The Cure for Chronic Medicine Cabinet Pain

Almost everyone has snooped in someone else’s medicine cabinet at some point in their lives. My grandparents loved to tell the story of the time their houseguest, while brushing his teeth one morning, let out a loud yowl from the bathroom. Turns out he’d gone into the medicine cabinet to “borrow” some toothpaste and accidentally grabbed the Ben-Gay by mistake. Ouch! Serves him right, I say.

Most medicine cabinets these days are filled with more personal hygiene and beauty products than medicine, and rightfully so. Turns out that despite its name, a medicine cabinet in the bathroom is one of the worst places to store medicines due to the warm, humid environment. (For more information on proper storage of medicine, see this link from ). Snoop these days and you are more likely to find a vast array of hair care products, make up, nail polish and…well, crud, to be frank. Spilled mouthwash, gloopy toothpaste, the dusty old aftershave given as a gift and never used. And, okay, a few bottles containing some old prescription pills that expired two years ago.

The bathroom embarrassment doesn’t end there (and no, I’m not talking about bodily functions). What’s under your sink? Ten-year-old bubble bath? Cardboard and plastic wrappings from multi-packs of soap, deodorant, toothpaste and toilet paper whose contents were consumed long ago? How about dust…lots and lots of dust, grime and grossness? Whatever it is, it’s not likely to be a scene you’d want snooping guests in your privy to be privy to.

Get out your calendar right now and schedule a bathroom organization overhaul for six months from now. You only need to allot about 15 minutes for it, because you are about to do all the heavy lifting now. Grab a trashbag, an old rag or two, and your favorite all-purpose cleaner and start tossing all the old, expired, never used junk out of your medicine cabinet and under the sink. You’ll be amazed at how much space you’ll save just by getting rid of all the useless garbage you’ve been harboring. Next, give everything a good wipe down and clean the cabinets well.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Opening Doors to Organization (, I’m a big proponent of utilizing the inside of cabinet doors and the prime real estate on the back of a door. One of my favorite organizing tools is the old shoe pocket organizer with clear plastic pockets. They are good for so much more than shoes and really enable you to maximize storage opportunities behind the door. I did a recent bathroom re-organization where the medicine cabinet was not only so stuffed that the countertop was infected with the clutter bug from the overflow, but it was old and shabby looking too. The paint was chipping and there were stains that could not be cleaned from the cheap shelves. My solution was to move everything to a pocket organizer that hangs on the back of the bathroom door. After cleaning out the medicine cabinet, the organizer not only held all the remaining contents of the cabinet, but there was room enough left over to store hair brushes, accessories and hairdryers too. Winning!

Best of all, you’ll save money when you discover all the treasures in your bathroom cabinet you didn’t realize were there. My clients won’t need to buy soap, deodorant or razors for quite awhile now.Who knows…you may even find an extra tube of Ben-Gay to share with house guests who forgot their toothpaste!

Medicine Cabinet Before - OutsideMedicine Cabinet Before - InsideAfter Bathroom Organization OverhaulThe Magic Cure!


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