6 steps to organized medical supply storage at home
When you are bringing a child with medical complexities home, it can be overwhelming to realize how many varieties and quantities of supplies will need to fit in your home that weren’t there before.
But with the right organization, your home can still be a space of relaxation while also ensuring the supplies you need are readily available. Organized storage will also help make re-ordering supplies easier as you can quickly determine what you have, and how much of it you have – making you more likely to be a good steward of health care dollars by ordering only what you need based on your current inventory.
We’ve collected a few tips and tricks that our clinicians and families have picked up over the years, and are putting them together just for you to help make organizing supplies a breeze. We’re also giving one lucky reader all of the storage containers pictured below for use in their own house. Just leave a comment in the blog with a storage tip that works well for you. Winner will be drawn on August 15! (CONTEST NOW CLOSED)
How to efficiently organize medical supplies at home
Take inventory of what types and quantities of supplies you have
- By evaluating the supplies in your home, you can determine what categorization might make the most sense when storing various items. It’s also helpful to consider which items are bulkier and will need to be stored in larger containers, or which items are small and could share space with another item. Once you have categories in mind, estimate what size container to get for each grouping.
Sort your supplies into their bins
- When you first are figuring out what works best for you or your child, be flexible until you find the setup that makes sense. It may be easiest to categorize by body system (respiratory supplies, infusion supplies, etc.) and have multiple items in one drawer, or sort according to how your supply sheet is grouped. It may also work best for you to have each supply separated.
Label each of the drawers or containers according to contents
- There is no ‘one size fits all’ for what works best in organizing medical supplies – it varies greatly person to person. Consider first labeling with a Post-It note when you’re first organizing so you can easily make changes to a supply’s location as you go. Once you’ve found your best system, make labels more permanent for long-term organization.
Consider additional locations where containers could be stored
- Have space under a bed, or high shelving that could store less-used supplies? Those are great places to place containers without taking up valuable living space. Also consider locations on the floor or on sturdy shelving for heavy items (such as sterile water) that may break or damage some plastic shelving.
- Keep supplies readily available throughout the home while also blending into the decor by using containers such as these fabric boxes – they can slide into shelving and be pulled out quickly at any time, without putting supplies on display.
Use a shower caddy or container with a handle to transport
- If you are frequently carrying supplies from room to room around your house or need to move a number of items to another space, a shower caddy is a great way to hold of these items in one place for easy moving.
Take monthly inventory of your supply stock
- With an organized supply system, you will be able to efficiently and accurately order the supplies you need each month. Go down your supply list, find the item in its storage container, and count how many you have left to determine how many you need to order (also considering any you have in an emergency bag, etc.).