ORGANIZED: Medicine Cabinet

July 9, 2011

Do you know that over 40% of house guests snoop in their host’s medicine cabinet? Kinda scary, right?! If you were to open my medicine cabinet a few days ago, items would have fallen out onto the sink and you would have totally been CAUGHT snooping! That’s what you get, snooper!

Yesterday I set out to reorganize our medicine cabinet; it’s embarrassing how long it’s been on my TO-DO list.


I dove right in and removed all of the items & took out the shelves.

I cleaned the inside thoroughly with a hot wet rag & a bottle of Simple Green.

(I kinda love that smell!)

Sorting time! I recycled empty containers & evaluated the necessities. What to keep??

I decided to change out the old paper backing. It’s been like 4 years since I put it in.

Here’s the new backing. I used Martha Stewart’s faux bois wrapping paper because it’s nice & thick.

Because the backing of my medicine cabinet is a thick cardboard, I used push pins to secure the paper. This means I don’t have to deal with tape not sticking & paper unrolling in the future.

Sorting out all of the products was a great thing! I realized how many items I didn’t need/use or didn’t belong in my medicine cabinet!

All of these items didn’t belong in my medicine cabinet:

When everything was dry from cleaning, I put the clean shelves in and started to organize.

I took a pictures with my phone during the process so I could step back & examine what I was working on.

At one point I looked at the bottle of ADVIL and thought it was an eye sore. Who wants to look at that bottle? No one.

I decided to consolidate and put the pills in a smaller travel container I had from the Container Store.

(write the expiration date on a piece of masking tape/label and stick it to the bottom!)

Problem solved!

A little less than an hour later, I was left with THIS:

The top shelf is the HUSBAND SHELF. His items live way up at the top. It matches his height.

Second shelf is HAIR CARE (communal) and SKIN CARE (my territory).

I put the MOST USED ITEMS on the bottom shelf for easy access.

And here we have the section of necessities/tools.

Finally! Everything has its place. Now when I open the cabinet door, I don’t have to worry about things falling out. This takes away some of the stress of getting ready in the morning.

Hope this gives you a little motivation to tackle your own medicine cabinet! Or maybe you’re just looking to punish snoopers? The trick is to clean out your cabinet every 4-6 months!


Acrylic Containers

Deep Drawer Organizers

4 Section Box

Sectional Box

Low, Clear Acrylic Box

4 inch Tall Acrylic Box

27 comments on “ORGANIZED: Medicine Cabinet

  1. Totally cool! I need to do this in about every corner of my home. Is there a secret to keeping it this way?

  2. This always makes me feel better. Good on ya!

  3. I love before and after organization photos. It gives me a sense of peace. Weird, I know.

    I don’t even have a medicine cabinet. We have storage under our sink, but really we just have everything sprawled on our counter. It’s terrible.

    One thing to note on the genius of moving the advil to a cuter container – you might want to keep the bottle around somewhere, or note the expiraiton date some other way. Unless you go through advil faster than it expires. Thankfully I don’t!

  4. I would have to second the Advil statement above. I know the bottles aren’t the most attractive thing on the planet, but having the information that is contained on them can be important not only to know the expiration, but to know dosage, etc…, in case of adverse reactions.

    • Thanks for the reminder. I just wrote the expiration date on masking tape and taped it to the bottom! DONE.

  5. Andrea Nov 9, 2011

    This may be an odd question but where did you get the photo hanging next to your medicine cabinet. I used to work for a carnival and it looks like a gorgeous shot of some concessions stands. Or I might be crazy. Both options are plausible. (You have inspired me to go through my medicine cabinet tonight and throw out all of the aspirin that expired in 1996.)

  6. Courtney Nov 10, 2011

    …or you could fill it with bouncy balls to punish snoopers.

  7. I first saw this post on Wednesday, and last night as a result I completely emptied out my medicine cabinet, threw away half the contents, and scrubbed the entire thing down. I wanted to do the wrapping paper thing, but the only paper I had left was baby shower themed, which would’ve been weird. Anyway…thanks for inspiring me to clean up one of the messy areas of my apartment :)

    • That’s FANTASTIC. Doesn’t it feel good? Now what should we do next??

      • Courtney Nov 17, 2011

        -clean out the big-style clothes closet

        -label things! you could paint and label spice jars, label art supplies, i dunno. labeling stuff is always fun.

        -rearrange books

        -do you ever completely change around the furniture in a room, just for fresh perspective?

    • You could also use scrapbook paper – it’d take a couple sheets.

  8. Organization makes me swoon! We are not utilizing our medicine cabinet to its fullest! I’m inspired.

  9. claire Nov 11, 2011

    I also love the smell of simple green!

  10. You inspire me! My house is full of embarrassing cupboards and corners :-/

  11. Kirsty Nov 13, 2011

    I just cleaned out my food cupboard (yes, sadly I just have one cos I rent my flat and share with someone else) and now it’s super organised. Is it weird that I keep opening it when I walk past to admire my handiwork?

  12. Love the backing paper – that’s a great idea.
    I did mine too… except mine is more of a bookcase repurposed as a bathroom cupboard! I use mini wicker baskets to hold stuff in. It’s amazing how many half empty containers of lotions and potions I hoarded.

  13. Rachel Nov 15, 2011

    You inspired me to tackle our walk-in pantry in the kitchen! I keep throwing stuff in there and it was getting quite messy, so my husband and I finally re-organized it this weekend. We took out a bunch of junk and now things are so much easier to get to. Feels good to have something nice and tidy :)

    Love your blog and really enjoy hearing you and Joy on the podcast!

  14. hi tracy! i don’t have a medicine cabinet, but two cupboards under the sink that have been a HOT MESS since i moved in 1.5 years ago. so i went to the container store and bought plastic stacking drawers and sorted and organized everything. it feels SO good. this high straightenence column is changing my life.

  15. I do this sort of thing fairly often, I moved in with my partner about 6 months ago, and he’s one of those people who NEVER rearranges anything and keeps things for years … I’m slowly managing to convince him he probably doesn’t need 5 bottles of shaving foam (Christmas present from family, every year without fail) and our bathroom shelf is becoming tidier. But it’s an ongoing saga let me tell you. Tracey I love your new blog/column btw.

  16. I am enjoying this column a great deal, but yes, I’m also going to throw my two cents in on the advil container. Sure, it might not be the most attractive bottle and plastic is recyclable, but recycling and making more plastic still is toxic. Those little containers you’re buying in place of using the regular container doesn’t make a lot of sense environmentally…and if you’re using simple green….

    • Thanks for your concern and you’re right! But I have to mention that the container I transferred the advil in was something I already had in my house. I didn’t go out and buy a new container just for this project. :)

  17. Yes, but you are writing a column for other people on how to organize their cabinets. That’s a lot of folks who may go out and buy more plastic

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