Organising and cleaning clothes and footwear

Keeping your clothes and footwear clean and finding the right outfit can be difficult when you're living with sight loss, but if you're organised it doesn't have to be. Here are some tips to help you feel more confident when getting dressed or doing your laundry.

On this page

Clothes labelling

Use these aids and tips to identify your clothes and create stylish outfits.

I love clothes, and shopping for them! I label all the hangers in Braille and I make a note in Braille of what goes with what separately from the hangers. That way I can always put the finished outfit together.
Andrea, guide dog owner

Organising your clothes

When putting away your clean laundry, be organised and systematic so it’s easier for you to find and coordinate your clothes. Here are some tips for organising your wardrobe and drawers.

Apps to help with matching your clothes

  • Seeing AI: reads the text of clothes labels, describes clothes and colours.
  • Be My Eyes: connects you with a sighted volunteer via a video call.

Washing your clothes

Our blind hack for washing your clothes.

Here are some suggestions for keeping your clothes organised whilst washing them:

  • Separate your clothes by type or colour and place them into a pillowcase or netting bag before putting them in the washing machine. This will keep the items together when you take them out of the washing machine, making them easier to sort.
  • When washing socks, fold the top ends of the pair together and wash them as a pair.
  • Alternatively, use sock locks or SockSnaps to keep your socks paired together in the washing machine, tumble dryer, and your sock drawer.
  • To help with setting the washing machine controls, use bump-ons or Tacti-mark on your preferred settings.

Tips for reading washing instructions on clothes

  • If you have some remaining vision, read the clothes label with a magnifier or other low vision aid.
  • Alternatively, take a photo of the label with your smartphone and zoom in by placing two fingers in the centre of the image and moving them apart. There are also apps you can download to make your phone work as a low vision aid, such as, weZoom for Android users and Brighter and Bigger for Android and iPhone users.

Organising and cleaning your shoes

  • Choose shoes that look and feel very different. That way they'll be easier to identify and you'll be less likely to wear odd shoes.
  • Store the shoes you wear less often in shoeboxes with your preferred type of labels on them.
  • Keep shoes that you wear regularly on a shoe rack near the front door or in the wardrobe. They’ll be easier to identify if you don’t keep them with lots of other shoes.
  • Organise the shoe rack so that other members of the household keep their shoes on different levels.
  • Keep shoes together by tying the laces from both shoes into a loop knot.
  • Store shoes that don’t have laces in a drawstring bag or use large elastic bands to secure them together if you’re not using them regularly.
  • Apart from leather and suede shoes, clean dirty shoes by putting them into a small mesh washing bag and washing them in the washing machine with your other laundry.
  • Use wet wipes or a damp cloth to wipe down shoes, apart from suede, when you get home before any dirt or mud dries.
  • For suede shoes, wait for any dirt to dry and then use a suede brush to clean it off.
  • Protect suede or leather shoes with a protective spray before you first wear them. It will make cleaning them easier and prevents tough stains.

No-tie shoelaces

  • Velcro fasteners or slip-on elasticated shoes may be easier than tying shoelaces if you have reduced dexterity or struggle to reach your shoes.
  • Lock laces are elastic laces with an eyelet lock at the end. They can replace regular laces and fit any lace-up shoes. After you first adjust the tension, you can leave it locked and treat your shoes like slip-ons.