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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.).
Originally published: August 5, 2016
Showing 12 comments
  • Heather Haigh
    Reply to Heather HaighComment ID#: 466

    Clear tri bins are key!!!! Also the separated clear bins in the fridge and pantry and multip separated cups and bowls work great for syringes drawn up for a week or two to assist.

  • Rita Saumweber
    Reply to Rita SaumweberComment ID#: 467

    A rolling cart with drawers, labeled, works great. It can be moved to bedside when needed and then tucked away when not needed. Also drawer divider bins in various sizes are great to store like items in a drawer.

  • Andrea Hejl
    Reply to Andrea HejlComment ID#: 468

    We keep all of our daughters supplies in a diaper caddy on the dresser for easy access for items used daily. In addition, we have all of her other equipment and supplies in her bedroom closet. We change certain supplies on specific days/times during the day/week (i.e. feeding extension tube is replaced every Sunday night and a new feeding bag is changed daily before bedtime). Also, we have a small white board in our kitchen to keep notes for the day/week as related to her feeding tube. It helps our family and her care team stay organized and all on the same page. 🙂

  • Gaby
    Reply to GabyComment ID#: 469

    We are using several rolling carts from Ikea, both upstairs and downstairs to keep everyday items handy (diapers, wipes, creams, gauze, etc.).

  • Kathy Knoploh
    Reply to Kathy KnoplohComment ID#: 470

    An over the door shoe bag (with open top pockets) is great for sorting many small items. Everything from smaller medical supplies to socks.

  • Kari Olavson
    Reply to Kari OlavsonComment ID#: 472

    We use a makeup organizer for small things at the bed side, i.e. Pink tape, thermometer, lube packets, saline bullets etc. It was our nurse’s idea and it’s brilliant. Certain things, like bottles of sterile water, are easier left in the box so we cut the top off for easy access and store it on a closet shelf.

  • Medical Supplies
    Reply to Medical SuppliesComment ID#: 544

    When you are in need of such kind of Medical Equipment, always have such vendors who will provide the best one.As you are going to invest a big amount and if you don’t get the good product then your money will be wasted. So always have those medical supplies from recommended distributors or suppliers.

  • Max Jones
    Reply to Max JonesComment ID#: 722

    I like how you talked about having an organized approach to medical supplies in the home can keep your space of relaxation. I’ve got a sister who has diabetes, and I think that my mom has done a really good job managing her medical supplies. I think the biggest thing to do when it comes to being organized is trying different approaches and seeing what works the best for you. Thanks for the suggestions though! We’re going to have to give these a shot with our medical supplies.

  • Mr. Dhawan
    Reply to Mr. DhawanComment ID#: 1476

    Nice to read your blog its very informative and very important to medical devices supply at home and storage.

  • denex
    Reply to denexComment ID#: 45991

    nice blog and very easy to understand your blog

  • Taylor Hansen
    Reply to Taylor HansenComment ID#: 59887

    I appreciate the advice about labeling drawers with their contents. My brother needs to get more medical equipment for his hospice. He should look for a supplier that has what he’s looking for.

  • Claire Masters
    Reply to Claire MastersComment ID#: 80773

    It was really helpful that you mentioned taking inventories of your medical supply every month to know how much you would need to order. I also like that you mentioned making additional storage for the inventories so you can store more items. I think these tips would be really helpful for medical facilities that constantly order medical supplies.

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