Organizing and Labeling Tips
By Laura Yakey, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) at CABVI
After practice, have you ever brought home someone else’s smelly socks? Have you ever grabbed another player’s hockey stick on your way onto the ice? Do you want to be organized better? If so, below are a few helpful hints to organize and label your personal belongings, including your hockey equipment.
Each person has their own “system” of organizing their personal belongings. Certain systems are more efficient. For a person who has a vision impairment, organization is key to helping them quickly locate and identify their items, including clothing, toiletries, DVDs, and even sports equipment.
Use these organizational tips to enhance your own personal system:
- Establish a place for each item and always keep items in the same place every time. Ask members of your household to return items to your designated place.
- Using containers is beneficial. Baskets, totes, boxes, garment bags, Ziploc bags, and jars can be used to separate items you use and can be labelled.
- Separate similar items or group them together, depending on your needs. Separate colors you may have difficulty discerning, like darks or pastels, or group matching outfits together on a hanger. For example, do not keep your Bengay and toothpaste together if you can’t tell the difference between the tubes.
- Laundry loops and mesh laundry bags can be used to keep your clothing together when packing up after a game and when doing your laundry.
- Safety pins and rubber bands can attach similar items together. Safety pin a pair of socks together when throwing them in the laundry. This can help with those pesky missing or mismatched socks.
Now that you are figuring out the best system of organization for you, labelling your items is the next step. Labelling will make it easier for you to identify what you have. You can use everyday household items to label your belongings or there are specialty labeling products available as well.
- Everyday items like rubber bands, stickers, duct tape, Sharpie markers, safety pins and index cards can be used to mark your different items.
- If you have difficulty telling the difference between your navy blue pants and black pants, add a safety pin to the tag or seam of your navy blue pants.
- Use colored or textured tape on your hockey stick, helmet or other belongings to discern your equipment from the other players.
- For those with low vision, write your name in large print with a Sharpie on all of your equipment
- These examples can be used at home or work.
- There are many options for specialty labeling products that are available to help with identification, including applications on your phone.
- Sew Color Mates, Identi-Button System, and Braille tags into your clothes for color and pattern identification.
- Puff Paint and Spot N’ Line is a three-dimensional plastic liquid that, when dried, makes raised lines, dots, and shapes to identify clothing, canned goods, frozen foods, and mark the settings on appliances.
- Braille and Large Print label guns are available and come with stick-on tape that can be added to most hard surfaces.
- Electronic voice labelling devices are popular, including the Pen Friend, Reizen Labelling Wand, and the VOXCOM. These devices allow the user to record personal voice labels to attach to their items.
- Accessible smartphone applications allow the user to identify colors, read print, identify money, and even read barcodes. Some popular applications include SeeingAI, TapTapSee, iDentify, and WayAround.
Some people have a “method to their madness” when it comes to organization and identification. Hopefully, these tips will help you be more efficient and independent, because no one wants to take another person’s smelly, sweaty socks home! If you would like to learn more about organization, labelling techniques, or the products discussed, please contact me by email at Lauray@cabvi.org.
Laura Yakey, M.S.Ed, is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) at CABVI. She has provided services to children and adults with vision impairments for over 10 years. Laura provides support to CABVI’s Adaptive Sports and Recreation programming, including USA Blind Hockey.
Published September 2020