All right, guys. I’m launching an organizing series! As someone who spent the last few years working hard to pare down our family’s possessions in the hope of a calmer and more fulfilling life, I’ve finally moved on to the medicine cabinet crate and barrel where I get to make our space work for us. I’m really excited about it.
Am I a little crazy? Yes. Did I set out on this journey during an uncertain time when I probably just wanted to feel a sense of control? Yes. Do I have a tendency to label things that probably don’t need to be labeled? Ohhhh, yes.
But a less-is-more, organized life is really working for us. Every object now has a home, and because of this, we’re aware of what we have and therefore can make intentional choices about what additional things we welcome through the door. We spend way less time cleaning, tidying and feeling overwhelmed—and way more time focusing on what truly matters to us. Freedom!
How I tackled my disorganized medicine cabinet
1. Take everything else out + consolidate, repurpose, donate or trash
The next day, I emptied the rest of the medicine cabinet crate and barrel—and the contents of my vanity drawers—and held each product in Konmari-style. Was it expired? Did it work? Did I like it? When was the last time I used it?
There were several products that made the cut even though they didn’t get daily use: things like a weekly exfoliator, hair treatments, ibuprofen, allergy medications, moisturizing creams (#chicagolife) and duplicates/refills. And then, predictably, there were the products that didn’t make the cut: those that were expired, didn’t work, I didn’t like, or I just didn’t find myself using.
2. Sanitize + put products back in place medicine cabinet crate
Next I went to town with disinfecting. 😉 I took the shelves out and gave everything a nice wipe-down, and was soon ready to start fresh! I placed products I was keeping—including a few duplicates—back in the cabinet, and then set out to give the space a more cohesive look.
3. Determine a style
My next stop was Pinterest. It was a little difficult to find what I was looking for since I wasn’t shopping for medicine cabinets; I just wanted inspiring interior photos. But eventually I landed on a few, and realized that the photos all had a few things in common:
- Products were in uniform or similar-looking containers. (In particular, amber jars and bottles. Lots of Aesop.)
- There was a black-and-white theme.
- The medicine cabinets embraced white space and minimalism; they weren’t overstuffed.
- They didn’t contain duplicates.
4. Make/buy labels and expiration date/dosing stickers medicine cabinet crate
In my opinion, this was the fun part. 😉 There’s something so satisfying about labeling products and seeing the final result. I found a few options here:
- Buy Amazon labels in bulk, knowing that you might be missing a few. These are great but need to be trimmed down for smaller containers. These expiration date/dosing stickers can go on the back of the containers or underneath.
- Buy personalized labels on Etsy, knowing that you will likely spend more. These are my favorite if you only have a few things to label! The quality is off the charts (the material is almost soft?!) and the look is gorgeous. They’re pricey, though. If you need more, I recommend these, which I’ve also used. They’re very nice!
- Make your own labels and stickers, knowing that you’ll likely need to buy some materials. Some people use their normal printers. Others use actual label-makers. If you become a lunatic like me and realize that you’re spending too much on labels, I might consider the Cricut, of course, or the Canon Ivy, which is a photo printer but also works for label-making.