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Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinets {28 Days to De-Clutter}

Posted Feb 11 2013 12:01am
De-Cluttered Medicine Cabinets If you participated in yesterday’s de-cluttering challenge, it was likely more of a relaxing one than some of the others we’ve endured. Sorting through your jewelry is certainly a lot more fun than cleaning out the pantry . I can’t promise that today’s task will be nearly as enjoyable, because today we’re going to go through the medicine cabinet (s)!  If you’re keeping up with these challenges, join our  28 Days to De-Clutter Facebook Event page  and share your excitement with the rest of us as you accomplish each task! If you’re just joining us now, you can .

I have two medicine cabinets in the bathrooms, plus a small box of cold remedies and other assorted OTC paraphernalia. (I also have a growing stash of essential oils. ) For the most part, I try not to keep actual medicines in the cabinet where we use the shower because I’ve heard the humidity and dampness can negatively affect them. However, my DH does keep his regular medication there since he goes through it pretty quickly and it doesn’t have a chance to deteriorate. I do keep some very basic meds in the other bathroom cabinet where we do not ever use the tub, since there’s very little danger of too much humidity there. But most of them I keep in a small box in the linen closet because they don’t really fit well in the cabinets anyway.

All that to say… it took me about ten minutes to clean out each segment. So if you, like me, have more than one medicine cabinet but only one ten-minute span of time, then just choose which cabinet you want to sort through. 

Don’t get scared; I’ll walk you through the process. Set your timer for 10 minutes, and…


We are mostly concerned about getting rid of expired medications. Each bottle or package should have an expiration date stamped on it somewhere; look for the it and set that medication aside if the date has passed.

Also set aside any prescription medication if you have discontinued using it, whether or not it is expired. No point in keeping it around.

Please note that even if you use mostly herbs, oils, or other natural remedies, they still have expiration dates, or at the very least will lose their effectiveness after a certain period of time. Tinctures, when stored well, are a possible exception.

Also set aside any tools (thermometers, bandages, etc.) that are damaged or otherwise unusable.

Set aside any supplements or other items you no longer use but could be of benefit to someone else.

Now, replace everything back in the cabinet, being sure to group like items together: bandaging supplies, cough and cold relief, pain relief, etc. This will help you keep a better track of your inventory and avoid duplicate purchases.

Now it’s time to sort through what you removed from the cabinet and appropriately dispose of it:

  • All medications should be placed into a zippered plastic bag or other easily sealed container. Then fill the container with used coffee grounds, dirt, or some other undesirable filler. Make sure all the medication is covered in the coffee grounds (or whatever you use), seal it up, and throw it away. If you have small kids around, take that bag right out to the trash.
  • Throw away unusable tools (like a broken thermometer or a cracked neti pot).
  • Think of someone who might benefit from items you can no longer use but are still beneficial: prenatal vitamins that have not yet expired for your pregnant friend, for example, or nursing pads for a breastfeeding mom you know.
De-Cluttered Medicine Cabinet

Kind of a schizophrenic mix of alternative and conventional medications, huh?

If you completed today’s 10-minute task, I’d love to hear about it! Tell me all about it – and show me a picture – on the 28 Days to De-Clutter Facebook Event page . Bloggers can grab the badge below and write a post – I’ll link to it in my next post and pin it to my 28 Days to De-Clutter Pinterest Board , and share on Facebook and Twitter.  And everyone can join in on the Twitter conversation by using the hashtag #28daystodeclutter .

Clutter-Free in 28 Days!

Find more inspiring and informative posts at Make Your Own Monday , Motivational Monday , Homestead Barn Hop , The Bulletin Board , Better Mom Monday , Natural Living Monday , Trivium Tuesday , Titus 2sday , Teach Me Tuesday , Hip Homeschool Hop , Titus 2 Tuesday , Delicious Dishes , Open Call Tuesday , Tiny Tip Tuesday , Healthy 2Day Wednesday , Frugal Days Sustainable Ways , Works For Me Wednesday , Real Food Wednesday , Whole Food Wednesday , Allergy-Free Wednesday , The Mommy Club , Encourage One Another , Thought Provoking Thursday , Simple Lives Thursday , Homemaking Link Up , Keep it Real Thursday , Frugal Thursday Rewind , Your Green Resource , Homeschooling on the Cheap , Thrifty Thursday , Fellowship Friday , Fight Back Friday , I'm Lovin' It , Weekend Bloggy Reading , Weekend Whatever , Snacktime Saturday

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