5 simple steps to sort out your medicine cabinet

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Is your medicine cabinet a graveyard of expired gout tablets and empty bandaid packets? You're not alone. Most of us only consider it when we're sick and needing something: the perfect recipe for frustration.

Before winter hits, do yourself a favour and declutter this often neglected area - you'll be glad you did.

Step 1
The first step of any organisation process is to take everything out of the space. Completely empty the shelves. As you pull bottles off the shelf, take note of the expiration date and set any expired medicines aside. (Don't throw it in the bin - in Australia, any local pharmacy will take expired medication to dispose of it properly.)

Step 2
Give your shelves a quick clean and then get some plastic baskets that fit your shelves (available at most $2 shops, Kmart or Big W). All your items will now go in these.

A handy tip is to choose clear, short-sided ones so you can easily see what's inside if your cabinet is up high.

Step 3
Now it's time to sort your medications by category. Some categories may include:

Children's medication - this can be particularly handy with sick children in the middle of the night, to ensure you're grabbing the age-appropriate medication.
First aid
Cold/ Flu
Pain meds
Miscellaneous - thermometers, syringes, measuring cups
Label your containers to make them easy to grab, and stack your items in.

Step 4
Now you can see what you're missing, it's time to stock up!

Replenish your Children's Panadol or Nurofen, first aid supplies, allergy, heartburn and gastro remedies. Make sure you have heat rub and Epsom Salts aching muscles, saline spray, throat lozenges and Eucalyptus Inhalant for coughs & colds (you'll be thankful when those sniffles start). See your doctor for new scripts for any expired medications.  Always read the label and follow the directions for use.

Step 5
Place your containers back in the cupboard. Handy tip: put the most used items within easiest reach and at eye level. You can put rarely used ones up high or at the back where you'd have to make more effort to grab them. And enjoy feeling prepared for anything!