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Medicine Cabinet Organization

My first organization project of the year is in the books! Last week I gave my old medicine cabinet a slight makeover and took the opportunity to clean, declutter and organize the space. This organization project is for you if you have one of these builder-grade, recessed medicine cabinets.

When I am organizing, I always look for function first. However, to me, no organization project is complete without considering its form and how to make it look beautiful. For years I kept the medicine cabinet organized using dollar store baskets to contain small items and prevent tall bottles from tipping. But it was time to give it a makeover and reorganize all the things.

In this post, I will show you how to efficiently organize those tiny and narrow shelves inside a medicine cabinet. I am also linking to the free Cricut file I used to cut out the vinyl labels!

Related: Medicine Cabinet Makeover

What Do You Keep In Your Medicine Cabinet?

In full disclosure, this medicine cabinet does not contain any medicine. We store medicine and first aid items in a cupboard in the kitchen. Because this medicine cabinet is in the primary bathroom and next to my vanity, I use it to store personal health and beauty products.

medicine cabinet update organization

It was time to declutter, clean, and organize the medicine cabinet. The magnetic door helps hold tools and pictures, but it needed some TLC. I dropped all the products in a basket while I cleaned and updated the cabinet.

I tossed a few old products I wasn’t using (including an old retainer!) and relocated other things. As usual, I followed my 4-step process to organize any area.

  1. Declutter
  2. Keep
  3. Relocate
  4. Toss or Donate

So here’s what I did:

  • Emptied the medicine cabinet.
  • Removed the shelves and cleaned the cabinet thoroughly.
  • I gave the medicine cabinet a makeover.
  • Embellished drawer dividers with vinyl labels made with Cricut.
  • Organized it all!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. For more information, please read my Affiliates Disclosure.

How to Organize the Medicine Cabinet

Whatever you decide to store in your medicine cabinet, you can certainly use this method to organize it. All I did was apply decals with keywords to clear organizers. This is an excellent visual aid for knowing exactly where to look to find products quickly.

medicine cabinet organization

Here’s a list of tools and supplies I used to organize my medicine cabinet.

Tools and Supplies Needed

medicine cabinet organization

Pro Tip: If you are familiar with Cricut’s smart materials, you can use smart vinyl and skip using a mat. I happened to have a sheet of regular vinyl, so I cut it to size to fit on the mat for my Cricut Joy.

Shop the Supplies

How to Make the Labels

For a super quick organization of the medicine cabinet, I chose the easiest and fastest way to make decals with a Cricut machine. These labels/decals are as simple as cutting out the words in vinyl and transferring them to the surface you want to label.

Step 1. Measure the Area

Because the shelves inside the medicine cabinet are very narrow, the best way to organize them is with narrow bins. My bins measure 9 inches wide and 2 inches tall. Therefore, the area where I wanted to place the decal had to be within (or just under those numbers).

I calculated to make the decals on average 1 inch tall. So, the length would be proportional to the height.

Step 2. Open the Cricut File

I created a Cricut file, and you can access and customize it to your fit your medicine cabinet’s organization needs. Here’s what you have to do:

  • Click on this link. A new window will open the Cricut project on Cricut Design Space. You will be prompted to open the file on their app.
  • Click Customize if you want to type your own words, change the size, font, colors, etc.
  • Click the Make It button if you want to use the file as is.
medicine cabinet organization
Access this file for free on Cricut Design Space

Step 3. Customize the decals

In the file, you will see that I created four small 6×1-inch rectangles. These are made as a guide to simulate the area I have to place my decals.

Over that rectangle, I added a textbox and typed my first word: EYES. I made sure it fit within the rectangle. Once I was happy with the font and size, I duplicated the design to type the other three words: FACE, LIPS, and HAIR.

Click to enlarge

Step 4. Hide the Squares

Once you are happy with your words and design, head over to the layers panel and hide the ‘squares’ layers. Remember, these are just guides, but you are not cutting out vinyl squares.

medicine cabinet organization

Step 5. Click Make It

When you are ready, click the ‘Make it’ button on the top right of the screen. You will be prompted to choose if you are cutting with a mat or matless (Smart Materials). Follow the prompts and choose the material you are cutting. For this project, I used Premium Vinyl Removable.

medicine cabinet organization
Click to enlarge

Step 6. Prepare The Cutting Mat

If you are using Smart Vinyl™, you won’t need to prepare a cutting mat. Instead, you feed the vinyl roll directly into the machine. Because I used regular vinyl, I had to cut it to size to fit the small mat for my Cricut Joy.

