Simple Solutions For Storage In A Small Bedroom For A Child With Disabilities
We live in a rural area about 40 minutes from the nearest stores. We do a lot of shopping on Amazon, from kitchenware to clothes to organization to food and to gifts. If the UPS driver doesn’t show up every day, we miss him! Today I want to share some of our favorite items we purchased from Amazon for our son with disabilities. Here are some simple solutions for storage in a small bedroom, and some fun things too!
For His Room
For reference, I am not an Amazon affiliate and receive no compensation from them, monetary or otherwise, if you purchase through any of the links below. These are just my honest opinions about items that I have purchased for my family through the years.
When C-Bear got a tracheostomy and was put on oxygen and a ventilator in March of 2021, we had to gut his room to make space for all his new equipment and supplies, including a hospital bed. He does not have a large bedroom so we really had to maximize our storage space. Here are some of the storage solutions we used and other items we purchased for him due to his change in medical status.
Because we have animals in the home and we are in the country where there is lots of dust, and pollen and in the summer (from the wildfires) lots of smoke, we decided that we needed to get C-Bear an air purifier to protect him from all those things as much as possible.
This Homedics TotalClean Tower Air Purifier is the one we picked and we love it! C-Bear has had very few respiratory infections since we got this set up in his room. If we didn’t have it sitting on top of a metal storage cart, it would be relatively quiet and I love the blue light around the top.
Various sizes available
It comes in several different sizes; small (170 sq. ft), medium (195 sq. ft), large (245 sq. ft) & extra-large (343 sq. ft) but we chose the small one since it is just for his bedroom.
It has a little tray with felt where you can put some essential oils to make the room smell good but because of C-Bear and his tracheostomy, we don’t use this function so I can’t speak to how well it works.
The air purifier has a UV-C or Ion function but we just use the UV-C as ionization tends to give me headaches and I am in his room taking care of him a lot.
It has a 3-speed fan and a 2, 4, 8, or 12-hour timer. We have it running continually so we don’t use the timer and have the fan on the lowest setting. I have been pleasantly surprised that even with the fan on the lowest setting, it does a good job of moving the air and keeping the room cool.
We vacuum the filter once a month and replace it about every 6 months. The con I would say about this air purifier is the cost of the replacement HEPA filter. It is about the 3rd of the price of the unit thus why we only replace it every 6 months.
Getting overheated is a seizure trigger for C-Bear so we have always had an air conditioner in his room. However, with his lovely new trach, we learned that the traditional in-window style would not be the best for him as it would bring outside allergens into his room as well as be a source of mold spores.
I did a lot of research and chose this Whynter brand portable air conditioner with SilverShield filters. We leave it in his room all summer and in the fall, cover it up with a bag and store it for the winter.
Noise-wise, I would say it is about the same as every other air conditioner that we have had. It does a good job of keeping his room and maintenance is minimal. Once again, just keeping the filters clean.
I like that the filters have silver in them since silver has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antivirus properties and that was actually a selling point for me.
It has 3 modes: cool, fan, and dry and you can set it to auto also. Once again, because of C-Bear’s trach, we can’t take the risk of his lungs getting dried out so we don’t use that function on the unit. But we do use cool and fan throughout the summer.
The unit itself doesn’t take up a lot of space but with the big ol’ hose that vents out the window, it does take up precious storage space in his room but we can live with it. That is probably the biggest con of this unit but that is the con in my opinion of any portable a/c unit.
This was such a worthwhile investment for us! In case you don’t know, when you have a loved one with a tracheostomy and use a ventilator, you need sterile or distilled water for EVERYTHING!
Normally, your durable medical equipment company should be able to supply you with sterile water but during the pandemic, that has not been the case. Rather than deal with the DMEs, we just decided to purchase a water distiller and make distilled or sterile water ourselves.
We purchased this CO-Z water distiller and have been using it for almost 2 years with no problems. It is so easy to use; you fill it up with water, put the collection jug under the spout, turn it on, and walk away. A couple of hours later, you have a gallon of distilled water.
We go through 3-5 gallons of distilled water a week, more if the hubby is working on the Beast, aka our Ford F350 (Really? A truck needs distilled water??). We store the unit in the spare bathroom so it doesn’t take up storage space in C-Bear’s room.
