I Am Joe's Keys

Life is never dull when you belong to an organizationally challenged ADHD adult! Organization tips from Joe's keys.

Part 2

Hire a pro.

There are professional organizers who will come in and help you get things put together. You can read more about them at The Professional Organizers Webring.

Learn to make lists.

As an example, here is a list of ways to get organized:

  • Make the decision to organize your life, your home or at least your sock drawer. Commit some amount of time to this project — half a day, a couple of hours or some other reasonable length. Organizing your life may take longer than organizing your sock drawer. It might be best to start small and work your way up.
  • Before you start, make sure you have a variety of different colored pens, markers, file folders, boxes, and labels. You will also need a large trash.
  • Choose bright colors for files, labels or boxes. Use different colors for different things. You may want to buy a package of stickers. The idea is to make each file or box as visually stimulating as possible so you will be able to "see" later in your mind.
  • Buy stackable storage containers to save space. When you buy these, be sure to pick up the lids. People always forget the lids.
  • Clear the desktop or drawer, or whatever area is to be organized. Put everything in one large box.
  • As you remove items from the large box, put them in the appropriate folder or box. Label these as you go.
  • Set aside one box for sentimental stuff that serves no useful purpose but you don't want to throw away. Use this box sparingly.
  • Use the trashcan. Be merciless about getting rid of unneeded material. If you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it.
  • As you are throwing away old magazines or newspapers, decide if you really need these subscriptions or if you can cancel. Write down the cancellation information, then throw the magazine away. Unless it's an ADDitude magazine. You want to keep those...
  • Decide on specific places for items like keys and checkbooks, or anything else that you use everyday.
  • Load the file folders, boxes or other containers back into the desk, drawer or room.
  • Group items together in a way that makes sense to you.
  • Step back and admire your clean, organized desk, drawer or room.
  • Soak in this feeling so you can recall it later as motivation to stay organized. Do a happy dance.
  • Schedule 15 minutes per day strictly for the purpose of maintaining your newly organized environment.

Ask for help

When you do lose something, like important files or plutonium, use all of your available resources. The other day, Joe called information and told them he had lost all of his socks. She said they were behind the dryer. She was right.

Now, that is scary.

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