When we became a family with a child with type 1 diabetes, one of the adjustments we had to make was to figure out what to do with the sheer volume of medical supplies. I mean, we’ve got test strips, lancets, blood glucose meters, batteries, alcohol prep pads, glucose tabs, candy, fruit juice, lancing devices, logbooks, numbing creams, insulin, bandages, control solution, sharps containers, ketone strips, syringes… I could go on and on. Needless to say, our poor little medicine cabinet went from being a cozy storage area for first-aid supplies and cough medicine to a warehouse for diabetes “stuff”!

At first, we didn’t really know what went where. Basically, the insulin would go right in the refrigerator, and everything else would stay in the big box it was shipped in. We would end up keeping some of the supplies in the box, some in our cupboard, some in our diabetes bag, and some in the car. I even had random plastic zipper bags containing an assortment of diabetes supplies in various locations.

After just a little while, it started to become difficult to keep track of where everything was and how much supply we had of each item. It was definitely time to make organization a priority! This is what I did:

  • I dedicated an entire cupboard in our kitchen to housing diabetes supplies.
  • I bought several plastic tubs and made sure that every item had a place. (It was so much easier to be able to go to one place when we needed something, and keeping track of how much we had of our supplies was simple!)
  • I also decided to keep one bag to hold our supplies when we were out and about, one place in the refrigerator to keep insulin, and one place in the car to keep other emergency supplies.
  • I researched our work benefits to see if we had an online pharmacy plan. We did! The best way for us to get our supplies is to order from the pharmacy in 90-day quantities. It’s easy and cost effective to do it this way, but we always get a huge amount of supplies — good thing I have a place to store it all.

Taking the time to make an organized place for everything has saved us time and money and has given us the peace of mind that everything will be ready and available when we need it! For more information on how you can do it too, check out the expert tips here.


Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

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