“Don’t Touch My Stuff: Getting Organized & Staying Organized!” Organization Tips Part 1
Vision loss can be a frightening thing to experience at any age. We are unable to recognize people, navigate grocery stores, or find that one specific shirt to complete our outfit for the day. The less we can rely on our vision to locate everyday objects, the more we have to rely on our memory. While we have little control over how the local grocery store is organized, your home does not have to be a scary or unfamiliar place. Here are a few quick tips to stay familiarized with your home and know where things are:
Don’t Move the Furniture: Yes, common sense may tell you that if you are losing vision and you want to remove obstacles that you should push all the furniture against the walls and make clear open paths. However, we all form a mental map in our minds of where walls and pieces of furniture are. We are fine getting around our house at night without the lights on. If you feel like something poses a danger, by all means remove it, but keep familiar things where they have always been to keep yourself oriented to your belongings. This is also important to remember as you and your family member discuss moving or relocating to their children’s homes, nursing homes, or just a new residence. Often times, it is better to keep yourself in an environment you are familiar and know where things are instead of learning a whole new place.
Do Not Let Others Organize For You: Family and friends are quick to offer help set up and reorganize things thinking it will help make life more simple. But, if you are not involved in the process, then it will be more difficult to remember where the coffee mugs are or what shelf the cereal box is. If you do reorganize or declutter, YOU should be the one in charge and use a system that works for YOU and is easy for YOU to remember!
If You Move It, Put It Back Exactly Where You Found It: Once you have established where you keep your things, don’t let others move them and if they do, make sure they put it back where they found it so you can find it later where you know it to be. Say for instance, someone borrows your phone charger. Instead of putting it back where they found it plugged in, they leave it on the kitchen countertop where they assume you can see it later. Later, you are on your hands and knees feeling the floor and searching behind furniture thinking the charger must have fallen or been moved. Have a conversation with anyone that lives with you or comes into your home and tell them how important it is to leave things how they found it, whether it's pushing chairs under the table or glasses in the kitchen sink and not the countertops where they could be easily knocked over.