I have a friend who has severe chronic pain, which makes bending very difficult. We were looking at her storage to see how it could be adapted to her current abilities. We found the most-used items currently living on her countertop, which she felt guilty about. I suggested that she add a tray, to make the everyday supplies look purposeful. This is an example of adapting her storage to her current abilities and health status. Here are some other ideas for adapting your surroundings to your current needs, whether or not you have health problems.
Reduce what you need to keep clean. If you enjoy dusting, please send me an email and introduce yourself, as I have never met someone who likes this task. Personally, I like the results, but not the reaching. What makes it even more difficult is if you have many display-items sitting out that must be dusted, such as stacks of books, photographs, figurines, baskets of decorative soap, etc. One way to minimize the dusting chore is to pack up part of it and rotate what you keep out, perhaps twice a year. Another solution is to store as much as possible behind glass doors. If you have any that you don’t really like anymore, consider donating them.
Re-think what goes where. What I mean by this is if you have chronic pain as my friend does, think about what your range of motion when re-organizing your space. For her, it’s roughly from her fingertips to the top of her head. That is where her most commonly used items should be stored. Whether this is a cell phone charger, a bottle of hand-lotion, the dishwasher detergent, or your morning coffee mugs, think of what is the easiest place to reach, and put your daily use items there.
Here is an example. Let’s say my friend has some decorative soap on the bathroom counter, just taking up space. She has designated a spot in the drawer for her hair dryer, but bending over hurts too much, so of course she does not put it back in the drawer. (Please note that I am not criticizing my friend. I truly want my friends and clients to make their space fit them, not to feel guilty because something never gets put away.)
My suggestion is to put the pretty soap away, to clear the counter. Then, buy a wall-mount hair dryer holder, such as this one. She will have more counter space, less to dust, and an easy, comfortable way to put away her hairdryer each day.
Keep your private spaces private. How does that help? Well, if your bedroom, bathroom and possibly your comfy-spot are designated as private spaces with your needs in mind, then perhaps that frees you up to make your own comfort the highest priority – over the room’s décor. Maybe your bedroom has a grab-bar near the bed. Maybe you have a huge stack of blankets near your comfy spot. Perhaps you need blackout curtains for headache days. Then, you can keep the just living room area company-ready. Kinda takes the pressure off.
If you have not changed how you do things for several years, especially if you are dealing with an illness, then perhaps it’s time to rethink your how and where you store items, and transform your home into one that supports your current abilities.
Does your home support you? Do you need help modifying your storage to meet your needs? If you need help, then I invite you to call me to chat.