Peer inside your medicine cabinet for a moment. Do you see a pile of almost-empty tubes, medicine you haven’t touched in ages, a whole shelf of products you can’t remember the last time you used? We thought so. If you have to take cover every time you open your medicine cabinet for fear of falling products, it’s time to take control. Flip through to get operation organization started!
First, clear it all out, so you can get a good look at everything you have, and also clean the shelves before you restock. Chances are you’ll find stuff you didn’t even know was in there—most of it is probably trash, but you never know; you may find a few hidden treasures.
This is probably toughest part. Did you find three moisture masks in there? Do you actually use all three? Be honest and throw out everything you truly aren’t using. If you find yourself wanting to hold on to a product you haven’t used in over a year, remember that lots of products (especially anti-agers) degrade and lose efficacy over time. If you didn’t love it enough to use it when you bought it, you’re not going to have a change of heart now. Toss it to save room for the new products that you do love.
And now for the most important step: expiration inspection. Medicine expiration dates can sneak up on you, and having a medicine cabinet filled with expired Sudafed isn’t going to help you next time you catch a cold. Trash anything that’s past its prime or will be in less than a month, and a make a list of everything you need to replace on your next drugstore run. Can’t find an expiration date? Toss it, just to be safe. Write the dates on all of the individual packages (don’t bank on holding on to the box they came in) to avoid confusion in the future. Medicine isn’t the only thing that expires—don’t forget to check sunscreen and natural beauty products too.
Group items together by product type for easy access when you’re in a hurry. Hair products with hair products, skin with skin; you know the drill. This is also a good time to consolidate. Combine those two or three open bottles of Advil in to one. Transfer any small items that come in unnecessarily bulky containers into more manageable vessels. And remove any products that don’t belong in the bathroom at all—that means perfume!
There’s only so much you can do with three shelves. Create more space and avoid stacking products on top of each other by adding narrow plastic risers. Take the items that usually get lost—lip balm, bobby pins, hair ties, tweezers, anything that rolls—and stash them in a clear plastic container, like this Acrylic 4-Section Box ($10) from The Container Store. Verticalizing products that usually rest on the bottom of shelves will also save space—toothbrush holders are great for this.
Now that you’ve turned your bathroom into an organizational mecca, it’s time to find the proper place for all of the contents of your medicine cabinet. Do you really need Neosporin front and center? Probably not. Move all first aid supplies and medicine to the top shelf. Keep the products you use daily where you can reach them and make sure they’re unobstructed by other items. And remember, travel-size toiletries have no business taking up prime real estate in your medicine cabinet.
What products are front and center in your medicine cabinet? Share your essentials in the comments!