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Where Bloggers Live: Medicine Cabinet Upgrade

Welcome back to the monthly edition of Where Bloggers Live! I am lucky to have joined a terrific group of bloggers who give a peek into the places and spaces where they spend their time.

Where Bloggers Live

Today's topic is Medicine Cabinet...which gave me pause for a moment because of course I've heard of medicine cabinets, but I have never used one! The house I grew up in didn't have one in the main bathroom. My parents' half bath did have one over their sink, but I never had reason to go into it. I think a couple of my early apartments had them, but I just wasn't in the habit of putting things in there. They are kind of strange things, aren't they? It's a mirror that you can open to reveal extremely shallow shelves for storing items in an awkward way until they fall out and, if you're lucky, land in the sink...or if you're not lucky, land in the trash can. I find putting my stuff in a drawer (or, let's be clear here, leaving it out on the countertop) much easier, but I guess medicine cabinets are useful when you don't have enough space for drawers and counters.

But abstracting away from the specificities of that particular type of medicine cabinet, I do have medicine and all manner of personal items used in a bathroom, and I do need places to store it. You will probably not be surprised that in my current apartment, decorated in the College Living 2.0 aesthetic, the haphazardness of my storage solutions is not limited to the true tower of victuals that is my kitchen "pantry." My bathroom is actually one of my more organized areas! Unfortunately, I also seem to have an absolute ton of stuff to keep in there, so it's a battle.

Shortly after we moved to St. Paul, we purchased some storage bins for my bathroom in 3 different colors. (My husband has his own bathroom. It's great.) Oddly, two of these bins are still in terrific shape, but the oatmeal colored one that stores the first aid has not stood the test of time. In desperation, I got my husband to duct tape it together (which definitely moved the décor closer to the Grandpa's Garage aesthetic), but even the duct tape was unable to hold it together. It's been like this for something like 6 months to a year. Maybe longer. Probably longer. It's really time for an upgrade, right?

Old first aid storage bin

When I took the bin off the shelf and emptied it on Wednesday, it completely lost all structural integrity. Poor storage bin. It's just done.

Collapsed first aid storage bin

A couple weeks ago, I had asked my husband to order a replacement bin and he bought this handsome fellow on Amazon.

New first aid storage bin

When packing the supplies into the new bin, I discovered that we have a LOT of band-aids...or more accurately, a lot of band-aid boxes. Several of which held 1-3 band-aids. A few of them are pretty beat up. And some of them probably date back to last century. I was able to consolidate the band-aids and eliminate about 3 boxes.

Too many boxes of band-aids

Now check out this beauty! It's a metal band-aid tin with a date of 1983 on the back. A metal tin? Apparently they came in metal tins from 1926 through the 1990s (this page has some cool photos of tins from various eras; I love the 1960s one). My husband took this one from his childhood home when he went to college and has stored band-aids in it ever since. It's always been our place to store those few random band-aids left in the box, and it's now completely full. We're gonna have to injure ourselves before we have room for more, I'm just sayin'.

Metal band-aid box circa 1983

With the supplies nicely arranged in the bin, it went back on the shelf and voila! An upgraded "medicine cabinet" (first aid bin).

Upgraded medicine cabinet (first aid bin)

Now please take a moment and prepare yourself for what is to come. The reveal of the entire bathroom shelving unit. Deep breaths. Here we go...

Why yes, it is exactly the same type of shelving that serves as my kitchen pantry! And while it's absolutely more stable than the Grocery Jenga game that is the pantry, it's still rather chaotic. But surely I get some kind of style points with the snake bin and the rabbit bin (yes, no doubt nudging me closer to the Endless Childhood aesthetic). Oh good grief, I just realized that my bathroom shelving has a random scarf on it, too! (It's a white one, at the top next to the rabbit bin.) I swear, at this point, my apartment is just manifesting scarves as a joke. Because really, my scarves are the most organized part of my whole apartment! Note that in life, this is not a leaning tower, but I had to get down on the floor and contort myself to get the whole wondrous edifice in the photo, and straight and true just wasn't happening. This angle better captures the sense of impending doom anyway.

Bathroom shelving storage

You may have heard rumors that I'm rabbit-crazy, and those rumors have almost assuredly understated the severity of my obsession. You know how some people decorate with bunnies for Easter? And then they...this is hard for me to understand, but shortly thereafter they...I mean...they put the bunnies away? So you can't see the bunnies anymore? I don't...but why...well, OK. Anyway, it's like that but Easter 24/7/365 chez moi. This is the shower curtain and bath mat in my bathroom (birthday gifts from my mom). Totally adorable, right? I love it.

Rabbit shower curtain and rabbit bath mat

With the success of the medicine cabinet/first aid bin upgrade resonating in my head, I decided to tackle the storage of my actual medicines...which is really terrible. Like, I don't even know. We had repurposed the storage area where this stuff used to be, and as a totally temporary stop-gap measure, I had my husband put the stuff into paper bags to be crammed into my home office for me to deal with later. Of course, this was long enough ago that I no longer even remember where they used to go. On the plus side, he had split the stuff into 3 categories (cold/flu, prescriptions, vitamins/supplements) and put each in their own bag. And we both knew where these bags were. So the stuff was easily findable and accessible. That's important! But aesthetically...I mean, I'm a Wal-Mart bag short of the War of the Retailers aesthetic, that's how sad this is.

Paper bags with medical supplies

Luckily Amazon is unwilling to ever sell a person just one of anything, right? So when my husband ordered the bin for my bathroom, he actually ordered a set of 6 of them. I moved the items into 3 of the bins and here we go...instant upgraded medicine storage!

Upgraded medical supply storage

Finally, I have a bucket from the dollar aisle at Target that holds my current medication bottles on the countertop in the kitchen. It's got this cartoon rabbit with "hip hop" on it, and I've never been able to figure out what this is about. I've tried googling it but...wait, I've never tried a reverse image search! OK, I found this listing on eBay for this item called Littlest Pet Shop Hip Hop metal pail...and "Littlest Pet Shop" is a TV show that existed to sell toys for Hasbro. Mystery solved!

Hip Hop bucket from Littlest Pet Shop

Thanks for joining me in sharing my upgraded medicine storage and investigating the mysteries of the metal band-aid tin and the hip hop rabbit pail! I appreciated the timing of this month's post in giving me the impetus to get my supplies out of the dilapidated box and sadly crumpled brown paper bags into 4 of the new storage bins. And I have 2 storage bins left over for replacing other pitiful crushed Amazon boxes etc. I am no doubt using elsewhere in my apartment.

A World of My Own...helping you feel better about the comparatively immaculate organization and sophisticated décor of your own domicile, one Where Bloggers Live post at a time.

Next month's topic is My Art/Collectibles...and shockingly, it's not 100% rabbits, Alice in Wonderland and the Marx Brothers!

In the meantime, visit these lovely bloggers as they share about their medicine cabinets:

Bettye at Fashion Schlub

Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks

Em at Dust and Doghair

Iris at Iris’ Original Ramblings

Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style

Leslie at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After

Do you have a traditional medicine cabinet? How do you store items in your bathroom? Do you share a bathroom? Do you have any old metal bins (band-aids, Altoids, etc.) that you continue to use or have repurposed?

Blogs I link up with are listed here.

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