Being Organized, part 1 - Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger
When I had the idea to write about being organized, I checked the topic at the Talking Book Library - there were 18 results - on BARD there were 19. Since I am organized and believe it is very important, I am going to share some of what I do. I also read about the subject; there are common themes in the literature.
I have a routine for many things, and if I don’t follow my routine, I have trouble. When I walk into my apartment, keys, sunglasses, purse, white cane and now mask, go in their place. I keep items in the same place all the time. If I have to look for keys, etc., it creates anxiety and wastes time.
A routine for medications can be a lifesaver. I use a container with days of week sections for my vitamins. Several prescription med containers are set out in a tray on the table every morning; then the med container is returned to storage when the med is taken. According to where the container is, I can tell if I have taken the medication. My morning and evening eye drops have their places and move when used - I call it my geographic memory. When I do something every day, like medications, I sometimes can’t remember later if I took them. Now I can check container location and have some certainty.
My clothing is labeled and hung in its designated section of the closet. I label with braille using puff paint to make the dots. I learned braille letters and numbers and can use it for writing addresses and phone numbers. There are several methods of labeling: safety pins can be used. For some things I use the Pen Friend which allows me to record information on a sticker.
As I lose more of my vision I am clearing out unnecessary items. It’s difficult; lots of good stuff that I wanted at one time. But now it’s clutter and too much to manage.
I am still working on how to manage my appointments and mail. I am using the iPhone and hope will be the answer. Then there is the kitchen, ordering medications, taxes and probably more.
I believe in working out the best system for me and sticking to it. It may take some experimenting but it makes life easier.
Being Organized, part 2 - Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger
“A place for everything and everything in its place.” This is organization! But it must be done a all times even compulsively. I will give you some of my ideas which I hope will inspire you to adopt or develop your own systems.
My mail gets sorted immediately and I immediately discard anything possible. I used to save interesting items and articles but life changes and I can’t manage piles of paper. I have autopay for most of my bills. Receipts, such as store receipts I might need later, go into a basket to save for a time. The basket is periodically cleared out but it keeps the receipts available for a time and mostly I don’t have to sort through them.
My bank has an app where I can check my account online. I also can call a phone number and hear my recent transactions. Phone calls also work for transactions on my credit card.
As well as having medical names and numbers in my phone contact list I have a printed copy. I keep a list of current medications on the refrigerator and one ready to go with me for appointments. In the hospital we kept a chart for each patient. When my husband and I were traveling in our RV, I started a narrative (chart) or history of medications and medical problems with dates. I still do “my chart”; I feel it is important to know my history and dates when things occurred.
I have a daily routine. I try to live as stress free as possible. I don’t find routine boring; I believe routine gives me time for interesting activities. You may have a different or better way of doing things. Let me know; I’m eager to learn.
Being Organized, part 3 - Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger
We’re not organized yet; this article will give more of my thoughts about it. Less is easier to manage and a well thought out routine allows time for relaxation, fun things and less anxiety.
In the kitchen clear counters are better. Take items out and put them away; you will be able to find the item later. Bins and trays keep supplies in their place.
Measuring dry or liquid ingredients on a tray makes clean up easier. A liquid indicator such as “Say When” is good when pouring liquids. A round plastic fishing float can be used for cold liquids. Find these floats in sports department.
Pay attention to knife storage. I used to have a wooden counter top block for storage but don’t have counter space for it now. I keep my sharp long knife in a drawer, sharp side down, wedged in a space next to the silverware tray. Paring knives go tip down in a heavy cup-like container in a corner of counter.
If you take long term medications see if your pharmacy has automatic renewal. I receive some medications by mail. The label can be read by a machine that was given to me.
When I leave the apartment I lock the door with the key - I always have my key with me.
I have two identical purses-one summer, one winter so items are always in the same pocket or compartment. I use cross body bag and rarely set it down when I am out; I might forget the bag or not see it.
For taxes I plan to sort items in envelopes; I may need some help with taxes.
Spots on my clothing may not be seen by me so I try to avoid them. I often wear a chest protector (bib, crumb-catcher). I did some beading on a cord, attached an alligator clip and use it with a napkin-a fashion statement! I gave one to my brother and he uses it, takes it on trips even (he likes the pearls).
My microwave has bump dots marking the controls. My mail box in mail room has bump dot on it. Answering machine, TV remote and telephone have dots besides the standard one on number 5. I have marked my thermostat and space heater controls with dots. 3D and puff paint works well on some items.
I have many things around the house marked with bump dots or 3D paint. I put dots on top of electric cords that need to be lined up a certain way.
3D paint dots in braille letters are used to mark my clothing and hats for color. Pen Friend laundry stickers and safety pin in a code are among some of the ways to mark clothing. There are commercial products or apps identifying colors; try before buying.
In my community laundry I place a cutout from a magnet sheet on the washers and dryers I am using. I have customized these with my name using 3D paint. As there are ten washers and ten dryers this is a help for me. One sighted person has adopted this idea.
New apps are coming out all the time and I try to check out all the ones I hear about that might be useful. Networking and belonging to groups help keep me up-to-date. Several apps help me read print and identify objects. There are also stand-alone machines that read print.
Finally, the end. Being organized helps us live more worry free. My memory is not as good as it used to be and I can get distracted. Return the item to its designated spot and you will be able to find it again. Control equals satisfaction!