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If you have ADHD, home organization is likely something you need help with. One of the challenges of having ADHD is the cluttered home environment. Yes, we are MESSY! I have yet to meet an ADHDer that hasn’t struggle with this challenge in at least one place in their life, so if that’s you…you’re in good company here.
There’s nothing worse than someone popping by your house and seeing it. The papers on every countertop, every dish you own in the sink, and clothes all over your floor. Or giving someone a ride and having them see the war zone that lives in your car. It’s…awkward…
ADHD Home Organization is hard
I tried so hard to hide it from people because it’s a bit embarrassing; it feels like you’re failing the whole adulting thing. It was a huge relief to find out that I wasn’t just a lazy slob– It’s that whole executive dysfunction thing that we ADHDers have the joy of wrestling on a minute by minute basis.
Home Organization tips Aren’t Really for ADHD (even when they say they are)
Finding resources for ADHD home organization–that actually work–hasn’t gone well. Most of the advice out there seems like it’s geared toward neurotypicals but branded for ADHDers. Any time I see an article saying, “do this organization thing and then keep it like that” I just want to slap someone.
Getting your ADHD home organized is only one small part of the problem. It’s often the “keeping it that way” part that causes the whole thing to fall apart. Am I right?
Lucky for you, I have found some ways help you conquer the clutter and get your ADHD home organization on fleek. (yup, I said it!)
The Two Guiding Principles of ADHD Home Organization
- Things must be as easy to put things back where they belong as it is to just leave them lying around. It makes it easier to keep it organized.
- Maintaining ADHD Home Organization is just about impossible if you have a lot of stuff. You don’t have to get rid of everything, but be prepared to purge.
My Alternative to “Does it Spark Joy”
If you’ve been following the Konde Marie method, you know her framework for getting rid of stuff is whether or not it sparks joy. It may be the ADHD talking but that I could see myself overthinking.
My framework is a bit different so in case you need someting different, here goes:
If I made myself 100% take care of this item exactly as I’m “supposed to” (for clothes think wash, dry, fold, put away…along with all the other clothes) every single day, would it be worth all the effort? If the answer is no, I get rid of it.
Using this framework has significantly cut down on how difficult it is to tidy my room. It’s easier to put my clothes away when I’m not overwhelmed by a mountain of them.
And my floor is no longer covered in clothing, which is a huge win!
If you take nothing away from this post, the biggest things you could do is reduce the amount of stuff you have to keep your ADHD home organized. Seriously…
Home Organization for ADHD is About Making things Easier on Yourself.
When I started trying to overcome clutter, the first step for me was to notice the areas that created the biggest problems for me.
Examples of those problems:
In my house, we have a tendency to leave our trash wherever we are. Eat a yogurt while watching tv? The empty yogurt container tends to stay on the couch or end table. That makes for a lot of trash just sitting around.
We also have difficulty with leaving clothes wherever we are when we change. That means there are clothes everywhere.
In the kitchen, we have difficulty leaving the coffee and accessories all over the place, creating clutter on the counter tops (along with the discarded plastic wrap of various things like yogurt containers). So the countertops stay pretty messy.
Applying that first guided principle (which is alot easier to do when you’ve already followed the second guiding principle), I asked myself, how can I make it easier on myself?
Strategies to Keep Your ADHD Home Organized and Clutter Free
To minimize the trash problem
I looked at the places in the house that tended to collect the most trash. Then I made sure that there was an open face trash can there. Now, when we’re watching tv, it’s just as easy to throw away the empty yogurt container as it is to leave it on the end table. That’s cut down significantly on the clutter created by trash and helped me keep my ADHD home organized.
To minimize the clothes problem
For discarded clothes that aren’t yet ready to be washed…
Use over the door clothing hooks for clothing you plan to wear again before you wash. I place these in the areas I’m most likely to change clothes. That makes it almost as easy to keep the clothes off the floor as it is to just leave them there. This has helped calm the ADHD clutter.
I particularly like these:
For dirty clothes piling up on the floor and furniture…
Keeping a laundry basket in the areas you are most likely to change clothes helps keep them off the floor. I keep a basket in my room, bathroom and laundry room. Those are the areas I’m most likely to need them.
I keep a few specifically for clean clothes before I fold them to prevent them from finding a home on the floor or with dirty clothes. That winds up being more than a few laundry baskets but clear floors, chairs, beds, etc…
To minimize the kitchen counter top clutter
I created a coffee basket that sits beside the coffee pot which holds the coffee and all accessories that we need. Now, instead of just leaving everything out on the counter, it’s just as easy to put it back in the basket. Coffee accessories were one of the biggest counter top clutter culprits for me.
Trash was another big culprit. But I’ve learned that keeping a trashcan easily accessible and within “tossing” distance really helps. However…
An important ADHD Home Organization tip: Keep your trash can out in the open, no lid. Putting your trashcan away in a cabinet or closet takes that extra step to use and makes it less likely that we will consistently do it.
With these examples you can see how I’ve identified my biggest clutter problems and answered the question how can I make it easier on myself?
Now it’s your turn. Follow the steps:
- Look around your house. What makes up the majority of the problem? Clothes? Trash? Shoes? Random stuff without a home? Paper? Junk mail? Rank in order of what is causing the biggest amount of clutter. (I suggest writing it down). Next, you’ll tackle each problem one at a time.
- Pick an area and start getting rid of stuff using whatever framework works best for you in getting rid of the most significant amount of stuff. Joy, ease, whatever principle you prefer.
- Now, with the stuff you have left, ask yourself, What could I do that would make this problem easier on me to keep uncluttered?
Make sure whatever strategies you implement are only one step as much as possible (so use a laundry hamper without a top, because having to open the lid adds an unnecessary step that lessens the likelihood of consistently using it). To keep your ADHD home organization working for you, this piece of advice cannot be overstated.
ADHD Home Organization Course
Are you interested in more tips like this (and better!) for getting your house organized in ADHD friendly ways? I’m working right now on a course specifically for those of us with ADHD on how to get your home organized in a way that you can actually maintain.
Because we can get the house organized, but keeping it that way has always been the real challenge. This course is going to be jam packed with strategies that are easier for those of us with ADHD to use and keep using.
If you want to get notified when the course opens, sign up below. Once it’s ready, I’ll shoot you an email and let you know so you can check it out! (I might even send you a little something special for being on the VIP list–wink wink.)
Tools to Make Cleaning with ADHD easier
There are tools out there that can help reduce the amount of work you really have to put in to certain house cleaning chores and I say the less work it takes me to keep a clean house, the better.
I wrote an entire post on my favorite tools for getting the house clean quickly with the least amount of effort possible. Some of these almost do the chore for you which is generally what I’m looking for in a house cleaning tool. You know that I mean…
ADHD Speed Cleaning Checklist
Want to get the cleaning done as quickly as possible so you can get on to better things? You need to check out the ADHD Speed Cleaning Checklist! Get the house presentable in record time.
What are some strategies you use to organize your ADHD induced cluttered environment? Any challenges you need help overcoming? Post it here or, for more timely feedback, join the “That ADHD Life” Facebook group!
Here’s to you, your ADHD cluttered environment, and learning how to CONQUER THE CLUTTER!