If your medicine cabinet is busting at its seams with diabetes supplies, it may be time for you to find a better organization method. Here are some practical tips on keeping your supplies at the ready without being overwhelmed by them.
1. Create a supply checklist
Use checklists as a tool to keep track of your diabetes supplies and medications. You can create master checklists for items you use every day, those you use during travel, and others that you use at work or when you’re on the go.
Keep a written checklist on a notepad in your kitchen, or use the notes section on your smartphone so you know which supplies are running low.
Set a reminder on your smartphone as a cue for you to update your checklists. This will help you closely monitor your supply inventory, while also avoiding duplicate purchases. Saving time and money, what could be better?
2. Sort your way to organization
Treat your diabetes supplies like a librarian treats books: Sort your supplies into categories and group “like with like.” This will allow you to find what you need quickly and reduce some of the daily stress associated with diabetes management.
For example, your meter, test strips, and lancets should be stored together. Keep fast-acting sources of carbohydrates, such as glucose tablets or hard candy, in another place so you can easily locate them in case of a low blood sugar episode.
3. Think vertically
If you have deep shelves or limited counter or cabinet space, think vertically. Drawer organizers that stack on top of each other on a shelf are the perfect way to maximize your storage. The drawers pull out, so there’s no need to unstack containers to get to the ones on the bottom.
Alcohol wipes, lancets, and extra batteries should be kept together and fit nicely into these types of units. You may need to store extra meters or bulkier supplies in larger containers.
4. Go behind closed doors
For an inexpensive and flexible option, you can hang a clear plastic shoe bag on the inside of your pantry door. This is an excellent tool for corralling your meter and other supplies for checking blood sugar levels. It’s a natural storage solution for preportioned snacks too!
This method keeps critical items at your fingertips — no more “out of sight, out of mind.” If you’re really tight on space, bring your walls into play. Hang a pegboard or no-fuss shelving on an empty wall in your kitchen, laundry room, or family room.
5. Remember that clear is king
One of the real keys of being — and staying — organized is knowing what you already have. Clear plastic containers can help you see exactly what’s inside. If you don’t have room for the plastic containers, use large plastic storage baggies. Make sure to purchase ones that have a strong closing mechanism. A sealed-tight closure is important to prevent air from coming in and contents from spilling out. These bags also work well in your refrigerator.
Another great tip is to eliminate unnecessary packaging upon receipt of supplies. Medical supplies come in bulky bags or containers. This packaging is necessary to keep supplies sterile, but it takes up space once it’s in your home. Feel free to get rid of it and store your supplies in smaller containers.
6. Dig drawer dividers
Drawer dividers are a great solution for partitioning drawers in order to organize your diabetes supplies. For example, you can use dividers to separate your fast-acting sources of carbohydrate from your blood sugar testing supplies and extra batteries. You can purchase these dividers at most stores that sell housewares.
7. Label, label, and label
Have you ever pulled something out of your diabetes supply closet only to wonder when you actually bought it and why? If so, consider investing in a label maker or use masking tape and a marker to clearly label all containers. This will act as a visual check of what’s inside so you can find specific items that you need easily, and you can put them back where they belong. No more lost or forgotten items! And if you include expiration dates, you’ll know when supplies need to be used or replaced.