When a person becomes disabled it is a life altering event. You feel like your whole world is turned upside down. The things you used to be able to do easily now become a challenge and you find yourself asking "where did I put that" quite often. Here are 5 tips to get you started on finding your way.
1. The first thing has to do more with your mental wellbeing than your physical environment. If you live with someone you need to explain how important it is to put things back where they belong. Make sure you say this in a nice way, maybe even with a little humor. Once because I could not identify what was in the refrigerator and my roommate had moved things around, I had a peanut butter and applesauce sandwich. I thought I was grabbing the jelly, but got applesauce. The sandwich was pretty good, so if you are feeling adventurous try it sometime.
2. The second thing is develop a system for staying organized. Start making it routine to put things back where they belong. If you are now visually impaired and do not put things away you may be looking around for a long time. If you are in a wheelchair it may fall on the floor and you may not be able to reach it or worse yet you could roll over it and break the object.
3. Next, you will want to label things that look similar. Here are a couple of my favorite tips and tricks:
- put rubber bands on bottles that look the same. I do this with the conditioner so I don’t mix up the shampoo and conditioner; I also do this with the salt and pepper and a couple of other spices.
- You could even put more than one rubber band on things if you have several of the same sized bottles.
- Puffy paint that you can get at a craft store is also good for marking things. It does take 24 hours to dry, but can be taken off with your fingernails.
4. Go through your closets and create a system.
- You can do light to dark if you do not see color.
- You can mark clothing on a seam with a small safety pin or two.
- Put outfits together.
- I only wear black or white socks because I can’t see color and it is easier for me to stay with the 2 colors.
- If you are in a wheelchair make sure that things you use on a regular basis are moved to within your reach. There is nothing worse than not being able to find something or reach something when you are alone.
5. Organize your work space so everything is within reach. If you have everything you need close by then your chances of losing the item will be less. While you are at it make sure your drawers are organized as well as your desk, and make sure you put things back as discussed earlier.
Last but certainly not least, you may want to make sure your furniture is arranged to allow you to move around safely and easily. Remember to remind anyone you live with not to move the furniture since it could pose a risk to you. Also remind them to push chairs in and close cabinet doors and drawers.
Once you start to organize things you will find your own ways to get organized. The above steps are just to get you started and if you would like help please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.