Clutter Clearing Tips for ADHD Adults
A lot of people say they actually prefer to work in a cluttered environment. I used to be one of them. “I wouldn’t be able to find anything if I cleaned off my desk!” I think what happens is, it’s so hard for us to stay organized that we surrender. We make friends with the […]
A lot of people say they actually prefer to work in a cluttered environment. I used to be one of them. “I wouldn’t be able to find anything if I cleaned off my desk!” I think what happens is, it’s so hard for us to stay organized that we surrender. We make friends with the piles. Then one day we get a lucky break and the thing we need is right on top. “See? I would have never found this if it was put away.” Our belief that clutter is good has just been reinforced. Here are a few reasons why this is a false belief:
- Clutter is distracting. It’s hard not to pay attention to all that other stuff on your desk when you’re trying to focus on something.
- A good organization system will enable you to quickly find anything you need far more often than not.
- It’s bad feng shui. Clutter disrupts the flow of energy in your surroundings.
- It’s frustrating trying to cook in a kitchen that has only one square foot of open counter space. It won’t be long until you splash food on something important.
- You lose stuff. It’s much harder to find something if it’s camouflaged in a lot of stuff. Your brain has to sort through it all. You could be looking right at the item and not even see it.
- It gets expensive having to replace the things you lose (or splash food on).
- It’s harder to clean around all those piles.
- You can’t hire someone to clean until everything is picked up!
Convinced? Okay, good. Here are some pointers for reducing your clutter:
- Create an easy-to-access home for everything. If it’s not easy to use, you won’t use it.
- Take the extra few seconds to put something away instead of putting it down for “just a second.” Admit to yourself that you will forget to come back to it if you don’t put it away immediately.
- If you have kids, get them to help clean up before they’re allowed do something they like. This works for grown-ups too.
- Utilize your vertical space. Stacking shelves or bins is better than spreading them out.
- Practice minimalism. Get rid of stuff you don’t need, and stop buying new stuff that you also don’t need. If you have trouble getting rid of something, ask yourself if it’s worth the space it takes up, or who might appreciate it more than you do.
- Designate a spot where clutter is allowed to accumulate. I’m not sure it’s possible to be 100 percent clutter-free, so why set yourself up for failure?
- Do a “five minute cleanup” every day. Set a timer for five minutes and see how much you can get put away.
- Put things you don’t use often in boxes and store them in the basement or attic. Don’t forget to label each box (marker is fine), and store it with the label facing outward.
Learning to appreciate the beauty of a clutter-free environment will make it easier to maintain.
Updated on August 18, 2009