Your Bedroom and Closets

Ten Tips for Making Your Bedroom Safe, Functional, and Comfortable

  • Arrange furniture to reduce obstructions in the main traffic path.
  • Consider color contrast when choosing your bedspread, decorator pillows, window coverings, etc.
  • If blinds are on the window, use a contrasting color on the pulls to make them easier to see.
  • Light switches and outlet covers should contrast with walls.
  • Keep electrical cords out of the traffic path and low objects like footstools.
  • Use adjustable blinds and window coverings to control light and glare.
  • Keep a magnifying device or direct light desk lamp at your bedside for specific tasks such as reading or sewing.
  • If you use a television in the bedroom, position it to reduce glare.
  • Keep remote controls in a tray of a contrasting color on a bedside table or other location that you can easily find.
  • Use a bedside lamp or nightlight to ensure safety if you get up at night.

Note: Large-button telephones, large-print wall clocks, talking clocks, and low-vision alarm clocks are available for persons with low vision. Many include features for people with hearing loss, as well.

Organizing Your Closet or Wardrobe

The first step is to get rid of what you don’t need. Here are five recommendations guaranteed to streamline and organize your closets and bureau drawers:

  • Give away or throw away any article of clothing you haven’t worn in more than a year.
  • Add dividers to your drawers to separate sweaters, scarves, underwear, and other items that end up in a jumble when there are no boundaries to keep them in order.
  • Organize by outfit, coordinating attractive combinations in advance.
  • Bag it. Store small, easily lost items, such as jewelry, in plastic zipper lock bags. Plastic bags are also useful for keeping coordinated scarves and belts with outfits.
  • Organize by outfit, coordinating attractive combinations in advance. You can also organize by color, keeping all clothing of the same color together.

Your Living Room

Is your living room overly lit in the daytime? Many living rooms are designed to take in great amounts of light—a positive for a sighted person but a problem if your eyes are sensitive to light. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some living rooms—in many older homes, for example—are excessively dark, limiting visibility.

Also, are there too many sharp edges in your living room? Think of the typical low-lying, sharp-cornered coffee table or the everyday use of glass and other hard surfaces as a design element. The likelihood of falls and painful collisions is always present.

Ten Simple Ideas for Creating a Safe, Welcoming Living Room

  • Experiment with lighting to achieve the most pleasing and workable room tone. You can also install window blinds, which are adjustable to reduce glare from sunlight. Choose room lighting that provides light over a broad area, with adjustable swing-arm or gooseneck lamps for targeted lighting in places where you read or do other tasks. Visit the General Lighting section for more tips.
  • Kill the clutter.  Get rid of extra furniture that you don’t use.
  • Organize your furniture to create 3-foot-wide clear paths around the room. Ensure no holes or rips in the carpet or other floor irregularities exist. Create a walkway using large furniture elements, such as the back of the sofa. You can also arrange furniture to create a “resting area” where you can pause if you need to adjust to lighting level changes (e.g., going from a dimly lit hallway to a bright living room).
  • Remove low-lying objects. When laying out the furniture, you might consider removing the coffee table and other low-lying objects altogether. If you don’t wish to give up having a coffee table, choose one that contrasts with the color of the floor and walls and has rounded edges. Avoid clear glass.
  • Rearrange electrical cords so they are not in the pathway.
  • Remove throw or area rugs, if possible. If you need to leave them in place, use nonskid padding or double-sided tape to secure them to the floor.
  • Remember to use contrast. Contrast comes in handy throughout the living room. Pillows and throws should contrast sharply with the furniture they are placed on—different colors, patterns, and textures. Choose furniture fabric that contrasts with the floor material, or use bright-colored piping along the edges of seat cushions. The carpet or other floor covering, windows, and exits should contrast with the walls. Finally, use switch plates that differ in color from the walls, or highlight existing outlets with colored paint or tape. See the Contrast section for more information.
    Also, decorating with pillows or throws in contrasting colors makes it easier to see furniture.
  • Be mindful of glare. Position your TV, clocks, stereos, and anything with electronic displays so they are always away from glare.
  • Keep everything in its place. For example, you can use a tray to store objects like a remote, so you can always find it when needed.
  • Ask friends and relatives to respect your arrangements. Once you have your living room arranged to your liking, ask friends and family to help you keep it all in order. Request that they put items back in the same place they found them and that they do not move anything without your permission.

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