As I opened our medicine cabinet (not really a “medicine cabinet” per se, more like a shelf in a cabinet in our kitchen) multiple times this week, a nearly empty box of Claritin would fall out. This scenario repeated itself about three times before my slow ass brain connected enough neurons to realize the medicine cabinet was stuffed with worthless shit and was ideal for a minimalism attack. Hellloooooo, week eight!
I read up a bit this week about minimalist medicine cabinets. Pulled up a lot of articles with people brushing their teeth with baking soda. Huh. Not for me. Plus, this isn’t like a bathroom medicine cabinet where I store my deodorant and butterscotch-flavored lube, it’s the place where we keep prescriptions, pain relievers, etc. And for some reason, four sets of fingernail clippers. (???)
I wanted a couple articles on the “must-haves” for a medicine cabinet/first aid station. I found Faith Janes’ Minimize Your Medicine Cabinet article at Minimalist at Home, and she had some great points. Mainly that you don’t need a cure on hand for every little thing. Pick some basics. It’s not like you can’t go to the drugstore if you wake up and need something specific. Additionally, the buying in bulk strategy may not be best when it comes to meds. If your family is going through a 1000-count bottle of ibuprofen in a year (hell, in THREE YEARS), you might have a problem. Keep it small to keep it simple and space efficient.
I also liked this article from LifeScript on the 10 items that you should have in your medicinal arsenal. I didn’t end up stocking everything on the list, but it was a handy reference list.
So here’s a before pic…
And here’s what I tossed:
1. A crapton of expired medicine.
2. Vitamins. Maybe I should take them, but I don’t. I just DON’T. I figure we use the juicer a couple times a month, so I’m good. Frozen yogurt is full of vitamins, anyways.
3. Boxes. I like using a lazy susan in the medicine cabinet and it works well for bottled meds. But cold medicine, Claritin, etc., comes in ginormous stupid boxes that tip over easily. So I tossed like items into small, stackable containers and threw out the giant half-empty boxes. I did make sure all the unboxed meds had instructions and expiry dates printed on the blister pack, though.
4. Fingernail clippers. They belong in the bathroom, not the kitchen. (I AM TALKING TO YOU, HUSBAND.)
And here’s the after pic:
Here’s my list of stuff I kept:
1. Cold remedies. This includes a bit of NyQuil/DayQuil, Zicam and a variety of Cold-Eeze lozenges. Note: if you don’t use Zicam and Cold-Eeze the minute you think you’re getting cold YOU SHOULD GO BUY SOME RIGHT NOW. That shit is the shit. The Zicam tastes like hippie ass (seriously), but it WORKS. I found the rapid melt tablets were the least offensive and least likely to cause retching. Worth it though.
2. Ouchie boo-boo fixers. I rounded up the four half-filled bandage boxes (clear, neon, Star Wars and Hello Kitty) and combined them with a tube of Neosporin in a bin. I figure if I need Neosporin, I probably will need a Band-Aid, too.
3. Basic pain relievers. Ibuprofren, Tylenol and a small thing of low-dose aspirin. One for muscle pain, one for headaches and one in case some old person is hanging out at my house and has a heart attack.
4. Baby shit. Baby Tylenol, baby Orajel (don’t judge, it works) and hippie dippie homeopathic teething tablets. (See? We like to mix our modern medicine with a bit of annoying ass “progressive” alternative therapies.)
5. Random prescriptions we’re currently taking. Pretty much I’m talking about the Codeine-esque stuff I got post-partum that I hoarded, thinking it would be really nice to take one with a glass of wine and watch Inglourious Basterds… you know, like when our baby slept. Haha! Turns out he didn’t sleep until he was about seven months old and now I’m too tired to get faded. I’m hanging onto them, though. They’re good for another year so maybe I can abuse them in the future. Fingers crossed!
6. Tummy tamers. Gas-X and Tums are my friend.
7. Miscellaneous pregnant lady supplements. Folic acid, iron, etc. Hopefully it’s not too long before I’m pregnant again so I’ll hang onto these for now.
8. Also I posted some emergency numbers and medicine dosage info inside the cabinet as well, just in case. Seems like an adult thing to do.
So much cleaner and easier to find what I’m looking for. Plus, there’s plenty of room for additional meds as we need them. Just have to be vigilant about tossing expired stuff – that seemed to be the worst offender. And for reals, go out and buy the Zicam. Every once in a while, the hippies get it right.