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Great Ideas on Organizing and Spring Cleaning Your Diabetes Toolbox

Spring is in the air, or might be trying to sneak in depending on where you live. This time of the year windows open, rugs are shaken out, garden planning begins, you throw away stuff that got shoved in the back of the cupboards and you may even begin to think about getting back to some outdoor activity like running or biking. The outdoor tools like lawnmowers and trimmers get looked at and tested to make sure they still work as needed. You might take the camper out and clean it, organize gear, etc. As you can see, this is a process and there is some planning and evaluation that goes into it. You check out your old shoes, look at the wheels on your bike and adjust, get rid of old clothes or house gear that no longer suits your taste.

You are thinking – great, now I know how to clean my house! But I promise it does have relevance to diabetes management as well. Think about all the stuff we hoard to ensure we have backups for our backups with diabetes.

  • How big is your diabetes bin…. or closet?
  • When was the last time you organized your tools?
  • Have you tested your backup supplies to see if they work?
  • Do you have a system of reordering in place?
  • What about those settings or doses that drive your insulin use?
  • When did you last evaluate how well they are helping you optimize your management?

Spring cleaning can be a time to clean up your Diabetes Toolbox as well. There is A LOT of stuff!

Start simply by looking at your supplies. While we may be saving a lot of supplies for the Zombie apocalypse, things that are outdated or haven’t been used in 5-10 years can probably be thrown out. Or donated to IDS to put in our Museum of Diabetes Supplies!


9 Ideas to Help Organize Your Diabetes Supplies

  1. Pick a place to store supplies if you have no designated place. If you have a storage place, is it meeting needs for easy access and use?
    • If you have a lot of supplies, then aim for a small hall closet and organize shelves with different supplies in baskets.
    • Minimal supplies – get a Rubbermaid rolling file drawer and organize in small baskets inside.
  2. Label supplies or storage bins from oldest to newest for best rotation practice.
  3. Put a label on supplies when you pick them up or when they are delivered to keep track of time frames and when to use them.
  4. Designate shelves or drawers for specific supplies.
    • Charging wires with labels for each device
    • Test strips with glucose monitors
    • Ketone supplies
    • CGM sensors, transmitters
    • Pump cartridges/reservoirs/infusion sets/pods
    • Insulin syringes/pen needles
  5. Designate a shelf for low BG needs.
    • Low treatment bin to include prepackaged and labeled items 4g, 8g, 10g, etc.
    • Glucagon supplies – put a note on the package for when to pick up new supplies based on expiration.
  6. Battery bin.
    • Pumps and glucose meters use all types of batteries – aim to keep all types you may need in a handy place with diabetes supplies.
    • Label the battery with the device it works with.
  7. Backup pump.
    • Check if the pump still works or charges.
    • Evaluate if it has current settings in it – if not, update the settings.
    • Print out current settings or make a note of current doses/ratios used with the date.
  8. List of contact info.
    • Keep a list of current MDs and phone numbers/location.
    • Keep a list of pharmacies or mail order you use with phone and reorder info.
    • Make a note of your insurance information and update any changes from last year.
    • List contacts of friends or family.
  9. Plan a “Grab and Go bag” and have Medical information updated.

Spring Cleaning Your Diabetes Management

Now that you have your supplies organized, what about your management? Does that need some cleaning up too? Before you add all the variables to the season ahead, it is helpful to know that your platform of insulin dose is well set.

Some people notice a shift in insulin need with seasonal changes. It may be related to weather or more active time outside or perhaps a change in life that needs some evaluation. To make the best of your spring cleaning and organizing efforts, look at 2-4 weeks of your data.

  • Does it fall into the range you are targeting?
  • Do you spot some trends you’d like to address?
  • If you see you may need to make some adjustments, basal testing is the place to start and we have some nice details on our basal testing page.
  • If more of the issue is behind meals you may need to evaluate your carb-counting skills and get that dialed in for further eval of the ratios you use. Why not try the IDS carb Counting Quiz?!
  • Maybe you have added something to your day-to-day life that has flipped your schedule around – evaluating where you are with management every once in a while can help you stay on track as well as meet your goals with less frustration.

If you feel you could use some assistance with Spring cleaning your management, the clinicians at Integrated Diabetes Services are always here to help. We may not come to your home to clean out your closet, but we can certainly meet with you in the comfort of your own home via phone or video call to help you adjust and put your best foot forward in the beautiful season ahead!!

Give us a call at 610-642-6055. We look forward to meeting you!

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