4 tips for organizing your diabetes supplies

Organizing Supplies

Has this ever happened to you? You think you have a couple of reservoirs left in your drawer, it's a long holiday weekend, and before you know it, it's time to change out your infusion set and reservoir. You look in your drawer and find that you don't have any left. Have you ever been here before? I know I have. With spring here and all of the "spring cleaning" you might be doing, consider adding your diabetes supplies to the list of household items that need some organization.


1. Take inventory

Start by making an inventory list of your diabetes supplies. This would consist of items you use all the time, such as test strips, infusion sets, reservoirs, and insulin. Be sure to include essential items that are absolutely necessary, but sometimes go unaccounted for, such as batteries for your pump, test strips, lancets, tape, glucose tablets, and syringes for manual injections (just in case). Take your list, laminate it, and place this next to your supplies. This way you can check off your essentials and not forget crucial items.


2. Dedicate a space

Now that you have your list, dedicate a place in your home to keep only your diabetes supplies. This area will be your one-stop shop for all your needs. I've used different spaces in my house and now have everything in three drawers in my bedroom, with medication like insulin stored in the fridge. I know that some people also use their kitchen and dedicate a section of their pantry, cabinets, or kitchen drawers for their supplies. You might even want to invest in dividers for your drawers or put labels on clear plastic bins. Which ever area you choose, keep your infusion sets, reservoirs, glucagon, and batteries all in one visible area. By keeping them in one place, you can easily tell what you're running low on or might have too much of.


3. Set on-going reminders

Set up monthly or bi-weekly reminders to take inventory of your supplies, replenish your stock (infusion sets, reservoirs, insulin, batteries, test strips, and glucose tablets), and make sure you have all the necessary diabetes supplies you need. If you're the type that does not want to think about reordering supplies every month, you can also automate your monthly supply delivery by signing up for auto reordering. This is what I use and it is so easy. I haven't run out of supplies since I signed up for the program because I don't have to remember to reorder. You could also set monthly reminders to reorder your supplies or pharmacy items so you never come short. If you have an alarm on your phone, this is a great and easy way to set up and maintain your alerts.


4. Always be prepared

Always be prepared for an emergency with a back up plan of syringes for manual injections and one or two sets of infusion sets, reservoirs, and extra tape. Keep one of the supply bags at school or work, and the other at home. If you pull from your back-up supply, don't forget to replenish it. 

Set yourself up for success by getting orgainzed this spring. I know that it's hard enough managing diabetes along with a busy lifestyle, so setting aside a weekend of cleaning and organizing will be well worth it in the end. Not only will you declutter some areas in your home, but you'll be less stressed knowing that you can find the right things, at the right time, in the right places, and won't have to worry about desperately seeking emergency supplies last minute.


Related Articles

About Author

Blog comments

Submitted by Brenda (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I have a drawer in my bathroom with all my supplies. I also have extras in my travel kit and at my sons house since I visit my Grandaughters often. Wanted to attach a photo but couldn't see how to do it. Easy to see what you have and what you need.

Submitted by Terry Millen (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I keep full boxes of reservoirs and infusion sets on a shelf in my closet. I can stock a whole box of each in my medician cabinet. When I stock the last box of each to the cabinet, I reorder. I keep a back up kit at work and one in my pak that goes with me everywhere. I stock three bottles of insulin in my medicine cabinet. When the last three go from the fridge to the cabinet, I reorder. It works well for me!

Submitted by Carlos Alejand… (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I learned from being 'burned' on a recent vacation trips.

Submitted by Rebecca (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I've found a neat way to pack my pump supplies for travel by using a food storage container that fits in my suitcase. It holds enough pump supplies, emergency syringes, extra test strips, batteries, Tegaderm, lancets and alcohol wipes for two weeks plus extra sets. It's water, dust proof and non-crushable so my equipment is less likely to be damaged. I've been amazed that it all fits in such a neat package and make it a priority to fit it into my carry-on luggage so it is never out of my control. (I don't use a CGM.) My insulin travels in a Frio Wallet pack in a separate non-crushable container and like Carlos I too travel with my current vial in a neoprene jacket plus a new vial in the box. Just recently I added a printed list of items to the pack so I don't have to repeat that exercise each time I travel. This system has worked during a recent hospitalization as well.
My household pump equipment supply routine works simply for me. I have a dedicated drawer in the bathroom that holds a months worth of products for easy access. The rest of my equipment is in a dresser drawer. This makes it easy for me to quickly see my current inventory and expiration dates at a glance. I also use an auto-refill service so I never forget to restock. Generally I try to keep at least 3 months ahead of my needs so I never have an equipment crisis. I've learned that it just makes life easier and that's part of what "pumping" is all about...living life well with a chronic medical condition so you can manage it properly, while minimizing it's impact on your quality of life.

Submitted by Robert (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I keep all my supplies in a plastic storage dresser in a spare room closet. Nothing else goes into it. I have auto delivery set up do it it is hard to not to have supplies on hand.
As to supplies like insulin I write order on the next to last box in the fridge. As soon as I get to that box I order. When traveling I pack multiple supply caches in my checked baggage and both mine and my wife's carry on bags. So far no problems.

Submitted by Linda Robinson (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I have 3 diabetics in my house all on pumps it is very hard to keep up we have a 3 shelves in our storage room and I keep a 6 drawer rubbermaid container with some also it is hard to keep up with when to change everything out, and then we constantly get new shipments!

Submitted by naomi.kingery@… on

In reply to by Linda Robinson (not verified)

Linda, I hope this article gave you some useful tips on how to keep your diabetes supplies organized. You may also find this article helpful: http://www.loop-blog.com/diabetes-organization-for-the-organized/.

If you’re getting more supplies than needed, you can now change your Auto Reorder at any time by removing, adding or editing the quantity for products on each order. You can also edit the date range for future shipments to make sure that it meets your needs.

Submitted by Kathryn Koenig (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

My husband and I are planning a 6 month vacation in Western Europe and the United Kingdom. I am overwhelmed trying to figure out how I will carry all my insulin pump and CGM supplies with me. We need to keep our luggage to a minimum. We plan to lease a car but even with that there is the concern of car break ins and theft it is not safe to leave it in an auto. We will not be at any address more than a week, so I don't know how to handle the mail order option.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated ...surely others have worked out this dilemma of mine.

Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by Kathryn Koenig (not verified)

Sounds like fun, Kathryn! As you prepare for your trip be sure to check out some important information here http://bit.ly/LiIqzf. Also, be sure to check out the Travel Loaner Program. Lastly, if you'd like to chat with someone from our team about suggestions for traveling with your insulin pump and CGM, please give us a call at 800-646-4633 option 1.

Post a new comment

Required fields are marked *
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.