You might think of ADHD as a childhood disorder unless you know and love someone with the condition. It knows no age limit, striking even those in adulthood. Fortunately, making lifestyle changes can ease the demands of daily life.
People with this condition thrive best when they have structure and routine. Here are eight tips to help adults with ADHD create an organized home.
1. Go Room by Room
Does a glance around the homestead leave you feeling overwhelmed? Large chores can seem daunting — get a grip by taking a systematic approach. Go through each room and make a checklist of what you need to accomplish in each.
Then, treat each room like a miniature full-home project. Focus on one area at a time, perhaps starting with the closet, then moving on to organizing your drawers. Another way to organize is by type of cleaner used — tackle the dusting, including the blinds, the windows themselves the next day.
Another pro-tip to stop overwhelm in its tracks: set a timer. Allot no more than 30 to 60 minutes per cleaning task. It’s long enough to make you feel as if you accomplished something without leaving you panting for breath. This tip also keeps you from getting so absorbed in your tasks that you burn the midnight oil and wake up late for work the next day.
2. Use a Planner — Daily
Using a planner is a good idea for everyone, not only adults with ADHD. However, it’s essential for people with the disorder. You have a wide variety from which to choose, from today’s most well-known apps to old-fashioned paper versions.
Sit down every Sunday evening to plot your week. This method organizes your home by assigning specific chores to each day, complete with a time estimate. For example, you might designate every Thursday and Sunday as laundry days — you never have to worry about that pile in the corner overwhelming you again.
Make a to-do list for each day, including as many details as you need. Use your planner as a learning tool. Do you always underestimate how long it will take you to do dishes or change the bedsheets? Adjust your time estimates to reflect realistic figures.
3. Create a Place for Everything
If you recently moved, you might be all too familiar with the frustration of reaching for your keys where they always used to be — and not finding them. Adult ADHD can cause short-term memory struggles, making every day seem like the first day in a new place. Furthermore, you can get distracted while searching for the needed item, even forget what you were looking for — until you realize you’re late.
Please create a dedicated space for the following items:
- Your wallet and keys
- Your school or work backpack or briefcase
- Your phone
- Your mail
The wise idea is to create a small organizing center in your kitchen where you typically drop your things when you return home. You can purchase such items at nearly any big-box store or DIY a cute one.
4. Use Organizers for Small Items
The kitchen junk drawer is another place adults with ADHD can get lost while searching for needful things. Do you have any batteries? You’ll find out right after you figure out which shirt that button goes to — which leads to cleaning out your closet.
Instead, use organizers to keep tiny items tiny. You don’t necessarily need to drop a bundle at the office supply store. Get your sock drawer on point with old paper towel rolls and put smaller delivery boxes to similar use.
5. Simplify Your Closet
Deciding what to wear can take hours. Before you know it, you’re late for work.
Instead, take a tip from Albert Einstein. Rumor has it that he owned several sets of the same outfit. You can likewise kick decision fatigue to the curb by finding a style of shirt and pants you like and sticking with it. Once you find a brand that fits, get several in various shades, making mixing and matching a snap.
6. Label and Color-Code
You organized everything from your desk to your drawers. Now, how can you find what you need quickly?
Use bright colors to differentiate different objects. You can pick up stick-on tabs and highlighters inexpensively at any office supply store.
7. Make a Budget
Unfortunately, adults with ADHD sometimes struggle to manage their spending. Then, the end of the month arrives, and they find themselves scrounging the couch cushions for spare lunch money.
Sit down with your bank statements and make a realistic budget. You have more tools to help you than ever. Many banks categorize expenses, and apps like Mint put your budget and credit score at your fingertips.
8. Employ Electronic Reminders
You probably always have your phone with you. Use it to help you keep organized.
When you sit down to fill out your planner on Sunday, program your phone’s alarm to alert you of vital deadlines. Work with your habits. For example, if you typically run late, schedule your bell to ring anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes early to give you plenty of time to wrap up the current task occupying your mind.
Help Adults With ADHD Create an Organized Home
ADHD doesn’t necessarily go away when you reach your 18th birthday. Many adults also experience this condition.
However, you can make your life more manageable with the right tips. Follow the steps above to help adults with ADHD create an organized home.