Getting Organized: Command Central
Before you start to declutter your home, construct “command central,” which Leslie Josel, a professional organizer and coauthor of The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life, describes as the “space for your most critical supplies.” This includes your blood glucose meter, batteries, test strips, glucose sources, and even individually portioned snacks. The location of command central depends on your home and your lifestyle. “For someone who is in their [home] office 24/7, that might be a much better place for them than a bathroom or a bedroom,” Josel says.
- Prime real estate: For easy access, keep essentials within what Josel calls “prime real estate”—cabinet and counter area between your shoulders and knees. It’s easier to remember to check your blood glucose or eat a snack when a reminder is right in front of you.
- Binder: Command central should contain all information that family members may need in case of emergency, particularly if there is a child in your household with diabetes. Josel recommends using a binder to store all emergency contact information, health provider numbers (including your primary care doctor, endocrinologist and other specialists, diabetes educator, and pharmacy), a checklist of all diabetes supplies, and instructions on how to spot and treat hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).
- Pegboard: If you have more wall space, Weiner and Josel suggest hanging a pegboard on which you can keep all of your supplies—ideal for people who forget things when they’re out of sight. This can work well in a laundry room, bathroom, or kitchen.
- Pull-out drawer: If you store supplies in a drawer, be sure to keep absolutely everything related to your diabetes management in there. This includes your meter, testing items, meal planner, and carb-counting booklet, if you use one.
- Velcro: If you count yourself among the seriously disorganized, Josel has a tip that may help tidiness stick—literally. Add Velcro to the inside doors of your cabinets and attach your necessities there.
- Safety first: Update your emergency contacts binder regularly. That way, when you leave your child or loved one in the hands of other caregivers, they’ll be prepared in case of emergency.
- Clear is king: Colorful bins may be more appealing, but stick with clear plastic containers so you can quickly view their contents. “We want to be able to access things easily,” says Josel. “And you take the guesswork out of what’s in there.”