9 Tips to Help Organize Your Diabetes

Keeping the daily duties of diabetes actionable and organized can be a big stress point. From managing medication refills to keeping tabs on all the infusion sets, test strips, and CGM sensors rolling around in your medicine cabinet, the stuff can feel overwhelming at times.

We’ve partnered with diabetes educator Susan Weiner and organizing guru Leslie Josel to provide you with nine dependable strategies and ideas designed to help streamline your diabetes care and simplify your life.

1. Break larger projects into small, achievable tasks.

Breaking down a big organizing task into manageable parts makes working towards the big goal less overwhelming. Ask yourself a few specific questions that will help you look at your supplies with a fresh eye. Organize items by grouping them according to our principle of “life with like.” Keep the items you use most regularly in your prime real estate when assigning them homes.

2. Make getting started simple.

Start with a task that is so small and so easy that success is virtually guaranteed. Choose one decision to make, one drawer to declutter. One of our favorite strategies is to separate the setup from the task. Make setting up for the task a task of its own. Focusing on the initial setup step will make getting started easier.

3. Purge BEFORE you shop.

Purge before you shop for organizing products. Sort, streamline, and toss first. Determine what you’re keeping and where it will go, then buy any needed bins, baskets, or other appropriate containers.

4. Set up a launching pad.

This is a designated place to keep the belonging that go in and out of your home every day. Remember to pick a heavily trafficked location. Consider using a bag that is specifically designed to keep your diabetes supplies and everything else you might need together in one convenient and organized place.

5. Everything needs a home.

If things don’t have a home, you’ve much more apt to just let them sit where they land. Start by designating specific “homes” for all your belongings.

6. Create a command central.

Designate one area in your home that will function as your “command central.” This is where you will store the bulk of your diabetes supplies. This includes items such as your home blood glucose meter, batteries, test strips, lancets, and extra insulin pump supplies.

7. Go paperless as much as you can.

Pay your bills online, scan receipts, and sign up for a mobile application program that will store all your medical records. Create folders on your computer the same way you would your file cabinet. Reduce the paper coming into your home to remove the stress of feeling buried under it.

8. Set up your morning routine the night before.

A person without diabetes has a daily to-do list. A person with diabetes has a daily to-do list AND a diabetes to-do list. Meshing those two can really be a struggle, so lay out clothes the evening before, get breakfast ready to go, pack lunches and snacks, etc.

9. Forgive yourself.

We get very angry with ourselves when we procrastinate or don’t meet the goals we set for ourselves. Research shows that all that negativity is making the problem worse. So instead of being hard on yourself, forgive yourself. You’ll be better off for it.


[This article has been excerpted and adapted with permission from Susan Weiner and Diabetes Self-Management Magazine, originally published in the January/February 2020 edition.]

Published: January 15, 2020

Diabetes educator Susan Weiner and organizing guru Leslie Josel are the authors of The Complete Diabetes Organizer