Organizing and Storing Your Menstrual Products
As someone with an unpredictable flow, I can tell you that feminine care products can easily get disorganized. My flow is so crazy that I have to have all five different sizes of tampons and three different types of pads. And yes I use all 8 once a month. Talk about paying that pink tax. I’m seriously due for a refund.
So, whether you use a couple of types of products or more than you can count, the goal is to have them handy when you need them. Let’s see if we can organize them. Plus I have a quick DIY if you’d like to make your organization pretty.
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Organizing Your Tampons and Pads
For many of us, we tend to keep our feminine care products in the boxes and wrappers they come in. When that time of the month comes, we tear open a corner to access our pads.
And if we use different size tampons, we just keep a few boxes open until our ‘monthly’ visitor is gone. Then we shove whatever is left over under our sink vanity along with our hairdryers, bathroom cleaners, etc… sound familiar?
While this is a quick fix for storing our products, it is neither organized nor accessible (especially if you get a surprise while on the toilet). So, let’s see if we can organize your feminine products, make them easy to get to, and make storage pretty along the way.
The first thing you are going to need is some sort of storage container to hold your products. For the past few years, I have kept all my items in decorative boxes that I got from Michaels. The box’s height (6 inches) is perfect for my tampons which I stand on end.
They sell these decorative boxes for $5 at Michaels and they come in so many styles and colors. You can definitely find something to match your bathroom decor. However, if you are very crafty, skip Michaels, and create your own container using a shoebox or even a baby wipes container.
You can also use a photo box but it won’t be as tall if you plan on standing your tampon on end. Although it is a good alternative if you use compact-sized tampons.
Prefer something simple? With this 2-drawer mesh container, you can put pads on top and tampons on the bottom or vice versa.
Create Dividers for Your Period Products
Now, the best thing about most tampons is that they come in different colored wrappers according to size. But lately, I’ve had trouble with Always Radiant pads. I love these pads but I can never tell the difference between their regular-size pads and their overnight pads.
I can only tell them apart if I have one of each in my hands and feel which one is longer. But do I really want to compare pads at 3 a.m.? Nope! So the next best thing is to create dividers in your box to keep your products separate.
Again, you can get creative with this. In the pictures below I actually used the boxes that my tampons and pads come in as dividers. If you look closely in the right bottom corner, you will notice that I use the two surrounding boxes to keep my super plus and ultra tampons separated (no divider or box needed).
I also used this metal container to hold my regular and super tampons.
Another DIY Option (Update)
Since writing this post a year ago, I have updated my box to look a little prettier. Follow the steps below to create this version.
For this DIY, I am still using my Michael’s box again. The only things I redid were the dividers. I also had to make a few accommodations for my LOLA organic tampons that come in compact sizes.
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Materials and Tools Needed
For this DIY I used chipboard which you can find in most craft stores. If you have never used or heard of chipboard, it is very similar to cardboard but it is much sturdier. Because of this, you are also going to need a paper cutter or a pair of heavy-duty utility scissors or kitchen shears. You’ll also need a ruler.
Other tools and materials I used include a labeler, scrapbook paper, and tape but these are all optional. You may also need small boxes or “fillers”. I’ll address those at the end.
The first thing you will want to do is to take measurements of your box. You’ll need all three dimensions: length, width, and depth.
Next, count the type of products you have and decide on how you want them separated. For me, I wanted 8 compartments:
- Ultra tampons
- Super plus tampons
- Super tampons
- Regular tampons
- Lite tampons
- Overnight pads
- Regular pads
Now, your box will likely have different dimensions than mine. So adjust this DIY for your box. And keep in mind that you probably use fewer products than I do too.
My box is 11¼” long, 7½” wide, and 6″ deep. With these measurements, I decided to divide my box in half the long way, then divide it in fourths, width-wise. This gives me 8 compartments, each 5¼” x 2¾”. At first, I wasn’t sure if each compartment would be big enough but it turned out perfect.
Want to do some good? Donate to Cycle Forward Now, an organization started by a teen that helps low-income and homeless women who struggle to afford pads and tampons. Click here to learn more and donate.
Creating Chipboard Dividers
With your measurements in hand, use a ruler and mark the chipboard where you’ll want to make your cuts. By the way, my chipboards measure 11″ x 10½”. So I only had to cut my longboard down to 11″ x 6″ (the depth of my box) and my three shorter boards to 7½” x 6″.
Here, using the paper cutter is great not only because it cuts through the chipboard “like butter” but because the surface has measured grid lines so I didn’t have to mark any lines for my initial cuts.
