Avoid Distractions and Clutter While Doing Projects with ADHD


"When I'm involved in a project, it works for me to keep everything spread out. My husband dislikes the clutter, but when he moves my things into a neat pile, it takes me so long to find everything again. Can you suggest a compromise?"

ADHD expert Sandy Maynard helps your ADHD child learn basic skills sandymaynard.com Sandy Maynard

Tailor this sewing example to any project: While working, spread everything out and do your thing. But when you're done for the day, sort and store your needles, buttons, and thread in a see-through container. This way, you'll be able to find whatever you need when you resume your work. Set aside an area, in a spare room or a corner of the den, to keep your project containers.

It is crucial to allow yourself enough time to put everything back in its assigned box, bag, or container. With ADHD, it's common to hyperfocus and forget the time when we're enjoying ourselves. You may be working merrily away when you suddenly realize it's time to pick up the kids. Set a kitchen timer to go off beforeyou have to stop working, leaving yourself enough time to put all of your things away.

You may also want to designate a "junk drawer" in each room. If your husband encounters clutter, he should be allowed either to move it back to your area or put it in the junk drawer. With only one such drawer per room, you will know exactly where to look for things that you didn't put away. Note: If the junk drawer in every room is overflowing, take a good, hard look at the kind of stuff that is being collected and saved.

Sandy Maynard lives in Washington, DC where she operates Catalytic Coaching. She was instrumental in the development of The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association's Coaching Guidelines and a founding board member for the Institute for the Advancement of AD/HD Coaching (IAAC). Sandy lectures internationally and is a regular contributor to ADDitude.

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