Original post: I have only been using my wheelchair full time outside of my house for a year and a half. It has only been in the past few months that I have had a serious storage issue. Instead of everyone holding/carrying their own jackets and backpacks they are using my wheelchair as they would a stroller by loading it up with everything they don’t want to carry. A backpack and a small bag on the back is not so bad, it is the bulky winter coats that are making sitting uncomfortable and taking up way too much space. This wasn’t an issue last year because we didn’t go out very much and when we did it was for short outings where if you wore a coat you would have no reason to take it off. Now that we are going to Disneyland all the time I need to come up with a better solution. I don’t complain because I feel giving up space is the least I can do in return for being pushed around, but something definitely needs to be done. The first thing I am going to do is create a family backpack so that instead of three we are only taking one into the park. There is no reason why we can’t share one. Secondly I am in search of an under seat pouch or bag that I can squeeze several coats and a lap blanket into. This would give me my seat space back and allow my family to go without their heavy jackets while the California sun warms us up.
So I now ask you, what do you use for storage under your wheelchair seat? I have looked online and so many look too small or they look like everything could just fall out. I would love to know what works for you.
To solve my problem without spending money I took a large plastic like canvas shopping bag and sewed two strips of fabric to the bottom. Then tied the strips to the rear of my wheelchair and lifted the arms to attach the bags handles. I now have room for a few jackets!!!! Took it out for a test run at Disneyland and it worked great! Which was great since it rained! But the jackets and blankets that I had in the bag stayed inside and dry. 🙂
*****UPDATE***** May 21, 2015
Over time the bag that I used for storage under my wheelchair began to rip. And because I had to tie such tight knots it was impossible to remove when not needed. Then one day while resting in bed I spotted two items in my room that would solve my storage issue once and for all!!
The first item I spotted was a mesh folding storage cube with handles that I had purchased many years ago from The Container Store. I used metal zip ties to secure it underneath the back end of my wheelchair.
The next item I repurposed was the cloth storage basket that hung under my walker. Since walking for extended periods of time is something I can no longer handle, the basket was not being used anymore. This basket already had snaps which made attaching it under my seat in the front very easy. This is great because I can keep items that I would like to have easy access to close by.
When I am going to Disneyland or going to be away from home for more than a few hours I need to make sure that I have plenty of water with me. Thankfully I found this collapsible cooler in our garage and no longer have to worry about not having enough water with me.
I have finally achieved what I set out to do in the first place. I am able to keep my comfort items with me while out without having bulky bags hanging off the back.
The only drawback with the storage cube is that when my husband needs to take it from the car to the house without me in it, the wheelchair has to be unfolded. Otherwise the cube gets pulled and caught in the wheels. It is annoying, but it is not the worst thing to deal with either.
Tagged: arthritis, chronic illness, chronic pain, degenerative disc disease, diy, easy fix, fibro, fibromyalgia, handicapped accessible, invisible disabilities, money saver, MS, pain, pain pals, penny pincher, psoriatic arthritis, spoonie, spoonies, storage, thrifty, under seat, wheelchair