Despite the fact that it’s sold by The Vitamin Shoppe, supplement storage containers like the one shown above are rarely the best choice.
For starters, they’re made for a weekly schedule. They assume you take all your supplements once per day.
Secondly, even if you are taking them all at once, you’re not going to fit much in each of those compartments. One chewable multi wafer, a big omega 3 softgel, and a couple 500 mg capsules is about all there is comfortably room for.
That may be less than your daily regimen. Plus, no room for probiotics with meals and any prescription pills you may be on.
Unfortunately, extra large pill organizers don’t really exist. Most assume you take a few at AM and PM, that’s it.
Lastly, why are vitamin storage boxes usually a clear plastic? This one is translucent. Better than clear, but the best will be something that blocks light completely.
The bad news is there really isn’t a perfect organizer on the market. Or at least, there’s not one that checks all the boxes.
What follows are some storage ideas that may not be perfect, but they’re better than the average pill storage case you see for sale at CVS or Walgreens.
1. Empty medicine cups for organizing doses
If you have a dozen or two bottles, mDesign makes a nice vitamin storage rack. It will display them on tiered shelves, so you can see the labels even for the back row of bottles. It’s available on Amazon.
The drawback is that do you really want to be opening and closing multiple bottles to take each and every dose?!
If you’re a heavy supplement user, you may be taking them 3-6x per day.
That’s a lot of time wasted opening and closing bottles, just to get one capsule out of each.
The better solution is to only have to open each bottle once per week.
At home, we like to use empty medicine cups to accomplish this…
Not high tech, but it gets the job done.
Each row of cups represents one day of the week. Let’s say Monday is on the far left, Tuesday is the row next to that, and so on.
In each row, they’re taken sequentially. For example, the front cup is taken with coffee, the next with breakfast, third with lunch, and fourth with dinner.
The benefit of this system is that (a) you can customize to the exact number of dosages per day, and (b) medicine cups are big enough to hold quite a few capsules/tablets/pills.
The drawback of this is that (a) they don’t block light, and (b) the supplements/pills will be exposed to air.
For sealed capsules, the air issue is largely a moot point. The ingredients inside them are already air tight.
To address the danger of light degradation, you will want to store these little cups behind a solid-faced cupboard.
You don’t need to collect years of children’s cough syrup and liquid Benadryl to pull this off. Rather, just go on Amazon and buy a 200-pack of medicine cups. You’ll be good to go!
2. Pillsteer pill organizer
This storage system is made with the assumption that you only take pills (or in this case, supplements) twice per day, in the morning and at night.
It’s also clear plastic on top, another drawback.
On a positive note, the push button lids are lot easier than fumbling with prying lids, which is what you typically see on these.
There’s ample storage because the Pillsteer organizer uses large compartments.
Each 7-day row is detachable. That means you could buy a couple of these and create your own 3 day system… or more! Just ignore the AM/PM designations and line them up in a way where you won’t forget which are which.
We haven’t seen Pillsteer sold at any stores. You can get it on Amazon.
3. MEDca weekly pill organizer
If you’re on a 3 or 4-a-day schedule and don’t take too many vitamins and pills, this organizer may be the best design on the market.
All 7 days of the week are marked and you open them to find 4 compartments; morning, noon, evening, bed.
Of course, you wouldn’t have to literally take them at those times. The key here is that any 3 or 4-per-day dosage regimen fits in this container.
If you want a 14 day vitamin organizer, just buy to of them. For a month, buy four and get 28 days dispensing.
A benefit is that the lid on each day slides open easily. A drawback is that it’s transparent plastic. While this design does minimize airflow, it’s not what you would call an airtight seal.
As mentioned, the air is not an issue for short-term storage of capsules, CoQ10 softgels, and many coated multivitamins. Probiotics are sealed. Any amino acid, like alpha lipoic acid, doesn’t degrade from moderate light or heat exposure. Calcium, magnesium, and other minerals don’t break down, either.
Most prescription pills should be okay too, if you’re only storing them in this storage box for a week before consuming.