Managing diabetes takes work. Keeping track of supplies, food logs, medications and doctors’ appointments all take time. It can be easy to let something slip. This can lead to dangerous situations, though, like not having glucose tablets at hand when your blood sugar drops. Taking some time to organize your supplies and schedule can help reduce such risks. Plus, knowing you’ve got these issues under control can mean a lot less stress in your daily life. Here’s a 5-step plan for taking control of your life with diabetes.
1. Take Stock
The first step to getting more organized is to create a checklist of all your needs. This would include:
- Everyday items, including lancets, test strips, infusion sets, reservoirs and insulin
- Easy-to-forget essentials, such as batteries for your insulin pump, glucose tablets and syringes, in case a manual injection is necessary
You can also create separate checklists for supplies you need every day at home, when you travel and when you’re at work or on the road. Laminate these lists and store them with your supplies. This will give you an easy reference for what needs replacing when supplies start running low.
2. Find Space
Create a dedicated space for your diabetes supplies. This way, you’ll know just where to find lancets, test strips and other necessities when you need them. Having a central location also makes it easier to keep track of what might need replacing.
3. Stay Organized
Once you’ve cleared that kitchen drawer or cabinet, don’t just mix supplies in all together. Use dividers, clear plastic bags or clear containers – such as drawer organizers – to organize those supplies into sensible categories. For example, group together testing supplies, like your meter, strips and lancets. Another group could include blood sugar boosters, like glucose tablets and hard candy.
4. Name It
Use a label maker – or masking tape and a marker – to clearly label each container. This will help ensure supplies end up back where they belong. Add purchase and expiration dates, where appropriate, to track when supplies need to be replaced.
5. Take Advantage of Technology
Your smartphone can take the work out of remembering when new supplies are needed. Set weekly or monthly reminders to review your inventory using the phone’s calendar or notes app. The same apps can help you keep on top of your medical appointments. If you order your supplies online, consider using your retailer’s automatic reordering program. You can set up a schedule that works for you and your supplies will always be fully stocked.