Distiller set up
When we are going to use the water distiller, we set it up on the spare bathroom counter. It produces a lot of heat so we turn on the overhead fan. Maintenance is minimal. After a couple of uses, you will notice scaling in the pot. The unit comes with descaling granules that you use once a month (you can use citric acid when you run out) and we give it a good scrubbing with a scouring pad, the type you use on a glass top stove.
It does have a small charcoal filter, similar to the kind in an electric coffeepot and we replace those every 3-4 months. They can be purchased on Amazon also fairly inexpensively.
When you have someone using a feeding pump, has a tracheostomy, uses oxygen and a ventilator, you have A LOT of supplies you need to keep organized! It took us a while to come up with a storage system, but this is what we use.
We started off with a couple of 6 and 9-cube shelves from Closetmaid and then purchased soft-sided 11” x 11” baskets to put in each cube to organize the myriad of items we now had to control.
I used my Cricut to print out labels for each bin and I am happy with the way they turned out.
Because when we work around C-Bear’s trach, we need to be as sterile as possible, we use a lot of nitrile gloves. I bought a 3-box glove holder to utilize wall space for glove storage and free up counter space.
DIY Counter Organizer
We needed a counter next to C-Bear’s bed to put his ventilator, nebulizer, humidifier, and suction machine on. We looked but could never find a storage solution that would work for us. Instead, we made our own.
We purchased 2 of these Winsome 7 drawer organizers and set them up with a two-foot space between them. Then we laid a wide board on top of them, added a 6-cube Cubeical, and had plenty of storage space for all the equipment and some extra storage space for supplies.
For Fun and Sensory
We have purchased a lot of great items from Amazon for C-Bear through the years but here are some of our favorites.
Bubble Tank Tube
This bubble tank tube is almost 4 ft tall, has a continuous stream of bubbles, changes colors, and has plastic fish that float up and down. It is mesmerizing and acts as a night light. C-Bear hasn’t decided if he likes it or not but I think it is pretty cool!
A migraine hat was recommended to us to help with some of C-Bear’s head-slapping. Let’s just say I was very skeptical about it working, but it does! In fact, I put it on him today after hours of trying to redirect him, and within 5 minutes, he had stopped and fallen asleep.
Unless it’s being used, you keep the hat in the freezer so that it stays cold but it is still pliable when you take it out. The coldness and pressure of the hat seem to be what C-Bear likes about it.
On a whim, I bought a sleep mask for C-Bear, thinking he might like that it blocks out all the lights from his various machines. It works great! If he doesn’t want it on, it’s easy enough for him to take off. There are many different kinds out there so I didn’t put a link.
On another note, I also purchased a sleep mask for me and M-Bear, but we got the kind that is more of a headband with ear phones in them. The earphones are small enough that you can sleep on them and they won’t hurt your ears. We LOVE them! I really should buy us a backup pair because I am not sure we can live without them. Here are the ones we use from LC-dolida.
Echo dot & Alex-enabled TV – C-Bear loves music so he has his own Echo dot connected to our Amazon Prime account. He also has a smart TV with Alexa built-in. It is an Insignia brand and honestly, I am not very impressed with it. It takes forever for the home screen to load and the voice control is fairly useless. We still use it though.
One item that I insisted upon was getting an intercom system. This way if our overnight caregiver needs me, they can use the intercom instead of yelling or leaving C-Bear to pound on our bedroom door. This is the Wuloo system that we use and it was very easy to set up. It came with 4 units so we put 2 units next door at my in-law’s house and have 1 in my bedroom and 1 in C-Bear’s room.
Art and Crafts
We don’t use anything fancy but we have purchased a couple of Arteza’s craft acrylic paint sets for C-Bear and some 4 x 6-inch canvases (whatever brand is on sale) for his ‘finger painting’.
For finger painting, we squirt a healthy amount of paint on a canvas and put the canvas in a Ziploc bag, close it tight, and let him paint. He doesn’t get freaked out by touching the paint and we don’t have to worry about the mess.
What items do you love?
I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the things that we have put in place for C-Bear and some of the fun purchases we have made over the years.
If you have some fun or useful items that your family uses, leave a comment below. The holidays are coming up and I always need more ideas!
~ Zilla Q
Preparing for a public emergency
School for a special needs child
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