Medicine Cabinet Organization: Your Complete Guide


Whether you live alone or have a family, these medicine cabinet organization tips will help you organize your bathroom cabinets.

These essential medicine cabinet organization tips will whip your bathroom cabinets into shape, fast!

Whether you live alone or have a family, these medicine cabinet organization tips will help you organize your bathroom cabinets.

Wondering where to begin? Get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret, and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!

Medicine Cabinet Organization Guide

With an entire house to keep organized, the bathroom medicine cabinet is one of the last places you organize. 

Whether you shut the door and try to forget about the mess of your bathroom cabinet or just need a few extra pointers, this article will walk you through every step. 

As you go through this guide, you’ll get inspired to organize your entire bathroom! If you do, get the Take Back Control book. It’ll show you how to organize your house step-by-step.

This guide is going to explain every detail so you can successfully organize your bathroom cabinets. In this article you will learn: 

Whether you live alone or have a family, these medicine cabinet organization tips will help you organize your bathroom cabinets.

How to Organize Your Medicine Cabinet

First, let’s look at how to completely organize your medicine cabinet. There are only a few steps. You can totally reorganize it in a day.

Clean it out

Before you start thinking about how to revamp your medicine cabinet, empty everything out and clean your cabinet. 

A simple 2:1 solution of vinegar to water in a spray bottle will do the trick. Or you can use your favorite all-purpose cleaner. Wipe down the shelves and doors. 

Having a clean surface will give you insight into how much room you actually have. 

Next, sort everything you took out. 

Keep what belongs in your medicine cabinet

As you organize everything in your medicine cabinet, take inventory of everything in front of you. Do you have too much? Is the amount of stuff you have making it difficult to keep it organized? 

Here are the minimum things you should keep in your bathroom cabinet: 

Beyond that, try and find some other places to store things you don’t need. This list is especially helpful if you have a really small bathroom without very much storage available. 

Here are some other places you can store extra medications and beauty products: 

  • Under your bed
  • In your bedroom closet
  • Under the bathroom sink
  • On a bookshelf
  • In a linen closet

decide what to throw away

Now that you know what to keep, how do you decide what to throw away from your medicine cabinet? 

Ask yourself these questions when you look at everything you took out: 

  • When did I last use this? If the answer is more than a year ago, don’t keep it. Chances are it will hit its expiration date before you use it again.
  • Is it expired? Don’t even hesitate on this one. If it is expired, get rid of it. 
  • Is it usable? If it isn’t usable at all, throw it away. If the case is cracked, think of a way to relocate it in something else.

It is always amazing how much space you discover when you throw away everything you don’t or can’t use. 

Proper Way to Dispose of Old Medications

If you find some medicine that is expired and you need to get rid of it, there are some things you need to keep in mind. 

First, if you have medicine that could be harmful to someone in large doses (like pain killers or narcotics), the FDA urges you to flush them down the toilet. Their guide is extremely helpful.

If you have some expired over-the-counter medications, you can simply throw those in the trash. The best way to throw them away, according to the FDA, is to: 

  1. Mix the medication with an unpalatable substance like coffee grounds or dirt (do not crush pills).
  2. Put the mixture in a resealable plastic bag.
  3. Seal the bag and throw it in your trash.
Pretty and Organized Medicine Cabinet Ideas

Medicine Cabinet Organization Ideas

After deciding what to keep and what to throw away, let’s look at some creative ways to store everything you need. 

This list has photos from Instagram that show inspirational pictures of real medicine cabinets. These are some realistic ways you can organize your medicine cabinet – whether you have a ton of space or not much at all. 

Use Clear Containers with Labels

A space-saving hack that works everywhere – create the illusion of more space by using clear containers

In the photo above, you can see what is in the containers, which makes them so much easier as a storage solution. The Idea Room shared this idea and it is genius!

The containers will prevent your stuff from falling over, and keep your categories neatly separated. 

Labeling your containers is super important. Either use a label maker, print labels on your computer or neatly write labels on stickers.

There are also printable labels included in our Clutter Keeper Home Organization Toolkit!

However, you choose to do it, labeling the containers will prevent them from falling into disarray. They will also help you find what you need quicker. 

Use A Super Long Medicine Cabinet

If you have an extra wall in your bathroom, consider installing a long medicine cabinet

The above photo is a perfect example. It has enough room to even store a hairdryer – which usually just sits on the counter, taking up space. 

This will give you so much more storage space. You can store everything you need within arm’s reach. With a medicine cabinet like this, you can even store some extra towels and your beauty appliances too.

Different Use For Each Shelf

If you have a small medicine cabinet without very much space, this next tip is for you! 

Establish a different use for each shelf. Only keep things on this shelf that belong in that category. 

You don’t need extra containers or labels if you already know what types of items belong on each shelf. 

The only downside to this system is that since it doesn’t use labels, no one else will know how to correctly put things where they go. 

