Friday, June 9, 2023


Give your RV’s medicine cabinet a makeover with these easy tips

I never think to do it. I’m talking about organizing our RV medicine cabinet. In my defense, I’m usually tired when I open that cabinet door. It’s either very early in the morning and I’m still trying to shake off my sleep stupor, or it’s late at night and I don’t feel like tackling a medicine cabinet cleaning project when my bed is beckoning. Reasons, er, excuses aside, I finally decided to tackle the job.

Here’s what I did to clean my RV’s medicine cabinet:

I began by removing everything from the medicine cabinet. Then I inspected each box, bottle, and jar of medications, checking for expiration dates. I was surprised to find that many of our over-the-counter items had expired. (Even our sunscreen!) I got rid of the expired things by following the FDA’s recommendations. You can find this important and useful information here.

Once the expired items were gone, I sorted everything that was left, placing similar-use items together. For example, all of the beauty products in one group, grooming tools in another, and first aid in yet another. You get the idea. Then came the hard part. For each beauty product, I asked myself: When did I last use this? If I couldn’t remember, or if it was more than a year ago, I tossed it into a zipper-type bag or the trash. Items inside the zipper bag will be donated, if possible, or simply stored in our sticks-and-bricks home.

I cleaned the inside of the medicine cabinet using a spray bottle filled with a 1:1 solution of water and white vinegar. As I wiped out the cabinet, Hubby looked through the sorted items following the same procedure I’d used. If he hadn’t used a product in a year, or no longer wanted it, out it went.

Consolidate like items

The next step was finding ways to consolidate like items as much as possible. For example, we had many different boxes of Band-Aids. Although the plastic bandage strips were of various sizes, I was able to fit them all into a single box. The empty boxes went into the trash.

As I continued to pare down the number of items from my medicine cabinet, I put duplicated products in a bag to be taken out of our RV. We don’t need two bottles of ibuprofen, after all. I planned to store any extras at home.

Next up? A trip to the store. I wanted to find clear plastic containers to hold the medicine cabinet’s remaining items. Before going out to look for some, I had measured our cabinet’s dimensions, so I made sure to take those measurements along. I found just what I wanted at our local Dollar Tree store. (If you can’t make it to the store, there are plenty of options available on Amazon.) We can easily see what’s inside each container and the plastic will hold up to any bumpy roads we encounter on our travels. My cabinet is so much better now, but I’m still considering improving it even more.

Additional ideas:

  • Line the inside of the medicine cabinet door with dry-erase adhesive sheets. I think it’d be fun to write messages inside the door for Hubby to find. It would also be a handy place to note items that need replenishing. Using chalk paint would mean chalk dust inside the cabinet. No thank you.
  • I’d also like to install a magnetic strip on the inside of the cabinet door. The magnetic strip would hold our tweezers, nail file and clippers, and small scissors in place, freeing up even more space inside the cabinet.
  • Stick-on pods like these can also be applied to the inside of the cabinet door and/or along the sides of the cabinet itself. These small holders will help to contain toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and more.

If you’ve discovered products or have additional ideas for organizing an RV’s medicine cabinet, please share them in the comments!


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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1 year ago

Hoping you meant that you threw the boxes in recycling and not the trash.

1 year ago
Reply to  Marty

Yes, I did! Have a great day!

Eileen Brown
1 year ago

Oh, how I wish there was a way I could include a photo! When we were still part timing, I used a seven day pill box to our over-the-counter medications. Each day’s compartment was labeled with the name of the drug (i.e. Tylenol), then the back and underside yielded more surface area…those were labeled with dose or strength (i.e. 200 mg, 2×4 hrs), and the expiration date.

Now we are full-time, so I carry full-size bottles. But on a recent trip to the UK, that pillbox came back out and it was very handy!

Skip Nielsen
1 year ago

I like your ideas for further organization.
Thank you.

1 year ago

Before and after pictures are always great.

Bob p
1 year ago

My oldest son worked in a hospital pharmacy and said otc medicine doesn’t go bad and need to be thrown away. It loses some of its strength and may need a bit more i.e. if it says take two you may have to take three tablets depending on how out of date it is. It is a waste of money and it doesn’t do the landfill or sewer system any good to dump it.

1 year ago
Reply to  Bob p


Thanks, I try to tell my daughters and wife but they won’t listen. So, I just put up with the “always new” stuff. At least it’s a happy household.

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