To keep your house from falling into the cluttered chaos that often comes with ADHD's hallmark disorganization, do several of the following:
> never buy “souvenirs.”
> strive to keep surfaces bare. Put away kitchen appliances you don’t use every day; don’t cram stuff onto every ledge.
> get rid of newspapers and magazines as soon as possible. Never keep a newspaper overnight, and never keep a magazine for more than two months — unless you take a positive joy in keeping an orderly collection.
> have an exact place for everything.
> know where to give things away: books, clothes, kitchenware, toys. It’s much easier to get rid of things if you can imagine someone who will benefit from them. Figure this out before you start a major clutter-clearing effort.
> deal with the piles that accumulate in the hallway, in corners, on bedside tables, on the dining room table.
> don’t buy things on impulse, particularly from bargain stores.
> remember that storing a thing means you don’t need to use it. Before you squirrel something away, ask yourself, “Do I really need to keep this?”
> never accept anything for free, unless you’re thrilled with it. A mug, a tote bag, a hand-me-down toy, the lamp from your mother-in-law — if you don’t need it, don’t take it.
> don’t tolerate burnt-out light bulbs and empty toilet-paper holders. They are signs of a dilapidated home.
> have plenty of hangers in every closet.
> make your bed every morning.
> hang up your coat.
> if you have things that you’re reluctant to throw away because you’re not sure what they are — mystery cables, random remote-control devices, important-looking screws that appeared mysteriously on the floor, strange vacuum-cleaner attachments — put them all in one box. You’ll never use the stuff, but you’ll know it’s there.
> for extra credit, put a date on the box, and if you haven’t opened it in a year, throw it away.
> set aside a place where you put things to give away, and as soon as you realize you want to get rid of something, put it there.
> if you can’t find something, clean up.