Use Different Shaped Containers

In the world of organizing, using different shaped containers is extremely necessary. When you choose a container that is shaped to meet your exact storage needs, you suddenly open up so much space. 

If you have a deep enough medicine cabinet, consider using miniature lazy susans. These little gadgets can hold a lot of small items (like cotton swabs) and keep them organized for good. 

Choose Containers That Fit What You Need

When you are organizing your medicine cabinets, carefully select containers that are the best size for what you need. 

Don’t be afraid to use small containers for small things and larger containers for larger items. 

Avoid storing small items in containers that are too large. This can create a situation that resembles a junk drawer. 

Keep Shallow Shelves Organized

Finally, if you don’t have room for containers of any sort, you can always just keep all your essentials neatly organized on the shelves. 

As you can see in the above picture, it’s possible to display everything in an organized way. Just keep the labels facing out and leave enough room between each product so they aren’t too crowded. 

Creative Bathroom Storage Ideas: No Medicine Cabinet Needed

Creative Storage Ideas if You Don’t Have a Medicine Cabinet

What if you don’t have a medicine cabinet? If you need some creative storage ideas for your bathroom, try some of these. 

Hang A Magnetic Strip

If you have tweezers or anything else metal, hang them to a magnetic strip on the wall

This will get the small tools within your reach and off the countertop. 

Use Pull-Out Cabinet Organizers

Under the bathroom sink is a perfect place for keeping everything you own. 

Utilize every inch of this space by installing pull-out organizers. These can come in two levels, making it easier to store even more under your sink. 

If you choose to install a pull out shelf, keep things organized with their own cups and other methods of organization. 

Create Medicine-Cabinet Caddies

Finally, if you don’t have a medicine cabinet, create your own portable caddy. 

Take a large plastic tub with a lid. Create smaller organization systems like smaller tubs and resealable bags. Label everything so you can find it again and do not overfill the tub. 

If you don’t have room in your bathroom to store your caddy, use a plastic tub with a lid and a handle. The lid will prevent it from spilling. And the handles will make it easier for you to move from room to bathroom. 

Troubleshooting Common Mistakes for Medicine Cabinet Organization

Common Medicine Cabinet Storage Problems and How to Solve Them

Are you making any of these mistakes? All of these mistakes are preventable and once you fix them,  you will discover a lot more storage space. 

Can’t Shut the Door

This is one of the most common medicine cabinet storage problems people face. There are so many bottles and loose things in the cabinet that you can’t shut the door all the way. 

The solution: cut down on what you own. 

It really is that simple. After you go through everything and either rehome it or get rid of it, you will finally have enough space to store what you need. 

Too Many of the Same Medicines

How often does this happen to you – you think you are out of cough drops, so you buy a bag on sale, only to see 2 more bags at home? 

It happens all the time. 

Go through your medicine cabinet and create an inventory of everything you own. You can either keep it as a note on your phone or in your calendar/planner. 

Another solution is to throw away all duplicates to leave room for any new medications you might need to store. 

Loose Items Fall Out 

Small loose items are some of the most frustrating things to deal with in your medicine cabinet. As you are searching for something, you have to sift through loose small items like bobby pins and cotton swabs. 

The solution: find a small container that will hold them effectively. There are lots of hacks and ideas for storing these things. Some of the most popular ideas are: 

  • Baby food jars
  • Bubble gum containers
  • Small mason jars
  • Old medicine bottles – just be sure to remove the old label and add a new one. 

Look around your home and create new ideas and ways to repurpose things. There are a plethora of ways to organize every small item in your medicine cabinet. 

Whether you live alone or have a family, these medicine cabinet organization tips will help you organize your bathroom cabinets.

Why You Need to Keep it Organized

Keeping your medicine cabinet organized is about more than just aesthetics. After you expend the effort to clean and organize it, you need to maintain the new systems. 

Keeping your medicine cabinet organized is a necessity because everything you store in it is something you will need quickly. 

Keep your first aid kit easily accessible so you can have bandages and ointment the minute you need it. 

Every minute you spend searching for medicines is another minute you are without it. 

There you have it! Everything you need to know about medicine cabinet organization. 

After you clean out your medicine cabinet and reorganize everything, you will finally be able to find every medication when you need it. Another benefit of keeping your medicine cabinet organized? You will finally have enough space to store all that you own! 

Struggling to get motivated? Sign up to get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret, and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you clean out your medicine cabinet?

You should organize and clean out your medicine cabinet at least once a month. This area becomes chaotic and messy very quickly. If you stay on top of it, it’s easier to maintain.

Do OTC medications expire?

Yes, both prescription and over the counter medications expire. There is a date by which they are the most effective. After this date, they lose their potency.

How do you store medications without a medicine cabinet?

The best way is to buy a basket and label it with the type of medications are you storing in it. You can have one basket for prescriptions, one for cold medicines and one for first-aid.

More Home Organization Articles

Now that you know how to organize your medicine cabinet, take a look at our complete guide to bathroom organization — or here are some more home organization articles for other areas of your home. 

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