change in the future so watch this space – but for now we’re all really happy with the solution.
Oh yes – the cupboard that was once the medicine cabinet? Well, that now houses all those products we use once or twice a year (oven cleaner, leather cleaner, waterproof jacket restorer etc….) – products that are large and so fit the space better, but we don’t have to reach up there too often to make it a pain!)
So – what do you think? How do you organise your medicine? I’d love to know – please leave your comments below…