Clean Closets, Clear Minds

How could anyone concentrate with all that stuff crowding their closets, their minds, their life? Nine ADHD-friendly criteria for determining which junk you'll never miss.


Filed Under: Cleaning Up Clutter, Organization Tips for ADD Adults
cat, art

I've been in an ADHD-fueled clutter-clearing frenzy. For me, as for most people, order contributes to inner calm, and sweeping away unloved, unused stuff has made me happier.

As I sifted through our clutter, I identified nine criteria for determining which stuff to throw away now -- with no regrets.

1. Does this thing work? It was hard to admit that something was broken and couldn't be fixed -- say, our dud toaster or my daughter's frog clock. Why was I hanging on to those things?

2. Would I replace it if it were broken or lost? If not, I must not really need the thing.

3. Is it potentially useful -- although it never actually gets used? Do I need an over-sized water bottle, a corkscrew with an exotic mechanism, or a tiny vase? How many spare glass jars do I need?

4. Why was I "saving" it? Leaving bath gel in the tube, or hoarding my favorite stationery in a desk drawer, is wasteful.

5. Does it serve its purpose well? We have a lot of "cute" kitchen utensils that don't work.

6. Has it been replaced by a better model? I'm in the habit of keeping broken or outdated versions of tech gadgets, even after they've been replaced. Pointless.

7. Is it nicely put away in an out-of-the-way place? Just because things are nicely organized doesn't mean they're not clutter. No matter how tidily a thing is stored, if I never use it, why keep it?

8. Does this memento prompt any memories? I tend to keep things that seem to be "mementos," assuming that they have some emotional resonance, but many don’t. The attendance trophy from my daughter’s preschool sports class -- out.

9. Have I ever used this thing? I was shocked to find, when I started looking, how many things I owned that we had never once used. Many were gifts, but I promised myself that we’d either put these things to use within a few weeks or give them away.

Download your free digital copy of 73 ADHD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life Now and learn how to make your life run like clockwork. Plus, get more tips and tricks for ADHD adults delivered right to your inbox.

We never share e-mail addresses.

What do you think of this article? Share your comments on www.ADDConnect.com, ADDitude's community site. Check out the new ADHD Medication User Reviews and the ADHD Adults Support Group. Your fellow ADDers want to hear from you!

Privacy
 
Copyright © 1998 - 2013 New Hope Media LLC. All rights reserved. Your use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information.
New Hope Media, 39 W. 37th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10018