Dealing with messes, or “How’s it hangin’?”: Hooks

Life in a household affected by autism can be really messy. My mom clipped a newspaper article for me way back in 2007.  Here’s an excerpt:

Someone should’ve mentioned that autism is messy! Wallpaper’s meant to be shredded, bathrooms are designed to be flooded, walls are bare in order to smear stuff on them, washable paint really isn’t, and more food will actually be crushed and dropped than eaten. (Excellent article by Sandy Sotzen. Read more here.)

Finally sick of the mess, and to my hubby’s chagrin, I hired someone to clean. (It was the massage therapist!  She cleans, she massages… and it wasn’t too good to be true! January special: three hours of cleaning and two hours of massage for a great price. WOW.)

She claimed to be very fast.  She seemed to think that she could clean my whole downstairs area in three hours. And also possibly get to the upstairs bathrooms. I just smiled.

It took her 1 1/2 hours just to do the family room.

So we’re not perfect.

My kids and I are visual people.  We need to see things to remember that we have them, so sometimes clutter is a serious problem.

The clutter keeps us from cleaning.  (That, and the fact that the kiddos make “covert” messes that we find days later.) I am slowly steadily clutter busting so that I can have a clean home.   Less stuff, less to clean, right?

So, I am very excited to share a solution that works for us.

Drumroll, please….

I’m hooked on hooks!  (I know, I know…) Here are some examples:

  • I hang my pots and pans on hooks on a pot rack.
  • Hubby installed a towel rack on the kitchen wall, and I attached S-hooks for hanging my cooking utensils.
  • I put sticky cup hooks  inside a cabinet door to hang measuring spoons, etc.
  • We installed hooks on the wall by our front door for  hanging our coats, bags, and back packs.

What makes this so great?

  • My kids can now unload the dishwasher and put away the measuring spoons and pots without jamming a drawer or losing patience with making sure the pots are stacked just so.
  • Re: cabinet door hooks: we can just close the door and avoid creating more visual clutter, but still see “everything” when the door is open.
  • When things are hung, we can see that those things are where they belong and not just in one of the  random piles that multiply like rabbits.
  • It is obvious where the coats and backpacks belong, and  the frustration of things falling in the over stuffed coat closet and taking up all the room for the back packs is minimized.
  • It takes away excuses.  Hanging coat on a hook takes 2 seconds. Finding an empty hanger, wrestling the coat onto it, and hanging the coat– just forget it.

I’m hooked on hooks.  I search for kitchen stuff with holes or loops hanging on hooks. I’ve attached key ring, ribbons, and even yarn onto thing so that they could be hung on a hook.

Hooray! Life is hectic enough without the little annoyances that tip me over the edge. Nothing like mom screaming, “Where is my whisk?!!!! (Yes, in my house, even my cooking utensils are not safe from grubby little hands!) Anyone seen Philip’s coat???? ”  Now I just scream, “Ok, where does that go? Well, then, put it there!”  At least we’ve begun to do away with the excuses, all while playing to the kids’ visual strengths.

Question: How do you deal with messes at your house?

2 responses to this post.

  1. Wow, I didn’t know she cleans too! Pretty cool. 🙂

    Love the hooks – we tend to use lot of bins, at least for Michael’s toys and such. I use pop-up laundry hampers for stuffed animals too.


  2. […] while back I wrote about hooks,  Velcro, my coffee press, and my electric water […]


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