ABC's of MS
ABC's of MS
O is for Organizing
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O is for Organizing

Organizing the home for wheelchair living

I recently had the opportunity to reconnect and chat with my friend, Caroline Thor about the changes I’ve made to my home since being in a wheelchair. Caroline is a KonMari® Consultant and owns a business called Living Clutter Free Forever. She has weekly podcast where she discusses a specific organizational topic. She asked me to join her for a chat about how I’ve adapted my house now that I use a wheelchair full-time.

Caroline and I have known each other since we went to elementary school together in the UK. She now lives in Germany with her husband and family and I’m in the States. We’re connected on Facebook, but the last time we saw each other was when we were 19, so it was fantastic reconnecting with her to do this.

I’ve written a few notes below by room. I hope if you ever need them that they help. x

ORGANIZATION TIPS BY ROOM

Kitchen

  • Create a special drawer for the person in the wheelchair at their height for them to keep their kitchen supplies in -such as plates, cups, crackers, nuts, vitamins, chocolate

  • Give the person a space in the refrigerator at their height for supplies they commonly use

  • Make sure they can reach food they need in cupboards/pantry

Dining

  • If the person has weakness in their hands/arms, switch china plates to bamboo or plastic, same with glassware, and try weighted cutlery

  • Switch stem wine glasses for tumblers

  • Remove a chair from the dining table so the person in a wheelchair has their spot

  • Put a plastic mat on the floor beneath wheelchair for spills and ease of movement

Bathroom

  • There are lots of options for bathrooms, from complete remodels to DIY tweaks. Because bathing is a serious and can be a dangerous matter, I suggest you speak to a professional. Here’s what we’ve done:

  • Installed safety grab bars on the walls of the shower

  • Removed shower glass and replaced with a curtain

  • I use a slidey shower seat

  • I have a little mirror on a stand that I can bring to the edge of the counter to see myself close-up

  • Toilets are a whole other conversation. When I was first paraplegic my nurses in hospital figured out that a bariatric commode placed above the toilet is the best solution for me. It is the right height to transfer independently and I can use the extra surface space to help me balance while I dress myself.

Bedroom

  • A bed rail is great, I have one with a pocket to store my phone and other bits and bobs

  • Make sure if you have a mirror it’s low enough for the person to see in (a long mirror works well)

General

  • Remove area rugs

  • Add coat hooks low enough for the person using the wheelchair to use

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