How to Organize Medicine and Vitamins Without a Medicine Cabinet

A medicine cabinet in the bathroom is a common place to store medicine. But what if you don’t have a medicine cabinet? Despite the bathroom being a typical place to store and organize medicine and vitamins. It actually isn’t the best place.

Medicine should be stored in a dry, cool area in your home so that it doesn’t become ineffective. It should also be stored in a location that is difficult for children to get to. Using bins, drawers, and shelving units will allow you to keep your medicine and vitamins organized and easy to find.

For more information about the best places to store medicine and vitamins in your home, how to sort the containers and different ways to organize your medicine, keep reading below! 

What to Use Instead of a Medicine Cabinet in a Bathroom

Medicine cabinets are often located in the bathroom, where there is a lot of heat and moisture. This can break down the components of the medication and make it ineffective. So the bathroom in general is not a great place to store medication and vitamins.

If the bathroom doesn’t have a shower in it, storing medicine in that bathroom would be okay. Use clear bins with lids so that you can see what’s inside or a drawer with inserts.

If you still prefer to store medicine in a bathroom that has a shower in it, consider purchasing containers that close tightly to avoid moisture from the shower getting in, and are on the darker side. Like the storage bins below.

For all other areas of your home, open bins of different sizes, drawers with separators, and shelving units work best for storing medicine bottles.

use different bin sizes for organizing medicine and vitamins

Where is the best place to store medicine?

The best place to store medicine is going to be different for everybody. However, keeping the medicine close to where you are most likely to take it will speed things up in the morning (or whenever you take the medication).

This is particularly helpful when you have medicine that must be taken frequently and at specific times. You want to put it in a place where you will remember where it is and maybe even be able to see it, so that you will have that reminder to take your medication.

Wherever you choose to store your medication, it should be kept away from heat, dampness, and windows where sunlight could affect the temperature.

According to Very Well Health, most medicine should be stored in a “controlled room temperature” which is “about 77 degrees F, on average.”

You also don’t want medicine getting into the wrong hands, so if you have children, make sure the medicine is stored in an area that the children can’t easily get to.

How to Sort & Organize Medicine and Vitamins

Some suggestions on how you could sort your medication are as follows:

1. Sort based on how frequently you take the medication

Create separate bins based on the urgency of the medicine or vitamins.

Have one bin that contains everything that you take on a daily basis. Put that towards the front of the cabinet or drawer.

All other vitamins and medication can go in another bin.

2. Create a weekly medicine container

There are medicine containers that list the days of the week on the top of the lids and then little containers underneath.

These are great for sorting out all of the pills that you have to take that week.

3. Prescription vs Non-Prescription

You can sort based on whether it was prescribed by a doctor if it was available over-the-counter.

4. Sort by the type

You can also sort by type. Have separate containers for all heartburn products, another for pain medication, vitamins, cold medicine, etc.

5. Sort by the expiry date

If you put the medicine expiring first at the front, you will be sure to use up the oldest medicine first.

Make sure that while you are organizing your medicine and vitamins that you look at the expiry dates. Anything that is already expired should be taken to the pharmacy to dispose of properly.

6. Separate pills, liquids & powders

You can separate your medications and vitamins based on whether they are a pill, liquid or powder.

Cough medicine, children’s Tylenol, etc. often come in liquid form and should be in a smaller container where they will not be able to shift around and potentially spill.

Powders often come in larger containers, so should be stored in a larger bin or kept separately on a shelf.

Pills are typically in small containers and can fit in a long, narrow bin.

long, narrow bin for medicine and vitamins

If you have pills that came in a box, keep them in the box with the instructions and then store them in the bin with the bottles.

Additional sorting and organizing tips:

  • It’s best to keep everything in the original containers that they came in. If the size of the container is a problem, consider requesting that the doctor order the correct amount split into two smaller bottles.
  • If it is a non-prescribed product that you purchased from the store, those could be split into their own bottles of your choice. Just make sure to label them with what is inside and any specific instructions from the bottle.
  • If you prefer to move your prescribed medicine into different bottles, make sure to label the outside of the bottle with what is in the bottle and the expiry date, as well as any specific instructions. 
  • When sorting, don’t ever mix two medications together. Even if they are the same, the expiry date will more than likely be different, which means you could be taking ineffective medication.
  • It’s also best not to combine different medications. While you know what they are when you put them into the same bottle. You may forget later and take something or mix something that could make you very sick.

Great Locations to Store Medicine and Vitamins in Your Home

Once you have decided on how you are going to sort your medicine and vitamins, now you need to find the best place to store them in your home.

In the pantry in your kitchen

The pantry is a great place to store medicine and vitamins. This is because the kitchen is often where people get water in order to take their pills. So it’s quick to grab them, take the pills and then put them back in their organized space.

Put them on a lazy susan for quick access. The lazy susan that I used below can be purchased on Amazon.

lazy susan for storing medicine and vitamins

If you purchased bins to keep different types of medicine separate, label the bins so that you can quickly grab the bin with the pain medication for back pain or the children’s bin for when your child has the sniffles.

For general kitchen cabinet and drawer organizing tips, check out my kitchen organization post.

In a drawer in the kitchen

If you have a drawer in your kitchen, expandable drawer dividers are great for creating separate spaces within the drawer. The vitamin and medicine bottles can lay down on their sides in the drawer. Store them from the front to the back of the drawer. This will make it easy to see what is stored there.

Put the medicine and vitamins that you use every day at the front and the bottles not used as frequently at the back.

In an upper cabinet or shelf away from the oven

It is important to keep the medicine away from the stove/oven because the heat can cause the pills to become ineffective. So again, bins work really well for storing medication in cabinets. If you can’t easily see what is in the bin, make sure to label them so that you know exactly which bin to grab.

Consider your organizing style as well. Do you like to see everything or do you like everything hidden?

If you need to see your medication to remember to take it, a shelf with clear bins would work best for you.

For people who like to hide their vitamins and medicine, upper cabinets with taller bins will look neat and organized. You can still separate based on your sorting preferences.

In the linen closet

If you have a linen closet or a small closet near where you take your medicine and vitamins, this is another great location to organize your medicine and vitamins.

There are many different size bins that will fit the containers. A lazy susan would also work well on a shelf in the linen closet. It holds a decent number of medicine bottles and can spin to quickly locate what you are looking for.

In a safe

A safe is a great option if you have children because they won’t be able to access it. A safe is also a dry, dark place that will keep medicine in the best shape.

In Summary

Storing medication and vitamins properly is important for keeping them effective for their full expected shelf life.

Creating a space in your home that is both dry and cool and safe from little hands should be the top priority. Then you can begin determining what organization system will work best for you and your family.

I hope this post has helped you determine the best place in your home to store your medication and organize it in a way that saves you time each day.