Organization is sometimes (more like often) easier said than done. However, a well-organized home can lead to less stress and clutter, and can improve our overall life. Furthermore, people with disabilities can especially benefit from organization as it helps lessen those moments of frustration and confusion, and helps ensure that those crucial items are where they should be.
Of course, getting and staying organized can become difficult when you’re already busy trying to juggle everything else in your life. Luckily, there are some simple and easy-to-incorporate tips that will have your home (and life) pulled together into tip-top shape.
Adulting 101: Checklists
Moving into a new place presents the perfect time to get started on the right (organized) foot. Living with a disability isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to certain aspects of housework. When moving, enlisting the help of friends, family, or even your new neighbors can help you not only get everything moved in, but create a well-organized system that you can then build on. For example, creating a new-home checklist before you even start loading up the moving van is a great way to make sure you stay on top of the chaos. Your list can include tasks such as:
- Filing your important documents (receipts, insurance, instruction manuals)
- Setting up your utility services like water, gas, and trash
- Cleaning up and debugging before moving in
- Changing the locks
- Inspecting your home for leaks, holes, and other repairs
Those are some basic tasks to include, but it’s also worth adding to the list items that are imperative to you and your needs. How is the ramp leading up to your door? Is it cracking? Moldy? What about the bathroom — does your shower still need a bench? Tackling these important factors before moving in can help keep the moving mayhem to a minimum.
Encourage Yourself to Let Go
Another item you should consider including in your pre-move checklist is a good purge. It’s not uncommon to feel as though your home is cluttered, but that you also can’t give anything away. Many of us struggle to let go of items we deem valuable, sentimental, or pertinent to the future. However, this can lead to a cluttered home and mind.
Furthermore, when you have a disability, these feelings can be even more intense — feeling as though you’ll regret giving away an old wheelchair or those self-help books. While it is difficult to part ways with our things, some moving experts explain, “people have issues throwing anything away because they’re afraid that they might need the item again down the road. That’s often not the case, and as a result we hold onto objects we almost never use.” They also go on to further say, “[give] yourself ample time — at least a few weeks — [to] make sure you have enough time to sort out items, decide what you can live without and sort personal items. The more time you allow yourself, the more energy you have for other moving tasks.”
Preparing well in advance for your move, or even just a good declutter in your current home, can really help you chew over all of your stuff. If you’re not moving anytime soon, try creating a purge goal for yourself, such as letting go of 10 items each month for a year or a one-in, one-out mantra: for every new item you get, you must get rid of an old one. It might be hard at first, but eventually you’ll feel lighter and more organized.
Tackling the Paperwork
Personal records are essential to keep well organized and secured. Furthermore, considering how many documents you accumulate after various doctor visits, prescriptions refills, and essential purchases like in-home care or necessary home upgrades, it can all quickly get overwhelming and chaotic. It can also be detrimental to your credit and identity if your personal information gets into the wrong hands.
Luckily, organizing your tax documents, medical forms, and bank statements can be extremely fast and simple. You can decide to go the classic filing cabinet route or go digital. Going digital can be beneficial if you have a mobility disability and dealing with a large file cabinet is nearly impossible. Whatever method you choose to secure and store important personal records and documents, encourage yourself to get it organized as soon as possible. It’ll save you time and give you peace of mind.
While getting organized is not always the funnest activity, decluttering your home and life can make your days easier and less stressful. Moreover, starting out small and simple, and working your way up to bigger tasks, can make the job seem less daunting. Whether you’ve got a big home or enjoy the apartment life, organization can create a more balanced, enjoyable environment. Good luck!