Figuring out how to store and organize vitamins, supplements and medicine bottles is more important than ever!
Thankfully, it can be done in four easy steps: 1) clearing out the space, 2) properly disposing of expired vitamins and meds, 3) cleaning/sanitizing the space, and 4) organizing and re-stocking efficiently. I outline exactly how this is done below.
We are all focused on keeping our families healthy right now. And many of us have stocked up on immune boosting vitamins and remedies.
Whether you keep these items in a bathroom medicine cabinet, a kitchen cabinet or the pantry, organizing them will simplify your daily routine and prevent you and your family from accidentally taking expired meds.
And when you can see all of your vitamins in one place, you won’t waste money by buying duplicate items. (This has been a big problem in my household in the past!)
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In this article:
- Organize Vitamins, Supplements and Medications in 4 Steps
- The Best Way to Store Vitamins and Medicines
- How to Keep the Medicine Cabinet Organized
- How to Organize Vitamins and Medicines for Daily Use & Travel
How to Organize Vitamins, Supplements and Medications
Learn how to organize vitamins, meds, and other health-related items in your medicine cabinet by following the four steps below. But first, PIN THIS IMAGE to save the article for future reference:
Step 1: Clear the Medicine Cabinet
First, remove everything from the shelves. It’s always best to start with an empty cabinet. Second, group each item by category: kids’ vitamins, adult vitamins, homeopathic remedies, over-the-counter meds, etc.
Keep all prescription medications in their own group, as they require extra care.
Next, other health-related items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, or skin care items should go in another group.
Finally, anything else should be removed from the space and stored in an appropriate place.
Step 2: Dispose of Expired Medicines and Vitamins
Now, it’s time to purge.
According to this article on Fullscript, vitamins and supplements have expiration dates just like medications, after which they are less potent or potentially harmful. They should be thrown away once past their expiration date.
Proper Disposal of Medications
For expired prescription medications, look for disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information insert.
If you can’t find any, contact your local pharmacy or your city’s trash and recycling service to find out if there’s a drug take-back program available in your community. Finally, as a last resort, dispose them in the trash (see below for proper steps).
The FDA recommends the following steps for disposing of expired prescription and over-the-counter medicines (including vitamins and supplements):
- Empty the container. To keep children and animals from eating the vitamins, mix them with something “yucky” like kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
- Place the mixture in a sealable container. It can be a closable plastic bag, a jar, can, etc. Anything that will prevent the contents from spilling out.
- Scratch, ink over or peel off the labels on prescription medication containers to protect your privacy.
- Toss in the trash. Recycle the empty plastic containers if possible.
Step 3: Sanitize Your Space
Wipe down all surfaces, including shelves and cabinet doors (inside and out). Next, clean any containers that feel sticky. Don’t forget the back of the cabinet and bottoms of shelves. And use a disinfecting wipe for lightly soiled surfaces; warm soap and water for dirtier areas.
Step 4: Organize and Stock the Cabinet
To begin, it’s helpful to store vitamins and supplements on one shelf, over-the-counter medications on a second, and prescriptions on a third if you have the space.
This way, you’ll know exactly where to look when you need to take something. Any liquids should be stored together in a container to keep leaks to a minimum and make cleanup easier.
We use clear plastic drawer organizers:
PRO TIP: If you have a lot of vitamins, consider storing them in alphabetical order for easy retrieval.
My family uses homeopathic remedies in addition to dietary supplements, and I used small plastic food containers to corral these small tubes in alphabetical order.
Next: organize over-the-counter medications that come in boxes and blister packs. It’s easier to store them in flat, stackable meal prep containers.
I used my trusty label maker to easily identify each container based on the type of medication inside (allergy meds, pain meds, antacid/nausea, etc.)
On the top shelf, I stored bottles of liquid cough and cold medicine, over-the-counter pain medicine and prescription medications.
I contained the liquids in drawer organizers:
Once everything’s in place, take a step back and assess the space. Everything should be easy to see and access.
If it is, congratulations! The final step is making sure it stays this way.
The hard part is done! The vitamins, supplements and medications are organized. And with mindfulness and a few simple consistent actions, they’ll stay this way.
Best Way to Store Vitamins and Medicines
First and foremost, consider safety for your family, especially if you have children or pet.
You definitely want to aim high when it comes to storing vitamins and medications and keep them out of spaces that small children or curious puppies can access.
Next, consider the environment.
According to Consumerlab.com, vitamins and medications can degrade faster and may lose their effectiveness when exposed to excessive heat, light, oxygen in the air, or humidity.
After they are degraded, they may still be safe for you to take, but they might not have the desired effect.
Anyone who buys vitamins and supplements knows they are not cheap. They are an investment in one’s health. And even with insurance, medicine can cost a pretty penny.
PRO TIP: To protect your investment and keep your pills potent, store your bottles in a cool, dry environment.
This may mean moving them out of the bathroom cabinet (if it gets steamy from showers) and into another place. The refrigerator is another no-no due to humidity, unless you are specifically directed to refrigerate.
My family’s vitamins and medicines are kept in a small upper kitchen cabinet that’s far away from the stove. You might also consider a bin in the pantry or linen closet.
How to Keep the Medicine Cabinet Organized
This can be the tricky part, but it’s possible! First, always replace items in their original position as soon as they’re used.
Second, keep a bottle of disinfectant wipes in a nearby cabinet or under the sink for quick cleanups.
PRO TIP: once or twice a year, take inventory and purge anything that has expired.
Organize Vitamins and Medicines for Daily Use & Travel
If you take vitamins and medicines daily (or multiple times a day), keeping on top of it all can be a challenge! Add to that the complexities of having multiple household members to keep track of, and travel…and things get overwhelming.
There are some great solutions out there that can REALLY help in this area. I researched and found this organizer with smart alarms that work with an app on your phone:
What I love about this option is that 1) it stores up to a month’s worth of pills and 2) it will send you reminders through your phone when it’s time to take your medication. So great for people (like me) who sometimes forget to take pills on time!
Another less technical (but still effective) solution is a 7-day AM/PM organizer that will help you stay on track all week long:
Looking for something a little less conspicuous and great for travel? How about this cute option:
How to Organize Vitamins, Medicines and Supplements: Final Thoughts
I hope you found some helpful tips, ideas and inspiration for organizing your medicine cabinet. Any system that works for you and your family is the one you should use! Stay organized, stay balanced, and stay healthy, everyone.
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