As we approach the age of 70, I sometimes find that I’m the perfect cliché of the “old man”. I set things down and forget where I put them. I go to a different floor of the house and am unsure what my objective was. It seems that I get so focused on some thought or distraction, that I let go of what I was previously thinking… frustrating. My ability to respond quickly, decisively and efficiently is becoming impaired because that part of me that always knew exactly where everything was, is no longer functioning like it once did… a first responder’s nightmare.
Likewise, at times I’ve misplaced gear, tools and occasionally supplies that I’ve put away. I end up with related items in unrelated and un-remembered places. A partial solution we’ve developed is to “kit-up”. By “kit-up” I mean using a labeled stackable clear plastic container, a duffle bag, metal box or whatever best suits the purpose, to gather, identify and collectively shelf items that are mutually associated… to essentially create grab-and-go points for a broad range of purposes.
For instance, a particular 9mm pistol… placing all magazines (inserted into a multi-pouch mag-holster), basic cleaning gear, sight adjusting tools, holsters and anything else that reasonably relates to that handgun in a single container. Regardless of what first aid products I may think are in the medicine cabinets or the drawer in the kitchen, I’ve filled a sling-strap Condor Pack with just about everything that we might reasonably need medically. We have a container of flashlights. There’s one of knives, openers and punches. Another box of shoelaces, polish, weather proofing, shoe goo and leather cleaning products. The other day I made up one of tapes and glues. I’m sure you get the idea.
We have dozens of inexpensive Wal-Mart containers on shelves in the basement. At first it seemed a bit over the top, but I really feel like I’ve regained some of the control I felt I was losing. I guess I’ve compensated for losses in mental organization with improved physical organization. My expectation is that, in an emergency, I can just head for the shelves rather than waste time hunting through various closets and drawers. My hope is that it will not only get me to what I need quicker, but keep the anxiety factor under control.
My wife and I police one another. If something doesn’t find its way back into the box it belongs in, we give the other a nudge. Putting the trappings of your life in kit boxes might seem like a lot of work and in the beginning it was, but if you value your level of responsiveness and maybe your tactical edge as you get older, try it. It’s working very well for us.
Mrs S and I have first hand knowledge of Alzheimers and we watch each other for signs. Sadly she gets upset at me for pointing them out as her Mother is in the final stages of Alzheimers...reality sucks as someone once said.
Anyway, I hope and pray that this disease is eradicated but we all know that having a "senior" moment or two is something to watch out for.
Be careful be observant and be diligent!
07-11-2019, 12:55 AM
This makes a lot of sense now. I have been to homes of "older people" and noticed containers and always wondered why they had so many. My grandparents included did this very thing. Makes sense now they must have come up with some type of system like you have. I would not take this action as a bad thing. It appears you have adapted, improvised and overcome.
07-11-2019, 03:00 AM
I hate the feeling of walking into a room and forgetting why the hell I entered in the first place. Particularly frustrating when it's the bathroom. :plain: My memory fading, a touch of arthritis setting in, bad back, eyes getting a little more foggy, I can no longer do what I once did when I was 20, 30, or even 40. Your forced to make the adjustments that advanced age requires and wonder when did this happen? How did I become 60 so quickly? At 20 I wasn't supposed to see or imagine 60. This is what happens when you survive.
Now, why did I walk into the bathroom again? :vs_worry: :vs_mad:
In my youth, I remember waking up with a woman and not remembering her name or much of anything else. I think keeping organized is a terrific idea. I am now a happily married one woman man and she definitely keeps me organized. It is much better now.
07-11-2019, 09:11 PM
Personally, . . . my 74 years + have been so cluttered, . . . I've barely ever had time for any serious "de-cluttering".
I find out where X is because I'm looking for Y, . . . and day after next when I'm going back to find X, . . . I'll notice where Z is, . . . for some future date.
It's a lousy system, . . . certainly not Access or Excel caliber, . . . but, darned if it don't work.
The only problem is that sometimes someone else will move something, . . . then the system goes haywire.
But I am getting ready to fall in line there Packrat, . . . lost too many of them brain cells smoking them Camel un-filtered back in the day, . . . now it is beginning to show.
Either that, . . . or the theory that your brain collapses because it was your hair that held it up, . . . and since the hair is gone, . . . the brain falls down and cannot fully function any more.
Went to the Dollar store, . . . and Lowes, . . . invested in a bunch of small CLEAR totes so I can "kinda sorta almost" de-clutter and organize.
Now if I can just find my Dymo labeler and the box of Dymo tape.
May God bless,
07-12-2019, 04:06 PM
We can’t lay claim to coming up with the containers solution ourselves. We kinda got the idea when we visited our son who is a Master Sergeant in the Marine Corps and his significant other who holds a PHD in Disaster Response Management. One entire wall of the garage in their high dessert home was floor to ceiling columns of large labeled clear containers on rough lumber shelves filled with His, Hers and Their gear… all neatly organized according to its associated application. Between the two of them, they maintained so much technical equipment, nothing short of that level of organization could help them avoid chaos. They called it their “kit-wall”.
The visit was a few years ago, but we were impressed enough to borrow from their solution and assemble our own kits.
07-12-2019, 04:21 PM
I have two and only two things to find if I go out for errands. Now, my gym bag doesn't count for this debate--I've packed it "blind" for over 40 years. As for my keys, they are carabinered to my jeans.
The two things I misplace every stinking morning is my 1970s flip phone and a switchblade knife. You have no idea how many times my wife call me from the other end of the couch so I can hear my phone ring. In most cases, it's in my jacket--right where I left it.
As for a knife, I've owned one since 1958. I'd rather leave the house without my pants than without a tool.
Oh, and my wife always leaves me 8 bucks. It's been this way for decades--one fiver and three singles. It's for iced coffee and a refill...
07-12-2019, 04:45 PM
I tend to buy shit at Hardware Stores for projects only to find that I have boxes of what I needed in various places; in my basement shop, my garage shop or in my barn.
Today I drove 18 miles to the closest Home Depot looking for $5.00 worth of a special fastener only to come home and find 2 BOXES worth $50 of the fastener that I was looking for right there in sorta plain site on my basement Workbench!
Then I noticed the light bulb was out on my workbench so I probably will head out to the hardware store tomorrow to replace it...
(Slippy, Maybe you should look for replacement bulbs before you head out in the morning? HA! What fun would that be!?!?!...I'm an idiot.:tango_face_wink:)
07-12-2019, 05:46 PM
I can look for hours for that one tool I know I have. That one special tool that will fit the particular need I have. Finally, after searching the garage for hours, I tell the wife I am off to Lowe's to get the tool I thought I had, but apparently don't. She says, looking at me over the top of her glasses, don't you already have that tool? To which I proclaim "Woman! I will have no more of your trifling." That tool is for a thingamajig, and it's obvious I need a tool for a whatchamacallit. Two days later I am looking at two exact same tools, one I bought 20 years ago, and one I bought two days ago. :plain: