Not everyone enjoys organizing, but it’s something that needs to be done every now and then. This is especially true as we get older. You may think that just because something has always been in the same spot that there’s no sense in changing it. However, it’s good to mix up where things are, because this can make navigating your home more efficient. It can also make it safer. Whether you’re organizing for yourself or an older relative or friend, here are some tips you may want to keep in mind.
Keep items at waist height. When you store items at waist height, you won’t have to bend over to get them. This is helpful for anyone with back or knee pain, as it won’t cause them pain to retrieve those items. Placing items you use every day in easy-to-reach places is an easy way to eliminate frustration.
Make steps visible. Maintaining good visibility in stairways can help prevent a dangerous fall. It’s also a good idea to add light to increase visibility. If you don’t like to or can’t go up and down the stairs several times a day, you can also place a basket nearby. Then, simply deposit items that need to go upstairs or downstairs later. This has the added bonus of keeping the stairs themselves free of clutter, which can also be a tripping hazard.
Adapt your spaces to your needs. For example, small kitchens are challenging, but a small, sturdy cart can make a big difference. Use it to carry items back and forth in your living space. You can also use it for extra storage space.
Do your paperwork. This is an annoying but necessary chore. Keep bills labeled and organized in a single place, such as an accordion folder or a filing cabinet. You should also keep any important documents together. In this case, though, you may want to organize them in a fireproof lockbox. Birth certificates, marriage certificates, wills, deeds, passports…those are all tough to replace, so make sure you’re keeping them safe!
Make use of labels and drawer dividers. Drawer dividers are good for paperwork, but they can also help you keep junk in check elsewhere. While stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Target sell dedicated drawer dividers, there’s also a cheaper solution. If you have too many containers lying around, use those to corral rubber bands, pens, tape, stick-on hooks, and more. For bigger items, cube shelves with pop-up fabric boxes are relatively inexpensive, attractive, and easy to label.