ADD Living After Divorce

Q:

My ex-husband, who doesn’t have ADD, used to file papers and generally de-clutter the house every week. Now that I’m living on my own, the house is a mess, and I don’t know how to start organizing it. Any suggestions?

A:

Since you’ve never been the one in charge of organizing before, you need to adopt a mindset that will help you follow through. I often ask my clients to look at mundane household tasks as part of their self-care. When you take care of the place where you eat, sleep, and live, you take care of yourself.

Getting into the right frame of mind is the first step. This won’t be an automatic or easy transition. You’ll need some practical tips. The following two daily habits are musts for adult ADDers:

  1. Spend 15 minutes de-cluttering. Walk around the house, putting things back where they belong (hang up coats, bring dishes back to the kitchen, straighten up paper piles). Make your rounds with a trash bag and collect items that need to be tossed. You will learn very quickly where extra wastebaskets are needed.

  2. Sort your mail. Be brutal about throwing out junk mail and religious about filing statements and bills that need to be paid. Spending 10 minutes each day processing the mail can save you hours of sorting through stacks of old letters later to find an important item.
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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