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How to Organize Your Child’s Medical Supplies, From Parents

“Things are chaotic when you’ve got a special needs child and you’re trying to balance all the things in your life that are changing,” says Diana Johnson.

One thing you can control, though—all the special needs equipment and medical supplies required to provide home care for your technology-dependent child.

Diana’s daughter, Sarah, has Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, and has been a PHS patient since June 2006. “We started out with a small amount of supplies,” Diana recalled, “but as Sarah became more medically complex, we found there were more and more things we needed to find a place for. I knew I needed to be more organized but didn’t know how to make that happen.”

Help in creating supply storage solutions

Diana worked with a personal care assistant and PHS to create an organized and efficient storage system, utilizing one large, central closet as the main storage space for most of Sarah’s supplies. Diana knows where to find everything, and can easily access what she needs from neatly labeled, plastic, pull-out bins, drawers and shelves—especially important in an emergency situation. Plus, she always knows what she has on hand and when she needs to reorder an item.

Watch how Diana has Sarah’s medical supplies organized:

More medical supplies, more closets for storage

Tana Wall, a PHS patient with spina bifida and other illness, requires more supplies than Sarah so mom Jill Wall uses multiple closets for storage. The closet in Tana’s room holds the most often-needed supplies. “We try to hide most of the medical supplies in her room,” says Jill, “so it looks more like a kid’s room than a hospital room, but it’s still very efficient.” Another closet is organized with supplies not routinely used every day, while yet another, located next to the bathroom, holds medical supplies that require water.

A PHS respiratory therapist helped Jill set up a bedside stand for items needed for daily care, such as suction equipment, hand sanitizer, trach supplies, dressing supplies, topical meds, blood pressure machine and nebulizer machine.

“You don’t have to spend a lot of money to organize,” she adds. “For example, I use a lot of wipes so I clean the containers and use them to store other smaller supplies.”

See Jill’s organization system:

Can you add to the conversation about organizing homecare medical supplies? Share your best medical supply organization tip or ask your most burning organization question. We’d love to hear from you.

Originally published: October 4, 2010