For many of us (me!), the medicine cabinet has turned into an upright version of a junk drawer. For such a small space, it sure is easy to forget what’s in it and to just let stuff accumulate. Now’s the perfect time to organize your medicine cabinet, not just for neatness but also to clean up any chemical products you may still have in there. Organize your medicine cabinet the natural way with these five tips.
1. Clean it out
Start with a clean slate (or cabinet, in this case.) Remove everything from your medicine cabinet and give it a good wipe down with a natural all-purpose cleaner. Whew. You probably already feel better just looking at that cleaned out cabinet.
2. Toss old or expired products
Before you put anything back in the medicine cabinet, get rid of every product that’s old or expired. (Or anything that you just don’t use anymore.) Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a product is expired. Check our handy guide that lists the shelf life of commonly-used organic beauty products.
If you have prescription or over-the-counter medicines in your cabinet, check the bottles or boxes for expiration dates. Also look for proper disposal information. A drug take-back event sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration is likely your best bet to safely dispose of medications, rather than dumping them down the toilet or letting them end up in a landfill.
3. Stock it right
Your next step is to decide what you actually want in your medicine cabinet. What products make the most sense to put in there? Bandages, Q-tips, cotton balls, essential oils, healing ointments, hydrogen peroxide, vitamins and aloe vera are good ones to stock. Check out our guide to make a natural first aid kit for other ideas.
If your medicine cabinet is like many others, you might have commonly-used products like Neosporin, Vaseline, Vicks VapoRub, Johnson’s Baby Oil or ChapStick on your shelves. Well, you might want to restock. These five medicine cabinet staples are made up of mostly petrolatum, a by-product of oil refining. Don’t worry, though. We have a list of comparable medicine cabinet products that are all natural.
4. Streamline your stuff
Instead of cramming in a bunch of boxes and bottles, organize your medicine cabinet by removing some items from their original packaging. It will help everything fit better. Take out band-aids from that flimsy box they come in and stick them in a sleeker jar, for example. I’ve even used a small coffee mug or teacup to hold q-tips, cotton balls tweezers and makeup brushes in my medicine cabinet. (How well this works will depend on the width of your cabinet.) Small baskets and recycled jars will do wonders to help you organize your medicine cabinet.
5. Give it a new look
Your medicine cabinet doesn’t have to look sterile and boring just because it’s a medicine cabinet. Give it a splash of color with a new paint job. Or, just paint the inside of the door a new color, so every time you open it you get to look at something pretty. You could also line the back of the cabinet with fun paper to add a bit of pep. A fun new look will help encourage you to keep your medicine cabinet organized all the time.
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image: Adapted from litlnemo on Flickr