... In 500 Words and Less Than an Hour

If you’re a fan like I am of the classic sitcom “Seinfeld,” you might remember the episode where Jerry, the main character, got himself in trouble after snooping through his girlfriend’s medicine cabinet. In typical “Seinfeld” fashion, a hilarious chain of events transpired following Jerry’s little indiscretion.

Setting humor aside, watching this episode recently also made me think about the sorry state of my medicine cabinet. (Perhaps being in the bath products business makes your mind wander like this.) I quickly realized that while many bath projects seem overwhelming, organizing a medicine cabinet is actually a small effort/big reward task. So if you have a medicine cabinet that’s overflowing with dated prescriptions, hard-to-identify personal care products and who knows what else, try the four-step med cab makeover that I did:

1. Get rid of old medicine: There are plenty of health-related reasons to trash outdated medications. They also just clutter your cabinet. Check if your municipality or local pharmacy has a “bring in old medicine” program. Some do and will help you dispose of meds properly. If that’s too much effort or not available where you live, most experts recommend the next best thing is to securely wrap your expired meds and dispose of them in the trash.

2. Get dollar store containers: Make a trip to the dollar store for small plastic storage baskets and containers. Measure your medicine cabinet first to make sure what you buy will fit. These inexpensive containers are the key to your de-cluttering success. Gather like-sized/types of products in these containers. (Get inspired and see an example here.)

3. Get a new first aid kit: Use this as an opportunity to clear out assorted loose bandages, creams and the like. Buy a small first aid kit with all the essentials. Many inexpensive kits have their own carrying case. You’ll have the dual benefit of being stocked up with new first aid items while also having everything stored in one neat container.

4. Get magnets. Yes, magnets. Your local hardware store has all kinds of magnetic hooks and strips. Why magnets? It’s simple. After doing the above three steps, much of what’s left that still belongs in your medicine cabinet is probably small metal accessory products and gadgets. If your medicine cabinet door is made of a metal that a magnet sticks to, then you instantly have a place for hooks and holders. Otherwise, buy some inexpensive magnet strips. (They typically have peel-off adhesive backing.) Attach to the inside of your med cab door, and you have hanging storage for tweezers, scissors and other small metal bath items. Here's an example.

Not counting a trip to the store, the above took me just less than an hour (including emptying and cleaning the cabinet to start). That’s the equivalent of trading an hour spent mindlessly watching two sitcoms in exchange for having a newly organized and neat medicine cabinet. And that seems like a pretty fair tradeoff to me.