Reorganizing Your Medicine Cabinet

Don't let your medicine cabinet become a vertical junk drawer. Use these tips to keep your important personal items in order.

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When it comes to organization, medicine cabinets are closets in miniature. And if you're like most busy folks, you keep your closet door shut in hopes that no guest ever opens it to find the vacuum hose or a tangle of dirty clothes spilling out. Of course, medicine cabinets are in a highly trafficked room, so keeping them shut tight isn't always a surefire way to hide that clutter of cough syrups, tweezers, aspirin and rusty nail files. After all, it is just the place a guest might go for a Band-Aid or a cotton swab or — let's be honest — to just have a snoop around.

So how do you find a place for everything and keep everything in its place in a medicine cabinet? Well, follow the same advice closet organizers have been selling for years: Get rid of anything you're not using. "Most of us are pack rats," says designer Lori Carroll of Lori Carroll and Associates in Tucson. "Go through the medicine cabinet every six months and throw out stuff you don't use." That means discarding tubes of used-up lipstick, rusty nail files and empty Band-Aid boxes.

It also means purging your medicine cabinet of drugs and other products whose expiration dates have passed. Medicines can spoil beyond the date on the bottle. One of the best ways to dispose of drugs is to flush them down the toilet. That way, children and pets won't be able to get a hold of them.

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