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I haven’t started the year out with my gung-ho organizing like I normally tend to do, but did manage to get some smaller projects done here and there in the past month or so. One of those projects was to reorganize our medicine cabinet. (I say “medicine cabinet” loosely because actually we use a built-in cabinet in the hallway to store our meds since the bathroom doesn’t have a lot of storage.)
Technically everything was organized before, but I found that containers with lids weren’t the best option because it was faster to just set things on the shelf in FRONT of the bins rather than actually put things away. And while the bins all “matched” they weren’t all the same size/shape, and so they didn’t stay in place very well. It just wasn’t a perfect system. What would start out looking like this…
…would ultimately end up like this…
When I saw these plastic baskets at The Container Store I was smitten and thought they’d be great for use here as well as possibly under the kitchen sink for cleaning supplies. I love the darker ones since they look more like real baskets, but for the purposes I wanted to use them I figured clear would be better. This way I can see the contents through the baskets.
I measured and planned out how they would fit, and decided on four medium ones for the top shelf and two large for the bottom shelf. They fit perfectly and I can still slide one basket out without having to remove the adjacent ones.
The next step was taking everything out. This is typically where I start, but I had to figure out what I wanted to order and wait for it to arrive. In most organizing situations it’s best to determine what storage you need by taking everything out first, but I had a basic idea of what I needed storage for. Everything just needed a little purging and rearranging.
Cleaning out your medicine cabinet and tossing expired meds is a good practice at least once-a-year. I threw away A LOT. If it was expired, it was out. If it was something I don’t use or don’t plan to use, out. That left me with some extra space and the ability to fit everything that needed to go in this cabinet.
Next I determined what would go where, and since I was condensing 10 bins into 6, I needed to re-categorize. Here’s how it turned out:
Please disregard chipping paint. 😉 When we get our paint sprayer there are a lot of cabinets that will be getting a makeover.
The upper shelf holds medicines, first aid kits, sunscreen, bug spray, and smaller things in general…
I needed something to corral smaller items, like loose bandages, medical tape and gauze, small tubes of medicine, etc. Since I have a bad habit of grabbing those cute little $1 tin buckets from Target (I mean they’re just so cute!), I had several on hand and decided to use those.
See? I knew they’d come in handy!
I stood up the larger items and bottles of medicines, and then used the buckets to corral the small stuff and fill in the spaces…so the larger things would stay put.
The lower shelf has always been for the bigger stuff and the “extras”…peroxide and rubbing alcohol, heating pad, boxes of feminine products, extra toiletries, etc. These baskets made it easier to store these items standing up, and I could fit more in general this way.
For the time being I just made quick labels with some Martha Stewart adhesive labels from Staples and a Sharpie. They’re holding pretty well but don’t stick evenly since the side of the baskets have a woven texture. I’ll eventually make some sort of tag, but this gives me time to make sure that this new arrangement will work. Sometimes I still have to pull out two bins to put things away in one. No matter what system I use, it won’t work if I don’t put things away. So far so good, and since there isn’t much room left on the shelf, I HAVE to put things away! I do like this storage solution much better! I think it looks a lot nicer, too.
I have been in the mood for pink, which means I’m getting cabin fever and ready for spring! I broke out the Valentine decorations yesterday and am working on a couple DIY decorations that I hope to share early next week!