When it comes to preparation and organizing, I admit I have perfected the process. If things are not in the proper place, it makes me feel uncomfortable at best. I believe in the old saying: “a place for everything and everything has its place.” Those are words I remember from the older people in the family. I learned to make my bed and organize my dolls and stuffed animals at the age of five. Everything occupied a specific place in my spotless room. I had my clothes in the closet organized by color, season and function. An organized room made it easier to grab an item and go.
As I have gotten older, the need to organize and collate items, events and procedures has helped me professionally as well as in my everyday life. I decided to make organization my focus for 2021. When I say organization, I’m not just referring to rearranging the closet or kitchen cabinets. I am also talking about mental organization. Prior to having an iLevel® Power Chair, I wasn’t as involved in the day-to-day operations of my home because I couldn’t reach a lot of items that were above counter height. Having iLevel technology on my power wheelchair means I am an equal stakeholder and contributor to family projects.
Planning my clothing for the week seems crazy as I write this, but as I said before, it has helped me especially since I became disabled. When you have a life changing event, like a debilitating diagnosis, you discover the importance of logistics. Know your route and find out how and when you want to complete your objective.
When I started this new journey of being a wheelchair warrior, I was constantly frustrated and utterly worn down by being unable to do normal things that I used to complete everyday effortlessly: bathing, dressing, getting ready for work in time to beat traffic. I didn’t just lack the ability to move freely. My thinking was disjointed from my actions. Surely, I can figure out how to navigate this. The moving parts are just different and bringing everything together involves organizing things differently.
My skills in organization have helped find the best route to and from home to a destination. I can easily navigate special events. I am the “go to” person when it’s time to put all the disjointed and haphazard pieces of a big event together at work. People still come to me when we need to organize a clothing drive for church. I have been asked to organize interdepartmental cross-training compliance conferences, which involves hundreds of details and working with top executives.
Tips for Organizing
One of my most important rules for organizing is to define the objective clearly. What do I want the result to look like? How do I want it to function? Next, when planning you should constantly repeat this mantra: “Choose the path of least resistance.” No matter what your project or endeavor, anyone individual, no matter what their physical or mental capabilities, should be able to use the space or participate in the event easily.
Finally, get the opinion of trusted source. Ask somebody you trust to tell you the truth. This means that who you ask may not agree with your setup. This is really an asset when organizing. Everyone thinks differently and how you think is not always the best way. Bringing another person that thinks differently into the fold helps you to see the few items or spaces that you may have missed.
I am always reconstructing how I organize everything in my life. Each new iteration, the evolution of every thought makes things better for me. I am efficient because I have to be efficient. I look at common things as tools to aid in my mobility. Luckily, I have tools to help me be the best me: specifically, my iLevel Power Chair. I call her Bumblebee from the Transformers. It’s funny how she helps me to transform into an intrepid adventurer in my quest to be happy, fulfilled and satisfied in all aspects of living.
About Merlisha Henderson: Merlisha lives in Arizona with her family. She uses an Edge 3 Electric Wheelchair for mobility. As a wife, mother and disability advocate in her community, Merlisha stays active and independent, working toward bringing equality and access to all. Click here to learn more about Merlisha.