It all started when I had enough of the clutter on my kitchen counter tops.
For a while now I’ve been living in a rented apartment with a small kitchen and little pantry space. After moving in I initially decided to store the pantry items in a closet in a room down the hall, while leaving the often-used items in the kitchen.
Perhaps it was ideal for “a thousand-steps-a-day” exercise plan, but clearly precious time was wasted by all that walking back and forth just to get dinner on the table. And with two hungry toddlers involved every second counts! Thankfully I realized that a simple space adjustment could provide the solution:
I moved a couple of shelf support-pins up a notch in one of my kitchen cabinets. This created a larger storage space on bottom so that tall pantry item such as oil containers could fit in and find their way back to their proper place in the kitchen.
While reorganizing the pantry I realized that “out of sight- out of mind” held true for much of the canned food and packages. Their expiration date had long passed and it was time to toss ’em out! Obviously I didn’t really need all that stuff in the first place.
It appeared that I could get some advice from the New York Times best-seller “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by cleaning consultant Marie Kondo. It uses a step-by-step method to simplify and organize homes. As an occupational therapist I know that our environment has a great impact on our lives. I believe that an organized and tidy home can promote sensory wellbeing and a focused mindset while an unorganized home can instill sensory overload and frustration.
This is especially important when dealing with kids with sensory issues. The less time we need to spend on decluttering our homes the considerable more amount of time we have to spend on sensory activities to help promote our kids’ wellbeing.
The following are several sensory activity ideas which don’t need space-consuming objects: Just your time and love.
Heavy Work: Have a crawling race backwards using hands while on the floor. Crawling activates the brain stem which promotes self-regulation. In addition crawling promotes body awareness and motor planning.
Vestibular: Spinning. Hold your kid firmly and spin.
Oral games: play a game of funny faces and stick out tongues and blow cheeks. Whoever laughs last wins!
Jumping: give your kid a piggy-back ride!
Deep pressure: play a game of hand stack for calming deep pressure input.