Creating Interlocking Groove Marks
Now, on the longboard, you are going to want to make your cut marks according to how many sections you want. For my longboard, I made three cut marks every 2¾”. This gave me four sections. Also, each cut mark was measured 3″ from the bottom (half of the box’s depth).
Next, on each of the shortboards, I made cut marks in the center of each board (at 5¼”), and again each of these cut marks was measured 3″ from the bottom.
After making your cuts, you’ll need to go back and widen the groove just a tad, enough to interlock the chipboards together.
When you have finished making your cuts, begin interlocking your chipboard sections in your box to make sure it fits well.
Once you are done, you can start adding your products. I even labeled the two different types of pads I was having trouble identifying.
To be honest, I was not liking the dividers very much. They just weren’t pretty enough. So I decided to see if I could pretty them up.
Using scrapbooking paper, I got to work. I tried gluing the paper onto the chipboard, but it started leaving ripples and I didn’t want that. So, I simply taped the paper and wrapped each section like I would a gift box.
If you try this, just remember to mark your groove lines, or else you’ll spend time trying to feel your way around the paper.
Here is how it looks. I used four different pink-patterned pieces of paper. I also labeled the sections for the two types of pads I have trouble figuring out which are which.
Using Compact-Sized Tampons
If you use compact-sized tampons, then you simply need to make a “filler”. My LOLA tampons come in a compact size. This means I would have to stick my whole hand in the sections in order to reach in and grab the size I need. I didn’t like this.
So, instead, I created a filler using my LOLA box. I simply cut the box down to size so that when I placed the tampons on top of the filler, they will come up to the rim of the box. You can pretty much use anything to be a filler, just make sure it brings your products up to the box’s rim.
I have recently made the switch to organic tampons by LOLA. Unfortunately, they do not come in ultra size, so when I run out of my other product, I will have an empty section.
If you have an empty section, you could fill it with any extra products you have. I plan on keeping a spare pair of underwear. This way, I don’t have to go rooting around my drawers looking for panties at 3 a.m. Everything is right there “just in case.”
Other Menstrual Products
So far I have only addressed tampons and pads but you can also keep your feminine wipes and sprays if you prefer. However, I do caution about keeping cups, period panties, or sponges in your box. This is because these items need to “breathe.”
This tells me that it’s possible they could become moldy. I wouldn’t chance it. Just make sure to read their instructions for keeping your items clean and safe, always.
Where to Store Your Sanitary Products’ Box
Because my box is so pretty, I just keep it on my toilet tank. When I get my period, I just remove the lid and place it under the box. Then, after my period is over, I just flip the lid back on and leave it on the tank.
I love that it is not an eyesore and it is handy if I ever need to reach in it. However, if you don’t want to keep yours there all the time, no problem. By keeping it in a box, you can easily find a spot for it under your vanity, in a closet, or on a bathroom
Stay Ahead of Your Next Flow
Another convenience of keeping your feminine products all in one container is that you can easily see what you are running out of at-a-glance. I can’t imagine having to go through every container my products come in just to find out what I am low on.
If I am making a shopping trip, I just check the box and add what I need to my list and I’m done. In fact, I take an inventory of it before closing the box for the month. This way, I can buy or order what I need early and not have to worry about whether I’m prepared for the following month.
And don’t forget that if you need to take some products on the go, just reach in your box, take what you need, and put them in a small carry case. Again, no more scavenging through assorted boxes and packaging.
Bonus: Repurposed “Just In Case” Period Box
I thought I’d add this little bonus repurpose DIY since we are on the subject of our period products. I have been into Mentos gum lately and they come in these plastic containers. (the outer labels have been removed.)
One use I have for them is to make them into “just in case” period boxes.
I keep a couple of liners, a tampon, and two very deserving chocolate candies in them. While they are not waterproof (I tested them out) they are compact and crush-proof.
You can keep them in your purse, gym bag, book bag, or even your car. (If you do put one in your car, remove the chocolate during warmer weather.)
Final Thoughts on Organizing Feminine Care Products
So, remember, to organize all your feminine care products in one location:
- find a decorative box or make one of your own
- create dividers
- pretty it up, if you prefer
- add fillers to adjust for compact-sized items
- store your box when not in use
- stay ahead of your flow by taking an inventory before you put your box away
- and create a portable “just in case” period survival kit
I hope you enjoyed this DIY. If you attempt to make one for yourself, please send me pics at dionnem@homemadeourway. I would love to see what you’ve put together.
So, do you organize your feminine products differently? Let me know by commenting below. I love learning new ideas.
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Other Bathroom-Related Organization Posts
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