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  • Leah Cee

Decluttering - The Medicine Cabinet

If you are new to decluttering and find the whole concept of clearing out stuff incredibly daunting and overwhelming, the best thing to do is start small. It doesn't really matter where you start - just start.

One of the easiest places to start is the Medicine Cabinet. Or cupboard, or plastic tub, or shelf. Whatever receptacle you use to store first aid and medicinal products - start there. It's here that the chance of coming across something sentimental is low so procrastination is generally going to be less of a problem.

With organising any space, the first thing to do is gather all items that fit into this category, from all over the house - together. For decluttering and organising to work, we need to see what we're working with.

So, once you have scoped every room, cupboard and drawer for all of the pharmaceuticals, plop them on a table or bench and start the decluttering.

Any expired medicines or drugs should be discarded. Now there are arguments to suggest that some products will be totally fine to use 1-2 years after their expiry dates, but I'm not a chemist and don't have a science lab in my house, so I'd rather err on the side of caution and dispose of out-dated items. Expired medical products can become less effective or become higher risk once the chemical composition has changed over time. Some medications including insulin can degrade quickly and that has the potential to become dangerous.

You also run the risk of having bacterial contamination ruin your medical products if they've been opened for an extended period of time. No one wants to plop a few eye drops in your peepers to clear a bit of redness and end up with a full blown eye infection because those drops were opened two years ago!

Safe disposal of medicinal products is vital. The good news is there is a safe and easy way to discard unwanted medicines. The Return Unwanted Medicines Project or RUM Project, " ... is one of the first initiatives that provides consumers with a free and convenient way to dispose of expired and unwanted medicines. Anyone can return their household medicines to any community pharmacy anytime, for safe collection and disposal."

Click on this link for further information:


Once you've cleared the expired items, it's time to organise and store the remainder. If you've had your medicines in the bathroom, it might be a good idea to see if there's an alternate location in your home, away from the humidity, water and heat - just to preserve the longevity of the pharmacy items. Ideally, a cool dark place away from direct sunlight. A pantry or kitchen cupboard away from the stove or sink might be a better option.

Ensure the location is free from little fingers and up high enough to not pose a risk to children.

Small drawer units or clear plastic containers are ideal for storing medicines. If you've got a label maker and feel inclined, stick a label on each drawer and separate the categories of drugs for ease of use. If not, some clear sellotape and a Sharpie will do exactly the same job.

Now that all of your first aid and medicinal products are in the one spot, it will become easy to stocktake and replenish your supplies. You'll save time and money by no longer having to search high and low for the bandaids only to buy double and triple packets because you failed to locate the one you were looking for.

Of all the decluttering jobs in the house, this could be the quickest and easiest to begin with.

Good luck.

Enjoy the lightness of less!

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