“Clutter bugs” have the biggest challenge, I think, in living with low vision. The more things on the table, the more like wallpaper that table becomes, a pattern into which individual items will just disappear. A person with a lifetime habit of leaving things on any horizontal surface will not, I repeat, will not, change overnight. However, for this person, small steps to remove clutter from their environment pay big rewards. Here are a couple of easy, first steps:

  • Get rid of existing printed table cloths and bedspreads, leaving a plain background for anything that is placed there.
  • With one thing at a time (pick the item), try always to place, say, your magnifier or your keys or your purse in exactly the same place. When you feel you have been successful in establishing a “home” for that item, pick another item and decide where “it will live” in your house or in your office. Keep going. This might get fun. (Note to relatives, house cleaners, and friends, be warned that your help doing this for someone else could be limited. What placement is logical for you may not be logical for someone else.)
  • To assist in the above, you might consider getting some pieces of dark or light felt, or even a special ceramic dish for the corner of the kitchen counter, for example, where an item like a set of keys will make its home. Remember how you might have put a glass on a coaster to prevent a water ring on the wooden table? Same idea. But go for contrast, always.
  • If this is difficult, do not give up, and do not beat yourself up over it, either. The goals ares to make your life easier and locating things less stressful. Find small successes and build on them. Remember that social science tells us that it takes three weeks to develop a new habit!

Now if you live with a “clutter bug” who has plenty of vision, I think I will turn it back to you, at least for this post!