Creating the Minimalist Medicine Cabinet

by andrewodom on April 19, 2011


After we are asked “are you a minimalist” it is usually followed with “what is a minimalist” which then turns into “so why don’t you like stuff?” So to answer….

No, we are not minimalists. We are nothing. We are not a label and, quite frankly, don’t care to be. It is not that we have commitment phobia but rather that we don’t really fall into the classic definition of minimalist. Minimalists are those who practice voluntary simplicity for emotional and personal reasons. And we actually like stuff quite a bit. In fact, we love stuff. We just don’t particularly like most stuff enough to bring them into our home and our lives. But perhaps these questions are best answered with visual proof. The quickest way to understanding a pseudo-minimalist, conspicuous ill-consumer, is to observe said species in its own habitat. So, come one in. Let’s start with the bathroom shall we? In fact, let’s really dig deep and take a look inside our medicine cabinet.

Often the last space to succumb to minimalist tendencies the medicine cabinet is usually the “do as I say do, not as I do” spot of the home. It houses an obscene amount of Q-tips, rash ointment that expired nearly three years ago, Tylenol, Aleve, Aspirin, and the like, eye drops, and a number of other necessities.

In “The Bungalow” (which is our current abode while Tiny House is still being built) we do not have a medicine cabinet. In fact, we have only two shelves located above the toilet and, truth be told, one of them is occupied by toilet paper my mother gifted us after her last pilgrimage to CostCo. So what then is on the other shelf? Typically we have:

  • 2 – sticks of deoderant (Tom’s Lavender for me and Dove for her)
  • 2 – Battery operated toothbrushes
  • 1 – Tube of Sensodyne toothpaste
  • 1 – Pair of Tweezers
  • 1 – Small Bert’s Bees makeup case
  • 1 – Jar of face moisturizer
  • 1 – Tube of Aveeno shaving cream
  • 1 – Gillette razor (which I use only when asked by Crystal)
  • 1 – Small bottle of Aleve
  • 1 – Stick of Poison Ivy ointment

And that is it. No excessive make-up. No creams and moisturizers. No multiple containers of hair product. We have only what we use and only what we need. So how can you achieve a minimalist medicine cabinet? Perhaps these steps will give you an edge in your washroom decluttering.

How-To Minimize Your Medicine Cabinet:

  1. Ban yourself – Make it a personal practice to put a temporary ban on yourself from buying or bringing home any new products until your old ones are used up or expired. 
  2. One is NOT the loneliest number – One tube of toothpaste. One razor. One bar of soap. Find a good, solid product that works for you (and your family) and buy only that product. Use it until it is empty and then replace it.
  3. Prioritize, then Organize – Whenever you find yourself with too much of anything, it comes down to making choices. First, prioritize and pick out the items you use the most. It’s alright to keep some medicines that aren’t used as frequently but don’t go overboard.
  4. Consolidate Packaging – There is no reason for two half-empty bottle os Robitussin. If they are the same flavor and are basically the same age, combine them and discard of the newly empty bottle. It’s easy to lose track of what we have if things aren’t organized very well or if it’s something that gets used a lot. 
  5. Throw out expired and nearly empty medicines – Check those expiration dates! Not everything needs to be thrown out immediately, but get rid of bottles that have been sitting in the back of your medicine cabinet for a long time. No one should ingest a liquid capsule that has liquified, solidified, and then liquified again.

BONUS TIP: Minimize the danger – Don’t allow your kid to become a statistic. It is so easy for children to overdose on prescription medicines or even some toxins they may get their hands on. Keep 90% of the medicine cabinet items out of the way of children.

So what is in your medicine cabinet? Does it need to be decluttered or are you happy with everything you have? Tell us how you declutter those not so evident places in your home! And as always, if you like this post please share it with your friends and family on Facebook or Tweet it out!

 

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