5 Ways to Avoid Daily Chaos if Visually Impaired

woman organizing sheving
woman organizing sheving. Harry Williamson/13/Spring Studio

What happens if, as someone with low vision or blindness, you are sharing your home with a sighted family who sometimes forget the importance of keeping clutter under control – rather than under your feet?

For most of us, our home is our sanctuary. A safe haven shared with our loved ones and perhaps a menagerie of pets.
No doubt, your family care very deeply for you and, on the whole, do their best to accommodate your personal methods of keeping scattered items to a minimum.

They mean well but are busy people too.

Control the Chaos

From personal experience, I have to remind my family that my tendency to put everything back in a specific place is not a sign of being a control-freak but a matter of emotional and physical well-being.
Managing potential chaos like this in your home not only helps you to function independently, knowing that nothing has moved from where you last put it, but it also provides you with essential confidence to safely negotiate obstacles in every room of your shared abode.

5 Tried and Tested Techniques

The most effective way to avoid daily chaos when living with sighted people is to practice these 5 tried and tested techniques:  

1: Prepare, Stack & Pack!
When you lack the sense of sight, try developing the essential habit of making a mental note of where you store your personal items in your bedroom and bathroom: bookshelves and closets require meticulous attention too.

As you do, stop for a brief moment to jot it in your memory. The more you stick to this repetitive action, the more efficient you will be in locating those items again with less frustration.
Stack and pack items in mini-baskets, textural cloth bags, shoeboxes and other highly recognizable containers that will help you quickly locate a group of items.

Being methodical, and organised shifts chaos into reliable living.

 2: Praise Collaboration
If you are sharing your home with others, teamwork and collaboration are essential. For example, develop some ‘house rules’ where kitchen cupboards  are always closed, dining chairs are always tucked neatly under the table the moment someone gets up to leave, doors between rooms are never, ever left half open and breakable items such as drinking glasses are placed at the back of a bench against another item or, better still, washed up and put away.
How is that for collaboration? When it works, don’t take it for granted, praise them.

 3: Be Less Stressed with More Time
When you are blind, you calculate time differently. You become acutely aware that a relatively simple task for sighted people requires much more time to complete. To retain your independence, it is wise to allow more time for your tasks.
Calm order will bring a clear mind, a relaxed certainty and, most importantly, will reduce the potential for accidents.

4: Quickly Forgive Imperfection
Life is not always predictable – people are not perfect. Someone has forgotten to close a kitchen drawer, parked their bike in the middle of the path, shifted the TV remote, packed away important documents you can’t find and you are about to crumble with sheer frustration.

Stop! Take a breath! And forgive their imperfections. It’s not easy for them either to live by someone else’s house rules.

5: Take a Break to Consolidate
Being blind or visually-impaired uses a lot of mental and physical energy daily. Go easy with your expectations when you feel anxiety beginning to surface. Take a break from having to remember your filing system and relax. Do something enjoyable…put your energy to some other great purpose – hug the ones you love!

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