Wardrobe Combos: Time-Saving Tips for People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

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Getting the Jump on the Morning Routine

using colored tags and large print tags to label clothes in closet

You’re probably aware of the saying: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." I can think of many areas in life where this saying could be applicable, but none more than the daily morning routine. You know the one where you’ve just overslept and you jump up in automatic panic mode wondering how in the world you’re going to be able to get yourself together in time to get to work. This issue is irritating to just about anyone but if you are blind or visually impaired it’s especially annoying.

If the above scenario has happened to you, take heart and know that you are not alone. Unless you are a true morning person, you probably hate the effort it takes to get ready in the morning on a good day let alone if you have a tendency to oversleep.

The Key to Success is Preparation

Careful planning ahead of time is key for this system to work and while it may be a little time consuming initially, it will save you more time in the long run perhaps even allowing you to catch a couple of extra Z’s. As peer advisor Maribel Steel says in a recent post, "Micro-management is the answer! People who are blind or have low vision rely completely on being highly organized."

Without further ado let’s look at the following steps to implementing a time-saving daily wardrobe routine:

Steps

  1. You’ll need hangers to get started (you won’t need all of the items listed, just whatever works for your personal situation):

    (a) Fixed or swivel hook plastic shirt hangers

    (b) Pants/skirt hangers. These have two clips to hang bottoms.

    (c) Suit combo hangers (can be wooden or plastic). As the name implies these are a combination of a shirt and pants/skirt hangers with two clips to hang bottoms.

    (d) Make your own combo hangers with aluminum soda can pull-tabs and shirt hangers (the thin velvet ones are perfect), mesh drawstring bags or plastic sandwich bags, or drawstring shoe bags or grocery store bags. If you use sandwich bags, a hole needs to be punched near the top of the bag to slip it over the hanger. If you don't have a hole punch you can use the hanger itself or a pencil or pen.

  2. Take inventory of your favorite apparel (this includes, accessories like scarves and jewelry to footwear).
  3. Layout several clothing ensembles with your faves (take into consideration your favorite accessories and footwear which will be added in the next steps).
  4. Use the mesh drawstring or sandwich bags for jewelry and smaller accessories.
  5. Use the drawstring shoe or grocery store bags for footwear.
mesh bag hanging on door knob Attributed to 'BoldBlind Beauty'

Creating Your Wardrobe Combos

Once you have everything sorted and bagged then you can begin the assembling process for each of the hangers described above:

  1. Fixed or swivel hook hangers (typically from a retailer) are convenient because the hook is built into the shirt hanger allowing you to insert a skirt/pant hanger into it.
  2. Suit combo hangers work the same way as the fixed or swivel hooks as you can use the clips to hang your bottoms.
  3. Aluminum soda can pull-tabs can be used to create your own combo hangers by inserting the neck of the pull-tab onto a shirt hanger and then insert a skirt/pant hanger into the second hole.
variety of clothes hangers using soft drink pull-tabs to create series of hangers. Attributed to 'BoldBlind Beauty'

Ready to Hang

You are now ready to create each of your wardrobe combos by hanging tops/bottoms on appropriate hangers then hang the corresponding mesh bag(s) and footwear bag(s) to your combos by their drawstrings. Taking a proactive approach to dressing by planning your outfits ahead of time will help alleviate some of tress that comes with getting ready in the morning.

Related Articles

Last year I wrote Being Fashionable in the New Year

For more suggestions on organizing, you may want to read:


Topics:
Home modification
Independence
There are currently 2 comments

Re: Wardrobe Combos: Time-Saving Tips for People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision



Great post Steph!! Fantastic suggestions to keeping clothes neat and...micro-managed! Next challenge, is training our families to do the same...


Re: Wardrobe Combos: Time-Saving Tips for People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision



I use this sort of system when I pack for a trip. I count out the number of outfits I will need and collect the accessories for each outfit as I pack. When I am doing laundry, I organize each outfit on a hanger combo so I can just grab the next one off the closet rod and scramble in to it. I alternate winter and summer wardrobes in spring and fall. As I hang up clean clothes, I move them to the far end of the closet and pull the ones closest to wear sliding everything down. If the next outfit is too lightweight or heavy for the weather, I flip through the line until I find the right weight outfit. I find those totes that you get at confernces perfect for gathering scarves, hair ornaments, jewelry shoes and belts together to hang up on the hanger with my Native American regalia. If I use the same black skirt and slacks with more than one blouse and blazer, I hang them together and decide which I want to wear. I like my outfits to have multiple pieces so that I can layer and mix and match for the occasion. That way I can wear slacks to sit through conference workshops, switch out the pants for a skirt to go out to dinner or dress up with fancier blouse or sweater and ditch the blazer for a more casual look to go out sightseeing or shopping. You might think that it doesn't matter how you dress, but if you are well put together, you will find that service people and casually met strangers are more eager to help you if you don't look too odd. At many events where there are a lot of blind people, I have heard some folks complain that they can never find a volunteer to assist them. I usually have the opposite problem. I get stopped often by volunteers asking if they can help me. I think it is because if they are nervous about speaking to a blind person, they find one who is together and attractive easier to approach.


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