by Susan McCarthy
Decluttering the medicine cabinet helps you clear out expired items and return only the items you use. This Quick Decluttering Win simplifies this space and makes it less frustrating to find the things you use all the time.
Organizing the medicine cabinet might not be high on your priorities. After all, there are far more visible areas in your home that likely need to be cleared. However, this is a space where you go into at least a couple of times a day. And if you have more people in the house who use the things in this cabinet, it’s a small space that gets a lot of use.
If you have too much stuff crammed into little space, chances are that you end up frustrated more than once a day. Items you can’t find. Things tucked behind other stuff. Stuff that gets shoved wherever there’s space, which means nothing ends up in the same spot twice.
Considering you might be going into the medicine cabinet a couple of times a day – likely morning and evening, then you’re struggling at the start and end of your day. Let’s make those times calmer…and it’s going to take less than an hour.
While I usually consider Quick Decluttering Wins both fast and visible, the number of times you may use this space a day makes it worth the time.
How Often Should You Empty Your Medicine Cabinet?
Depending on what you keep in this space and how many people use the items here will guide how often you should empty your medicine cabinet. Twice a year is a bare minimum. This gives you an opportunity to check expiration dates and to see if there are essentials that you need to buy.
Also, you get a chance to rearrange things into a more useful order.
What Do You Keep in Your Medicine Cabinet?
Before you empty the medicine cabinet, consider what you want to find in this space. The bathroom in my home is small so we have a pedestal sink. No handy counter around the sink. No cabinet in which to store things underneath. Shower essentials fit on shelves in the stall. Anything other personal care items go in the medicine cabinet.
Since the bathroom is off the kitchen, I ended up using a weird triangular cabinet in the kitchen, but next to the bathroom door, for first aid supplies and pain reliever. We don’t keep prescription meds in bathroom cabinet because of the moisture in the room after multiple people shower (we do have an exhaust fan, but better to be safe).
In a way, I feel like I have two medicine cabinets and so I go through each a couple of times a year. Each space has a different purpose. Since I don’t have a linen closet or under the sink cabinet, “overstock” items like the new tube of toothpaste that will be needed soon, but not now, get stored in clothing closets.
So, take a moment to decide what you want to keep here and what could get stored someplace else. What do you come in here for…and what do you never look for in here?
How to Declutter Your Medicine Cabinet Quickly and Easily
Whether you have a pedestal sink, or a sink surrounded by counter space, set a hard cutting board over the sink. This will give you added space to set items.
Organize Your Medicine Cabinet
If a category has a lot of small items that tend to tumble from the shelf when you reach for something else, you might want to consider tucking them together into the smallest container that will hold them. Dollar stores can be a great resource for inexpensive containers.
If you use all the items in a category at the same time, then grouping them in a container means that you can pull the bin from shelf, use everything, and then return it at once. Avoid storage containers with a cover, this is a hassle.
Bins should make it easier to find, use, and replace items. Life is too short to worry about creating some Instagram-worthy space that’s a hassle to use.
Ditch the Bathroom Clutter Forever
While I like to empty the medicine cabinet a couple times a year, you want to keep this space organized all the time to ease your stress in the morning or evening. If the space ends up disorganized shortly after you clean through the cabinet, consider if you have too much stuff in the space.
Do you have to push items here and there to find what you want? Too much stuff in a small area is always going to be frustrating. Tiny bins can allow you to stack tubes and other small items, but you also need to be careful of tucking so many items into a container that now it’s a hassle to find what you want.
If you’re fortunate to have an under the sink cabinet or other shelves in the bathroom, you can decide on the most convenient space to store items. If you have the floor space, you might find a small unit with plastic drawers that can store groups of items or give multiple individuals a space for their grooming products.
When you find it challenging to return items to where they’re stored, then you might want to consider if there is a better place to store these things. Putting things in the wrong (for you) space creates clutter.
Go for the Quick Decluttering Win
Organizing a medicine cabinet is a quick task that can save you time and stress in the morning and evening. You want things that are easy to find, use, and return to keep the space organized.
Hi, I'm Susan
I'm a former teacher who became a professional organizer (and not because I'm a natural-born neatnik). I live with my husband and fluffy cat on a river in Massachusetts. I crochet, make handmade cards, and love reading young adult novels. Learn more about my decluttering journey here.