Medicine Cabinet Organization Ideas

I was due for a medicine cabinet organization project and devised a practical and sustainable system to store our medicine. This new project features medicine storage ideas, the three types of organizers I use, and how to enhance your medicine cabinet organization with labeling ideas.

In our home, we store medicine, vitamins, supplements, first aid kit, and other supplies in a designated cabinet in the kitchen. In the past, I used clear bins to organize bottles, boxes, and pill packages to keep the medicine organized and contained, but it never stayed tidy. The cabinet was overflowing with medication, and snacks had also found their way there. So, it was time for a good organization plan to have better access to all the medicine.

medicine cabinet organizers

Before I begin, it is important to mention keeping medicines out of reach of children when organizing them in your home. Since no young children are in our home, we can safely store the medicine within reach in our kitchen cabinet.

Reasons for Storing Medicine in a Kitchen Cabinet

Although we have three built-in mirror medicine cabinets in our bathrooms, we use them to store our toiletries and some first aid items. Humidity in bathrooms can reduce medicines’ shelf life and effectiveness, so using a kitchen cabinet for medicine storage is a good idea.

Our kitchen is the family hub, so it’s convenient for us to store medicine in one of the kitchen cabinets. We are well aware of where to find the necessary items to address minor cuts or burns, allergic reactions, or to ease a headache.

Another important reason why we store medicine in the kitchen is because my husband is Type 1 diabetic, and the insulin vials need to be refrigerated. Therefore, we keep the rest of the diabetes supplies such as syringes and alcohol swabs in the cabinet next to the refrigerator.

medicine cabinet organization

How to Organize and Categorize Medicine in a Cabinet

Like any other organization project, decluttering medicine was the first step to get this cabinet in tip-top shape. As I mentioned, with the passing of the years, snacks, cookies and various other non-consumable items took over some shelves in the cabinet.

I made organizing medicine here my priority. There is no other cabinet in the kitchen (or the house) I would rather use to organize our first aid supplies, allergy medication, and diabetes supplies.

My first task was to empty out the cabinet, sort through everything, and decide what was staying and what I had to toss or relocate. So, after discarding expired medicine, extra packaging, and non-medicine items aside, I started categorizing.

How to Safely Dispose Medicine

When disposing of medicine, I usually pour liquids down the drain and run pills through the garbage disposal. I peel off the tags of the prescription bottles and rip them to destroy the information in them. Here is an article on how to dispose of unused medicines responsibly. Alternatively, check if your local pharmacy, like CVS or Walgreens, offers medicine disposal services.

How to Categorize Medicine

After decluttering and discarding expired or unused medicine, you can start categorizing it. While every family’s needs vary, there are universal categories to organize medicine.

  • Cold and cough medicine
  • Allergy medicine
  • Pain and fever
  • First aid kit
  • Tummy and Digestive
  • Vitamins and supplements

In our case, I dismissed “Tummy and Digestive” since we only stock Tums in this category.

medicine cabinet organization ideas

Other categories I created that are particular to our family and some other storage ideas that make sense in this medicine cabinet:

  • Diabetes (daily supplies)
  • Syringes
  • Alcohol Prep Pads
  • Dailies
  • Sore throat
  • Medical devices
  • Back stock

I designated a bin labeled “Dailies,” where I placed all the daily vitamins, supplements, and medicine my husband takes. In full disclosure, I do not store my “dailies” here but in my coffee cabinet. I do “habit stacking,” so I will grab my vitamins every morning when I prepare my second cup of coffee.

medicine cabinet organization

Other non-medicine supplies we like to have handy:

  • Business cards. My husband will re-stock his wallet with these when needed.
  • Cups. We like the convenience of having them next to the refrigerator.
  • Back stock of trash bags. The very top shelf in this cabinet is high, and we need a step stool to access it. It makes a good place to stock the trash bags since we use a new pack every six weeks.
medicine cabinet organization

Medicine Cabinet Organization: Before and After

Here’s a great way to compare the medicine cabinet before and after organizing it. Notice how I have some room to spare because the top two shelves are not crammed.

I laid out the garbage bags boxes evenly on the shelf to compensate the weight, but I could stack them in groups of two and have more room.

Hopefully now that everything is neat and tidy, this kitchen cabinet will stay as medicine storage and food and snacks will have no place here.

Medicine Cabinet Storage Ideas

Organizing a medicine cabinet shouldn’t be complicated. After all, all you need is a few bins or containers to categorize medicine and keep it in place. While there are quite a few great ideas out there, like this tidy and amazing medicine cabinet organization by fellow blogger Lolly Jane, sometimes one size does not fit all.

