Medicine Cabinet Organizing Hacks

close up of a variety of medicine and vitamin bottles with text insanely useful medicine cabinet organization tips


Three of the four of us had a cold last week. 😷  Colds are tricky because you either try to prevent it or treat the symptoms, but you can’t really cure them. We tried both…but in so doing, I realized how disorganized our medicine cabinet was. We had kids medicine in travel bags because we just got back from a trip. We had medicine from 2008 in the cabinet…NO LIE! We couldn’t find the thermometer and when we did, it was broken. Seriously we were one hot mess!!! We are in major need of a Medicine Cabinet overhaul.  If you haven’t sorted through your medicine cabinet in a while and it’s in need of a little organization, check out the below tips, supplies, and steps to get it back in order.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.


Disorganized medicine cabinet

Things to consider for your medicine cabinet


You’ll want a place that is convenient, but not too hot or humid.


As you think about the location, consider the safety aspect. If you have young kids, you don’t want something they can reach.

Access / Security

You should also consider security. If you have a lot of prescription drugs in your house, you may also want to consider some sort of lock on the cabinet. Many prescription drugs are being traded or sold.

We are using the space above our refrigerator. It’s convenient, we don’t have other items to store there, and it’s not easily accessible to the kids.

Supplies You’ll Need

Depending on the amount of space you have for your medicine/supplies you likely want to get some containers to help keep it organized long term. A few options are:

  • Stackable Bins either open or closed depending on your preference
  • Or a Turntable / Lazy Susan

The dollar store is a great place to find this sort of thing.

You’ll also want to consider how you’re going to label the containers. A few options include:

  • Taped-on index card
  • Printed Labels
  • Custom labels made with a Silhouette or Circuit machine (like I used)

Lastly, depending on your personal situation, you may also opt for a lock box or daily sorter where you can fill each compartment with the pills you need each day for a week or two.

Steps to organization

Now that you have finalized your location, here are a few steps to help get your old or new space organized!

1. Gather all medications/supplies

Remove everything from your existing cabinet and collect any medicine/supplies from other locations in your home.

Display of all medicines from cabinet on a table

2. Expire the Expired

picture of prescribed medicine with date from 2010

Review the expiry date on the medicines and sort through anything that is expired. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t just throw away or even flush old medicines down the toilet. Probably 50% of what I had in my cabinet had expired…long ago!

In Canada, all pharmacies have a take back program where you can return your unused and expired medications. The United States has a similar program. You can find out more about safe disposal of old medicines with the links below.  Note: When we took our old meds to the pharmacy, they requested that the next time, we remove all of the pills from their various containers and put them in a plastic bag.  If you don’t do it yourself, they’ll have to. 😳



Bag full of expired medicines

3. Categorize

Group items into “like categories.” Consider how much room you have and the number/granularity of categories that make sense for you. Below is a list of common categories:

  • Kids
  • Adults
  • Pets
  • Cough / Cold / Flu
  • Allergies
  • Pain Relief
  • Stomach
  • First Aid / Bandages
  • Vitamins
  • Prescriptions
  • Creams / Ointments
  • Breathing
  • Misc.

I used 7 categories and opted to have one box just for the kid’s medicines. I didn’t want us to have to sort through the other medicine or risk medication error by giving them adult medicine if we were in a crunch.

4. Put into Containers

If your containers are a variety of sizes (like mine were) you’ll want to consider which groupings should go in the smaller vs. larger containers. Place items in containers. I chose ones with lids so that I could stack if necessary.

5. Make Labels

Now it’s time to make your labels and attach them to the containers. This is one of the most satisfying parts to me. It’s sad that I take so much delight in organizing…I know, I know!

6. Grand Finale

Yay! it’s time to put the containers in your space. Ahhh- oh, it feels so good to have a place for everything and everything in its place. Step back, take it in…enjoy! Now, the challenge is keeping it that way!

Organized medicine cabinet with labeld boxes

Always Be Prepared

As a parent, you need to be like the boy scouts…”Always Prepared!” It’s good to make sure that you have basic first aid items on hand. Now that you’ve cleaned out the expired items and taken stock of what you have, compare it with the list of First Aid Items the Red Cross recommends having in a kit.

Don’t let a disorganized medicine cabinet catch you by surprise when you or your family are sick and in a panic to find something to help.  By following the above tips and six easy steps, you’ll have a well organized, easily accessible, and safe medicine cabinet.


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.



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  1. Jordan says

    This is one of the things I do NOT want to tackle, but I know needs to be done this year! Thanks for the tips and hacks.. now I have no excuse not to do this haha.

  2. Heather LeGuilloux says

    Living in a small apartment, organization in so necessary. And I will definitely be taking your recommendations on board to organize my own medicine cabinet (everything is under our bathroom sink) so that it’s easier to access everything we need.

  3. Jessica Foster says

    Definitely going to share this post with the family I nanny for, because their medicine cabinet is a total mess! Both parents are doctors and they have three kids. It has definitely been hard for them to stay organized in general. These are some great tips.

  4. Jessica Bradshaw says

    I love the idea of putting them in bins with labels! I clean out my cabinet once a year, but this would be super helpful!

  5. Tara says

    I need to put this on my list! I spent too much time trying to find some cold medicine just this week. These tips are great on how to get those meds organized.

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