Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rx Organization

You probably know that it’s easier to be frugal if you’re organized. It saves you time and you never have to buy duplicates (unless it’s a really really good deal!)

Here’s another frugal organization tip – it’s easy for the whole family to keep organized and easy for the CEO (that’s the mom in most cases) to know when it’s time to go shopping.
We have an old dresser that we keep frequently used items in. In past homes, the drawers have been used to store office supplies, prescription medication, baking supplies, craft supplies, sewing notions, frequently used tools, and grilling supplies/tongs/skewers. In our current home, one drawer is for prescription medications. Due to Frank’s interesting year, our family has a large variety of these at the moment. Right now the dresser is in the kitchen, and houses the coffee station on top. (And apparently some vitamins that don’t fit in the medication drawer…)

Here is our medicine drawer. Yes, it’s full. And so anal retentively organized that any one of us can find exactly what we’re looking for in an instant.
First, look at the lids of each bottle. When we get a new bottle home from the pharmacy, we write the first few letters of the medicine on the lid. There is always a black Sharpie in the drawer to make this a quick task. One bottle is even marked with a specific time, since that’s an important detail for that med.

Do you see the little boxes in the drawer? Frank has his current pills in one box, medicines that are currently on hold in another box, ones that need to be cut in a third box (with the pill cutter,) vitamins in a box, and my pills in my own box.
The boxes are the ends of empty cereal boxes. I just cut them down with a paring knife and scissors, then covered them in turquoise duct tape. I could have just left them the way they were, but they look nicer and more streamlined with the tape. Maybe I’m a dork; I’m just happier when it’s pretty. These two boxes are Frank’s, and they’re taped together. He knows which pills are on each side of the box divider.

Yes, there is a bottle with "Oxy Wow" written on the lid. I'm sure you can figure out which painkiller that one is. That's what we call it - because you take one and Wow.

You may be lucky to not have so many medications to manage, but this could come in handy if you take vitamins and supplements, if you have a lot of spices, or you need to organize your packets of taco seasoning and Lipton onion soup.

In our case, with all the medicines, each bottle has a home, and they’re all put away after the daily dose. When one bottle is getting close to needing a refill, the bottle is left out on the dresser. That’s the only time it’s not put away. When I see one sitting out, I call it in to the pharmacy. The bottle stays out until we pick up its replacement. Then the new lid is marked with the name and it’s put away. That’s just our easy way of managing all the meds without having to talk about it and risk missing a dose due to poor communication or a missing pill bottle.

Oh – with all the pill bottles we’re tossing into the recycling bin, I asked our pharmacist what we should do to protect ourselves against id theft. She said to peel off just the part of the label with our name and the prescription #. If the med is a narcotic or something with a street value, peel the medicine name off as well. Those parts of the label go in the trash and the bottle goes to recycling. 

Do you have a super-abundance of pills or spices or something else that you have all magnificently organized? Do tell.