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Friday, February 20, 2015

Tips to Staying Organized

By Ashley Ringstaff—February 19, 2015

I know how hard it is to stay organized in general – but throwing MS into the mix of life itself can be downright unattainable. How do I know this? Because I used to try my hardest to be a very organized person but ever since I was diagnosed with MS it just went out the door. Not on purpose, of course, but because there is SO much involved in staying organized and on top of things with just daily life but having to be organized for doctors appointments, medications, remembering ANYTHING at all, is just a struggle.
I think that a lot of the chaos for me, has to do with having way too much on my plate and not enough time or brain power to conquer it all… but I also think a REALLY big part of this problem for myself, is my cognitive dysfunction aka Cog-Fog.
  1. If you have a phone that allows it, put your upcoming appointments into your cell-phone calendar, with an alarm reminder on it. Maybe even two, if it allows.
  2. Dry-Erase Board Calendar (Month) – Put it somewhere that you will see it frequently. This way you can also add your upcoming appointments to the dry-erase board. This will also allow you keep track if you have taken a certain medication that morning and don’t remember. You can make a little symbol that indicates you have taken that certain medication.
  3. If you are the ‘chef’ and ‘grocery shopper’ for you household, make a weekly menu, if possible. This way you don’t have to worry about last minute plans and shopping for meals.
    • Having crock-pot recipes handy are great. There are some that you can just add all of the ingredients to at once and freezer pack it so you can just dump into the crock-pot if needed.(I usually just Google: crock pot meals freezer pack)
  4. Don’t wait until the last minute to get certain things you might need and/or prepare for a doctors appointment that’s coming up. I know that it’s easier said than done, but we often say we will “remember to do it later” and end up forgetting all together.
  5. Doctors Appointments: Have your most recent medication list ready for your appointment. Along with 1-3 questions/comments you want to go over with your doctor. (While getting your medication list completed, make two copies. This way you can have one on hand, just in case) –**This Section of MSWorld’s Resource Center is still growing so check back often**
  6. If you are the person that pays the bills for you household… auto-pay is a great resource to use if it’s offered. This way you don’t have to ‘remember’ to pay those bills on time. You can also use that alarm reminder, I talked about this in the beginning, on your phone for bills that have the same due date per month.
  7. Have an early morning ahead of you? Do as much as you can the night before (shower, get clothes out, etc.) so that you aren’t trying to get everything done the morning of.
  8. Cleaning: Instead of having a ‘cleaning day’… have a ‘cleaning week’. Don’t over-do. Clean a room per day. (Kitchen = Monday, Living Room = Tuesday, etc.) Trust me, I know this is easier said than done because when I start cleaning, I just want to get it all done in one go. But I have learned over the years, to pace myself, and that the cleaning will be there for me to do the next day.
  9. Have a shopping list ready for you when you go to the store. To make things easier and quicker on yourself, list your grocery list by section. (Produce, Dairy, etc.) And as for most things today – “There’s an App for that”. 
  10. One that I use is: AnyList – which I’m thinking is only with the Apple Store – but you can also see it on your computer as well.
  11. If your pharmacy offers this, sign-up for auto-refill for you prescriptions. Some places even offer to have your medications delivered to you. This also depends on your Insurance Carrier.

Anyway, I figured that I would share the things that I use with everyone, so that maybe it can help some of you stay on top of things. Living with MS isn’t easy – it’s a struggle, a battle, a fight… and I feel like helping out each other and working together, we can really make a difference… big or small.
Ashley Ringstaff

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