The pull-and-rotate cabinet caddy is fantastic, but in my case, I had a lot of other stuff that I couldn’t fit in it, such as syringes, alcohol pads, supplement boxes, etc. I needed bins that could hold bulky stuff and backstock.

My starting point was to give my husband an organized station to keep syringes and alcohol pads at the ready. The same goes for his daily vitamins and supplements. Along the same lines, our son has severe allergies, and we need to have a designated bin to find his medicine quickly when needed.

I used three different types of organizers to make my medicine cabinet functional for all my family’s needs.

1. Clear Storage Organizer Bins With Compartments

I used these organizer bins for the first time last year when I organized my nightstand drawers. I love how easy it is to add or remove the dividers so you can compartmentalize medicine or whatever you are organizing.

Acrylic Bins With Removable Compartments

I like that they are not too deep but shallow enough to fit tall bottles without tipping and small items without getting lost in a large bin. Notice how, in the “First Aid” bin, I could fit the large alcohol bottle as well as small cream tubes like Neosporin and Compound W.

The plastic dividers are easy to remove to accomodate bigger medicine inside the organizers. You can store the divider inside the bin so you don’t lose it.

medicine storage organizers

2. Clear Plastic Organizer Bins

To accommodate bigger bottles of medicine and bulkier items, I used these clear bins in medium size (10″L x 6″ W x 5″ H). The best feature of these bins is the cutout handles, so I was able to place them on higher shelves of the medicine cabinet while still allowing easy and fast access to the contents.

medicine cabinet organizers

The larger bins worked great for storing larger boxes of items I didn’t want to remove from their original packaging. These were:

  • Insulin syringes. I threw out the boxes but kept the packages of 9 syringes each.
  • Alcohol prep pads. Each box contains 100 swabs, which are better if kept inside the cardboard box.
  • Vitamins and Supplements.
  • Medical devices. Blood pressure machine, TENS machine, and TENS machine pads.
medicine cabinet organizers
  • Cough and cold medicine bottles fit perfectly inside these organizers. Since this is a medicine that is occasionally taken, I placed them on a higher shelf.
  • Cups. We are just used to having these aluminum cups in this cabinet, and we use them occasionally.

3. Stackable Storage Drawers

Stackable storage drawers are a great option for medicine storage. I used them before in my laundry room organization project and under the kitchen sink. This time around, I purchased a different brand of stackable storage drawers, and I have to say they are stronger and better priced than the ones I used before. These come with little silicone rounds to stop the drawers from sliding on the cabinet shelf.

I don’t think stackable drawers make a difference in this medicine cabinet organization, only because I did not have room to stack them. So, clear medium bins like the ones I described above would also have worked.

medicine cabinet storage ideas

However, if you have a higher distance between shelves so you can stack them or smaller items to group, they’re fantastic. I used them to store bags of Ricola and what I call “Backstock,” which contains extra medicine to refill the “Dailies” bin when the time comes.

Labels for Medicine Cabinet Organization

To complete this medicine cabinet organization, I made the same labels I made for the laundry cabinet. I used my Cricut Joy and cut them on writable vinyl. I have a tutorial on how to use Cricut smart materials and how to write and cut these same labels.

Pro Tip: You can access my file here if you have a Cricut Joy.

medicine cabinet organization labels
Cricut Joy with Writable Vinyl Kit

Other Alternatives to Label Medicine Storage Organizers

I always like to give my readers different options for labeling bins and organizers.

The easiest and most cost-effective option is these editable labels. I initially made them for my pantry organization but they evolved into an editable file to help you organize any room you would like in your home.

There are many other ways to label your organizers to make your medicine cabinet look cohesive and tidy. These, however, require the use of devices and tools. Here are some options:

  1. Use a Cricut machine to die-cut the names on vinyl. Follow the exact instructions in my post How to Make Decals with Cricut.
  2. Use a thermal label maker like the DYMO LabelWriter 550. Although this is a quick and easy alternative for making labels, the downside is that they won’t be water resistant. You can see these labels in my Tips for Storing Christmas Decor.
  3. A small label maker will also do the job. You can see these labels in my cable organization project.

Shop Medicine Cabinet Organization Resources

I hope you find some inspiration today to get your medicine organized at home and you create an organized and functional medicine cabinet for your family!

happy organizing, Flavia


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