Click Cut, and the machine will do the rest.

medicine cabinet organization

Step 7. Weed and Transfer

Now, for my favorite part. Using the Cricut basic tools, weed the decals. After all the extra tiny pieces are out, cut a piece of transfer tape and smooth it over the -weeded- decals.

medicine cabinet organization
Weed (remove extra pieces)
Transfer (smooth transfer tape over decals)

Step 8. Transfer Decals to the Bins

After smoothing the transfer tape over the decals, cut out each word separately. Then all you have to do is transfer each word to a bin.

Cut each word
Apply over the bins

To ensure a good transfer, smooth each decal on the bin using the smoothing tool. Then, peel off the transfer tape, and your bin is done! Repeat the process with every bin.

Smooth the decal
Peel off the transfer tape

PRO TIP: I first transferred HAIR, then I transferred EYES. Immediately my bionic eyes noticed my first decal was off by 1/2-inch. To ensure the next two decals were all centered in every bin, I stacked the one I was working on over one already done and used it as a guide.

How I Organized My Medicine Cabinet

Now for the second and most fun part. Here’s how I determined the organization of my medicine cabinet. First of all, you should know that I am a creature of habit. Many, and I mean many, of my daily tasks happen on autopilot. Getting ready in the morning is a breeze because my brain remembers exactly what to do and when. In other words, I do not have to think about the tasks, my hands move swiftly as if they had a mind of their own.

Here’s a perfect example. I have been wearing contact lenses for almost 30 years, wowza! And for the last 16 years that we have been living in this house, I have kept my contact lenses and saline solution in the same exact corner of the medicine cabinet. Talk about creating a habit that sticks!

medicine cabinet makeover
  • In the before picture, you can see the contact lens case and solution on the bottom left. Next to it is the deodorant. These three items are part of my daily routine. Open, grab, use, return, shut. Above it is a small basket containing the boxes of new contacts I need every two weeks.
  • Face wash, toners, and creams were scattered between the medicine cabinet and my bathroom vanity counter (project coming soon!). But when I decided to get serious with the organization of the medicine cabinet, I realized how much I wasted the space.
  • Hair creams and sprays are high above because I use those products once a week, at the most.
  • Finally, the very top shelf was underused, holding only a retainer that I had never used and a thermometer.

After decluttering, tossing, and relocating, my first thought was to make the four categories (four decals) you see here. I am so happy I even had the perfect space and shelf to store my glasses every morning (instead of leaving them on the counter) next to my eye cream. This is perfect for creating a new habit!

medicine cabinet organization

Now, every night, after I take my contacts off, I wash my face, apply toner, apply eye cream, and grab my glasses. The autopilot is on!

Take Advantage of the Metal Cabinet and Door

One of the things I always liked about this medicine cabinet is that I can use magnets and use the door as a pinboard. So, I grabbed a dry-erase label and a magnetic dry-erase marker and added a reminder right above my ‘eyes’ bin.

medicine cabinet organization

I had these labels in one of my office drawers, and I thought they would work great because they are removable. I can peel them off and move them around without damaging the contact paper.

medicine cabinet organization

And on the door, a precious magnetic picture of my son’s pre-school years!

Final Look at The Organization of My Medicine Cabinet

Now that you know how my brain works, take a final look at each organized shelf of the medicine cabinet.

medicine cabinet organization

PRO TIP: To keep my lipstick and lip balms in place, I added a small divider to the ‘lips‘ bin. Like the labels, this was another thing I remembered I had in my office. These little trays are from Target’s Bullseye Playground. They are usually available during back-to-school season.

This little tray is from Target’s Bullseye Playground

It just happened to fit right in! I searched on Amazon, and I found these bins with small divisions.

medicine cabinet makeover - sneak peek

happy organizing, Flavia

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