4 simple ways to stop fighting your dyslexia in everyday life
In our most recent Hive Event, we got to chatting about how overwhelming being dyslexic feels. That got us thinking about some simple, easy ways to declutter our lives in dyslexic-friendly ways.
Before we go any further into our tips and tricks, we want to say; that it is ok that things fall apart. Don't force yourself to be tidy if you can't be; your brain is already working so hard. Being messy, disorganised, or cluttered does not make you less of a person. Remember, you live in a world not built for your brain. We give you full permission to take a deep breath and leave the mess.
Get Rid of Stuff
Getting rid of stuff decreases visual clutter with reduces decision fatigue. You have 10 pairs of trousers in your closet, and only 2 fit. You get dressed for the day, and your brain has to run through all the trousers and decide what fits, which ones match your top, what shoes you will pair with them, what activities you will be doing, and so many other little things. Be kind to yourself and let things go. Letting things go can also make you a happier person and stop micro-aggressions (like not being able to fit into something) from hurting your confidence.
Keep things Visual
Dyslexics are visual creatures; we remember things better when we have seen them. So make sure you can see your stuff. Clear bins in your pantry, tiered shelves for your spices and colorful sticky note reminders on your door are easy switches that will keep you seeing everything. We are big fans of the KonMari Method and The Home Edit as inspiration. While our lives might not look like either of those companies, they help inspire visual systems you can create for yourself.
Create Easy Systems
Do you forget to get the mail or leave the wet laundry in the washer (and have to rewash it because it starts to smell bad)? Being dyslexic means our minds are not always great about remembering things in the short term. This is where creating systems that work for you is critical. Ask yourself what you are struggling with and why. For example, I kept killing house plants because I could not remember the last time I watered them. I go to the grocery store every Monday and decided to habit stack that action with one I wanted to do. Every time I go to the store, I tend to my plants when I finish unloading the groceries. It took a while, but it has now become a habit.
Make your Environment Work for You
If you are like us, you probably have little piles of things all around your house. I personally always take my shoes off right by the bedroom door. That is not where they "belong"; they go in the closet. I used to get so mad at myself "why can't I just walk the few extra steps to the closet and put them away." One day (after lots of beating myself up), I decided that taking my shoes off by the door felt natural and that I should stop working against myself. So, I put a pretty little basket by my door, and now that is where I toss my shoes. While yes, they still belong in the closet, at least now my environment works for me and feels a bit less cluttered.
Look around at your habits and change the environment to suit those habits. It is time to stop working against your instincts. Small changes can significantly affect how you talk to yourself and view your home.