Get Organized with a Clutter Free Medicine Cabinet

Do you know what’s in your medicine cabinet? Do you forget to take your daily vitamin because you can’t remember where you put the bottle? Is your cold medicine useable or did it expire five years ago?

 

Don’t forget to check out the second part of my blog on organizing your medicine cabinet coming on May 3rd.

 

My mom will probably kill me for this. One year, my younger brother played a game. We proceeded to empty her medicine cabinet and guess how old items were. We played this in the late 90s and there was something from 1984. While we were all laughing pretty hard, it would be no laughing matter if my parents had taken something past expiration date that would have caused them harm.

In an website article from Back and Body Medical in NY found that you are likely to find out-of-date prescription medications, half-used bottles of lotion, some painkillers and a box of Band-Aids in most American Medicine Cabinets.

 

Clutter Free Medicine Cabinet

The first thing you are going to want to do is declutter! Take everything out.

Set aside any expired prescriptions to be disposed of properly.

Check your entire over the counter meds to see if they have expired. Age and exposure can harm meds, so it’s a good rule of thumb to let go of anything that you opened over a year ago. If there is no label and you don’t know what it is, put with prescriptions to be disposed of.

Disposing of Medicines Properly

It’s very important that you do this. Medicines flushed down the toilet end up polluting our waters, impacting aquatic species, and contaminating our food and water supplies.  Most medicines are not removed by wastewater treatment plants or septic systems and can make it into your water.  Scientists have found medicines in surface, ground and marine waters as well as soils and sediments in the Pacific Northwest.  Even at very low levels, medicines in the environment hurt aquatic life.

 

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, most community drug take-back programs are the best alternative. Most communities today have programs. Otherwise, most can be thrown out in the trash, but many people believe that is not safe. Children as well as pets can find the medicines and take them.

Medicines to Store

Here are the staples most medicine cabinets should have. You should be able to find an alternative medicine in most of these if you prefer the natural route.

 

Painkillers – Have a few different types on hand, to treat different types of pain: Aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen

Antihistamine/Decongestant –

Cold and flu remedies –

Cough medicine – Either a suppressant or an expectorant

Gastrointestinal remedies –Pepto-Bismol and some type of antacid

First aid kit – To treat minor injuries, a basic first aid kit should contain Band-Aids, sterile dressing, medical tape, tweezers, eyewash, antiseptic cream, an ace bandage and a thermometer.

You also might want to have: calamine lotion, Epsom salts, antibiotic ointment, thermometer, petroleum jelly, cotton pads and baking soda.

 

By keeping your medicine cabinet well-stocked and up-to-date, you may be able to save yourself a trip to the doctor.

 

Note: Your bathroom is not the best place to keep medications, as the heat and moisture from the shower can speed their deterioration. A better choice is to keep them in a cool, dark, dry place such as in a linen closet or kitchen cabinet. If you have children, you may want to select something you can lock.

 

What do you need to declutter from your medicine cabinet? What OTC medicines would you like to have on hand? How will you dispose of any expired meds?

Got Clutter - Vol. 1

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