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Tips on organizing the medicine cabinet in your home

When you think of clearing clutter does a closet, drawer or room come to mind? How about getting rid of the clutter in your medicine cabinet? This could be as important as getting rid of clutter in other parts of the home; it could actually be a health issue.

The bathroom is not the best place to store medicine because high humidity can affect the potency of certain drugs.

(Besides who wants to take a pill using 'bathroom' water? I know the water comes from the same pipes, but drinking bathroom water makes me cringe). Medicines are to be stored in a cool/dry place. Separate medicines from first aid supplies and vitamins. A bin, basket or other adequate container works well to store medicines in. To begin; round up all medicines from every place in the home. (Bathrooms, kitchen, closets, bedrooms) Separate medicines into like categories. Pain relief, antiseptics, cold and flu, fever reducer, ointments, antacids and all other over the counter medicines you have. Within the medicine bin smaller containers work well to keep like meds together. Or small containers can be labeled and kept next to the larger container.

Vitamins can be in a smaller container within the larger one or next to it. First aid supplies can also be in a bin and kept near the medicine bin. For prescription medicines place bottles in separate zip lock bags with the person's name and Rx printed on the outside. This is especially helpful in the middle of the night when looking for a specific medicine for a family member. ALWAYS check the expiration dates. Medicines can become toxic or lose their effectiveness past the expiration date. Check expiration dates twice a year.

A good time to remember to do this is when changing to and from daylight saving time. (And smoke detector batteries are being checked then too). By organizing and checking the medicines in your home you can be prepared by having items you think your family will need before illness or other problems strikes. Some suggested items to have in your medicine storage: Analgesic (relieves pain) Antacid Antibiotic ointment (with or without pain relief) Antihistamine (bug bites, bee stings) Antiseptic (helps stop infection) Calibrated measuring spoon Decongestant Disinfectant Thermometer Fever reducer (adult and child) Do not give aspirin to children because it has been linked to Reye's syndrome. Check with your doctor for a suitable substitute for reducing a child's fever.

Hydrocortisone (relieves itching and inflammation) Syrup of ipecac (induces vomiting). Give syrup of ipecac only after talking with your doctor or a Poison Control Center expert at 1-800-222-1222.

Marilyn is a creative organizer who has been organizing for over 20 years. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers.She holds a bachelors degree in Social Work. She has reared five daughters and currently lives in Utah. Go to her website http://www.marilynbohn.com where you can find free organizing tips and interesting blogs and helpful articles on organizing.

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