Homeadults with learning disabilitiesMore Simple Organization Tips

One of the common problems with dyslexia and other forms of LD is a lack of organizational skills. This probably has something to do with the tendency to have a poor working memory and being easily distracted.

Our cute little dragon
keyholder. Hubby
keeps his keys
there.

I’ve written a fair amount about this topic, but as time passes, the occurs to me. For me, it’s often the small stuff that gets lost along the way.

Designate Spots for Small Objects
Since I walk or take mass transit when I need to go anywhere, I have a hard time remembering my keys. I’m not a fan of carrying a purse, so when I wear jackets, I keep whatever I need in the pockets. In the summer, I will occasionally carry a purse, but usually I carry one of my larger bags.

For some reason, although I’ll remember my wallet (money and ID are important), my cell phone (safety and connectivity), and my emergency inhaler (breathing is good), keys always seem to get forgotten. Getting locked out is no fun.

So, instead of hiding a spare key somewhere outside, a Bad Idea in our area, I’ve designated a spot in which to keep them. Right on my desk, often in the small purse I’ll grab for short outings.

For families, or other types of multi-person household, a key rack or other holder of small objects by the door might be a good option.

Cell phones are also a problem, but if you get in the habit of plugging your phone into the charger every time you get home, it’ll be easier to find when you need it.

This method tens to work with any small object. The hard part is usually in turning the act of putting things in their place into a habit. I’ve read somewhere that usually takes something like 20 days of regularly doing it for the habit to take.

Paperwork and Homework
I know I’ve covered this in past entries, but it’s worth mentioning here. Things like homework and paperwork are extremely difficult to keep track of, especially if you’re a visual thinker, like I am.

This is where color coding, folders and binders come in. There are quite a few ways to do this. One is to designate a single folder to each subject, and organize them according to what days you have the class in a binder. Another way is to designate two folders per subject. One for work that needs to be done, and one for finished work that needs to be turned in.

For big projects, binders are fantastic. I’m rather fond of the ones that allow you to insert your own covers or labels into them, like the one in this affiliate link:

 
You can see at a glance what it’s for, while keeping paperwork in order and creating your own color coding system. Come to think of it, it might be helpful to have a “to-do” and “done” binder at home, so as work is completed, you can move it to the other.
While I’m on the topic, it’s also possible to have a binder for each day of the week. If you use this system for school, you can move finished homework into the binder for whatever day the assignment is due, bring the binder full of completed homework and needed papers with you to class, and restart the process when you get home.
I guess it works in theory, anyway. If anyone already does this, let me know how it goes for you.
Other options include expandable folders, filing totes and desktop organizers.
Lists
Today, I braved the sauna otherwise known as “outside” to pick a few things up from our local grocery store. Since I have a relatively hard time remembering things, I wrote up a list beforehand, and managed to get everything we needed.
I know from experience that if I don’t put together a grocery list before I head to the store alone, I’ll forget something basic. I know that’s a common problem, but I also use lists when I have to make multiple stops. 
Since I’m either on foot or on the bus, I always make a mental map of stops before I head out. That saves me quite a bit of time and energy, but it also effects how I put my lists together. This is what I’d write for a trip to the library, sending out mail and the store:
  • Mail letters at box in front of library
  • Return books
  • Pick up reserved books
    Buy:
  • New socks
  • Cleaning supplies
  • TMNT bandages

As I finish each item, I cross it off. If you happen to have a smart phone, there are apps for just that purpose.

However, for every day to-do lists, or weekly appointments, dry erase boards are wonderful. They’re easy to rewrite every week or even day, accessible and money saving in the long run. You can find them in all sorts of formats, too. The link below is a lot like the one hanging in our kitchen.

These three organization tricks have helped me out the most, but there are so many more ideas out there.

I’ve put together a list of articles and entries I’ve already written about the topic, if you’re interested in reading more.

How to Keep Your Home Organized
Organization Tips for Your Computer Desk
Get Organized! (More general tips and ideas.)
How to Organize Paperwork

Can Modern Technology and Techniques Compensate for Poor Short Term Memory? – This one is by another blogger who has some awesome ideas about how to compensate for a poor working memory.

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