Many individuals take at least some form of prescription medication or supplement each day, and sometimes several a day. If you live in a household with many family members requiring daily medications and/or supplements, keeping medications, supplements and health supplies organized is important to ensure everyone has the prescriptions they need and can find what they need when they need it. Here are some tips to help keep your medications and health supplies organized.
- Designate one central area. This seems obvious, but how often do we have peroxide in a bathroom cabinet, band-aids in a drawer, and pain medication in the kitchen pantry. When an accident or injury occurs, requiring immediate attention, knowing that the basic essentials for first-aid are one place is the first step to remaining calm and managing the situation. Whether you choose a shelf in the kitchen pantry, a shelf in the hallway closet, or a cabinet in the bathroom, make sure that one area is designated for all medication, supplements and medical supplies so that everyone knows where to look when they need something.
- Sort by individual. If your teenage son takes prescription medication for acne, but also takes a multivitamin, put both in a small basket or bin, labeled “Sam (or Jack, or Wesley).” When everyone in the home has their own bin for their specific medications and supplements, it will make it easy to find, keeping everyone on routine, and also easy to identify when an Rx is running low and needs a refill.
- Sort by frequency. Supplements daily by everyone in the home can be put in a bin in the kitchen near the fruit basket, toaster or coffee maker. This makes sense because everyone needs to grab-n-go for breakfast, and the fruit basket and toaster are probably in use. If all the multi-vitamins or protein shake mix packets are nearby, everyone has quick access to what they need each morning as they prepare for their day. They’re less likely to forget to get those vitamins in them before they leave the house if everything is visually front-and-center to remind them.
- Sort by urgency. There is probably a first-aid kit in your home, but is it stocked? Go ahead and take some time to review if the essentials like alcohol swabs, epi-pen and gauze are in there, not expired, and ready to go. When someone shows up with a bee sting, a gouge in their leg from falling of the skateboard, or a cut finger from working on that science project, having everything you need in one place and ready to go will help keep everyone calm during a crisis.
- Sort by use. If you have family members who use essential oils at night to help them sleep, or are required to take a prescription medication early in the morning before eating, place those near the bedside for easy access before bed or first thing in the morning.
- Use daily schedules and pill boxes if needed. If several people need doses of different medications each day, use pill boxes. The benefit of pill boxes is that you can be assured all the medications are being taken regularly. Visually verifying that the necessary meds have been taken each day can help provide peace of mind, especially when several people in your household are on prescription medications.
Keeping medications and medical necessities organized and at the ready can help bring a feeling of preparedness and assurance that your household is safe, healthy and ready for the medical necessities of day-to-day life.