Smart Ways to Store Medicines at Home

Here are two basic ideas on how to manage your home dispensary: keep meds out of reach and make it easier to remember when you need to take them.

Updated on August 15, 2017 16:08 pm

Vince Wong

how to store and keep medicine at home

For most of us, our homes are safe havens, and places of refuge from the outside world. This simple basic requirement becomes especially important when you are struck down by an illness, and staying home to recuperate means you are as comfortable as you can ever hope to be.

keeping vitamins, pills and medications in the refrigerator

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While you’re well, however, taking the time to sort out a proper storage space for your medications and supplements is always a good idea. This can prevent medications from falling into the wrong hands, and lower the risk of taking expired supplements.

Here are some tips to start you off:

Cold storage

Not all medications are required to be refrigerated. Specific storage instructions are often available on the medicine label and packages, so read them before granting them precious space in your ice box. And when allotting that space in the fridge, choose a top shelf to avoid the threat of contamination from regular food items.

storage cabinet for vitamins, pills and medicines

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Humidity

All medications and supplements that do not need refrigeration should be stored in a cool and dry place. Excess humidity can affect the efficacy of your medicines, so that means storing the medications in your toilet, above the sink, out of the question. Pick a cabinet or sideboard in the kitchen instead that’s a good distance away from dampness or running water.

Dark and cool

Sunlight and heat can also destroy the effectiveness of medications and supplements. A general rule to follow for picking the perfect place to for your storage cabinet is to ensure that the place meets the same criteria for wine storage–cool, dark, and easy-to-access.

However, do ensure that the cabinet is well-illuminated when you need access to your medications, to avoid dispensing errors.

storage area that is dark and cool to store pills and medicines

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Child safety

Because of their appearance, pills and tablets may fool impressionable children into thinking they are candy. Ensure that medicines and supplements are stored in out of reach places, and kept out of sight of children. Child-proof cabinet doors or latches can also reduce the risk of having the medicines accessed by mistake.

a well labeled tray storage to organise medicine

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Neat and tidy

You should attempt to keep medicines neatly organised. Cluttered medicine cabinets have been known to lead to confusion and taking of the wrong medicines, so clean out your medicine cabinet regularly, taking note of the expiry dates on each, and labelling each medicine clearly with the symptoms it is intended to treat.

You’ll want to place your first-aid kit within this medicine cabinet as well. Ideally, this kit should contain these essential items which help treat a host of common injuries:

  • Plastic plasters
  • Non-adherent dressing
  • Sterile gauze
  • Elastic bandage
  • Triangular bandage
  • Surgical tape
  • Tweezers
  • Dressing scissors
  • Sterile saline
  • Antiseptic cream

And with this kit, you’ll be set!

Dispensing with needs

There may come a time when you or a family member needs to take more than one medication on a regular basis. You’ll want to ensure that your daily schedule of doses are taken on a timely basis, and that you are taking the right amounts, but let’s face it, the vials, bottles and plastic bags of medications can be overwhelming.

pill boxes help to keep daily medications and vitamins organised for daily intake

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Use pillboxes to help streamline your doses and timings. Low-tech methods also work as well: jotting down instructions on a notepad or checking off medication dosages on a refrigerator calendar may help.

You might want to re-organise your medicine cabinet to help you remember the correct dosages and timings–or even create a separate cabinet just for those regular medicines. Cutlery organisers, while low-tech, can help you separate medications from supplements.

Lastly, keep a list of all the meds and supplements you are taking handy, so you can cross-check what you need on a daily basis, or even bring the list with you when you go on vacation.


What do you think of this article? Share your thoughts with us at hello@cromly.com.

Cover photo courtesy of www.pillthing.com

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