Day 11 – Decluttering Medicine & Vitamins

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Originally published January 11, 2016 and updated January 2018 and January 2024.

Welcome to Day 11 of the 31 Days of 10-minute Purging Tips Challenge.  Our goal is to eliminate things we don’t need from our lives and home so that we can better enjoy life. Today we’ll be purging our medicine and vitamins to be less cluttered, more organized and to stay healthy. Clearing the clutter of medicine and vitamins for better health and happiness.

top image - pill box organizer, bottom image - colorful pill bottles with text overlay reading 10-Minute Decluttering Medicine Cabinet

The start of the new year is the perfect time to go through all your medications and vitamins to eliminate any that are out-of-date. Medications and vitamins that have passed their expiration date can be less effective and can even be harmful. There’s no reason to hold onto expired medications or vitamins. Getting rid of expired medications shows you what items need to be restocked. Since this is the start of the cold and flu season, this is the perfect time to asses what medications and vitamins you need so you can have them on-hand when you need them. 

Grab the 6 purging bags you created earlier and a pad of paper and pen so you can make a note of medications or vitamins that you need to restock.  Now let’s go through our medications or vitamins and start purging.

Clearing Clutter – Tips for Purging Medicine and Vitamins

Take Everything Out- Keep in mind we’re doing this in 10 minutes. Start with either your medications or your vitamins. If you finish that task in less than 10 minutes, you can move on to the second category. I recommend starting with your medications first. Grab a box to empty all medications into. Carry the box to your kitchen table or a table with good lighting (so you can read those teensy tinsy expiration dates). 

Group Like Items Together – Quickly group like items together. Put all the pain relievers together, all the allergy medications together, and so on. 

pill bottles lined up on white shelf

Evaluate – Go through each group you’ve created. Look at the expiration dates on every single bottle. Every. Single. Bottle. If you can’t find an expiration date, get rid of it. It’s not worth keeping it if you don’t know how old it is. Get rid of any medications that you don’t want to keep or don’t like. 

Purge – Remove items you don’t need to keep and place them in one of your 5 purging bags. The vast majority of any medications or vitamins you’re getting rid of should be in your trash bag. Be sure to check for proper disposal procedures for medications in your area. 

pill box organizer filled with pills

Put Everything Away – Put the items you’ve decided to keep back away. As you put the items away, make notes of what medications or vitamins you need to restock to replace the ones you just purged. Next time you’re at the store, you’ll know exactly what you need to purchase. 

Let me share a mom tip about organizing medications.  Late one night my “baby” (who was 12 at the time) called out to me because she was ill. I stumbled into her room, determined she had a fever and needed something to reduce it. I went to our linen closet to see what we had. It was late at night, I was tired, it was dark (and I needed to purchase reading glasses, but that’s another story) and I couldn’t read the label to see the dosage or expiration date. I had to ask my sick “baby” to read the label to me so I could give her the proper dosage. Bad mommy moment.  I now use a permanent marker to write the dosage and expiration date on the side of the bottle when I bring it home from the store or pharmacy. That way I can always easily read the key information no matter what time of night it is or how tired I am (or whether I have my reading glasses on). 

More Tips for Organizing Medicine and Vitamins

If you’re anything like me, these tips on How to Remember to Take Vitamins will come in handy. 

vitamin bottle with yellow label on page of reminder notes.

I mark the medication and vitamin bottles in the same I do when I organize spices in my kitchen.

white 2-tier turn table with bottles of spices.

Medicine and Vitamin Storage Products

When it comes to choosing medicine and vitamin storage products, there are a few key factors to consider to ensure you find the right solution for your needs.

Determine the quantity and variety of medications you need to store. If you have a large number of different medications, a multi-tiered storage system with adjustable shelves may be more suitable than a simple box or cabinet.

Be sure to consider the sizes and shape of bottles that you use most often.

Additionally, contemplate the accessibility and visibility of your medicines – clear containers or organizers can make it easier to find what you need quickly.

Take into account the available space in your home to determine where you’ll store your medications and that will help you decide which products will work best for you.

Plastic Storage Organizer Box w/Hinge Lid
$29.99 ($15.00 / Count)

Holds Medicine, Vitamins and any First Aid, Lotion, Cotton Swabs, Masks, and Styling Tools

2 Pack

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03/12/2024 05:28 am GMT
3 Tier Clear Bathroom Organizer with Dividers

Multi-Purpose Pull-Out Organization and Storage

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03/12/2024 05:33 am GMT
Plastic Expandable 3-Tier Shelf Rack Organizer

Holds Medicine, Vitamins, Supplements and more

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03/12/2024 05:37 am GMT
2 Tier Lazy Susan Organizer

9.25Inch Clear 360 Rotating Organizer

for Medicine, Vitamins, Makeup, Vanity, Skincare, Perfume, Spices and more

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03/12/2024 05:38 am GMT

Well, there. We’ve completed purging medication and vitamins. Be sure to take 10 more minutes to tackle the category you didn’t get to today using the same steps. And be sure to stop back by tomorrow for Day Twelve in the 31 Days of 10-Minute Purging Tips challenge. Enjoy your life more by reducing the stuff cluttering your home and life. 

Find all my decluttering tips, printables and challenges in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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  1. Great idea about writing the dosage with a marker. I have an OTC headache medicine that I cannot read the dosage for. When I have a headache, I don’t want to search for my glasses. (I’ve even thought to myself sometimes that I don’t care if I take too much because I feel so bad.)

    1. Oh, searching for the glasses (that are never where I left them) is the last thing I want to do when I have a headache! Hope you don’t have to read that medicine label anytime soon!

  2. I’m a little frightened at what I am pretty sure I am going to discover in my medicine cabinet. I know I have some REALLY old medication that is probably years (literally) past the expiration date. Loving this series! It’s getting me to do things I should be doing but never prioritize.

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