People often become disorganized due to unanticipated life situations that bring about change, such as an accident or illness that results in physical limitations. Over the years, I’ve worked with many home organizing clients recovering from hospitalizations or living with a chronic illness or a disability to better organize their space.
When you have an illness or physical limitation that makes it difficult to become and stay organized, there are many factors to consider. First of all, the organization of medication is extremely important. Your sleep schedule and eating schedule may be impacted by this illness as well. Having handicapped accessibility or just the space to move items such as a walker or wheelchair through your home may be another factor to consider. In addition to that, you may be unable to reach items that are stored on higher shelves, or bend down to get things in low cabinets. Climbing stairs or ladders may also be difficult or impossible.
In addition to those movement limitations, if you’ve recently returned from a hospitalization or rehabilitation facility, you may have piles on unopened mail and unpaid bills to focus on, all while you’re still trying to recover and settle back in at home. Keeping an organized schedule may also be difficult with follow-up doctor visits filling up your time.
Here are some of my tips for getting organized when you have an illness or physical limitations:
Take it Slow
If you can focus on organizing for just 30 minutes at a time, that’s a good start. Slow and steady will help you achieve your organizing goals without exhausting you.
Ask for Help
If you have a helpful friend, family member or neighbor, ask them to assist you. If you’d like to hire expert assistance, search for a professional organizer in your area.
While organizing, take breaks for snacks, drinks, or a breath of fresh air.
Organize for Now
Although you may have always stored an item in a certain space, you may have to move it because you cannot reach it now. When organizing, think about how you need things NOW, not how it always used to be.
Use Labels as Reminders
Things will be moved around, so use sticky notes, painter’s tape or label maker labels to mark where things should go. This will help you to remember all of the recent changes.
There are some things you cannot control, so accept that changes have to be made to improve your life in your current situation. These changes can help you to save your energy and increase your safety and comfort.