18 Tips for Keeping Ahead of Chaos

Beat ADHD disorganization with these simple bite-sized strategies for clutter cleanup.

A happy hawaiian doll, an example of useless clutter that comes with ADHD disorganization

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.

TAGS: Organization Tips for ADD Adults, Cleaning Up Clutter

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