17 Ways to Cut Back on Clutter

These bite-sized strategies for clutter cleanup will keep you organized, whether or not you have ADHD. From skipping the souvenirs to making your bed every day, here are 17 tips to cut back on clutter.

Home Organization Tips to Declutter Your Home

To keep your house from falling into the cluttered chaos that often comes with ADHD’s hallmark disorganization, do several of the following:

  1. Never buy “souvenirs.”
  2. Strive to keep surfaces bare. Put away kitchen appliances you don’t use every day; don’t cram stuff onto every ledge.
  3. Get rid of newspapers and magazines as soon as possible. Never keep a newspaper overnight, and never keep a magazine for more than two months — unless you take a positive joy in keeping an orderly collection.
  4. Have an exact place for everything.
  5. Know where to give things away: books, clothes, kitchenware, toys. It’s much easier to get rid of things if you can imagine someone who will benefit from them. Figure this out before you start a major clutter-clearing effort.

[Free Download: 22 Clutter-Busting Strategies for Adults with ADHD]

  1. Deal with the piles that accumulate in the hallway, in corners, on bedside tables, on the dining room table.
  2. Don’t buy things on impulse, particularly from bargain stores.
  3. Remember that storing a thing means you don’t need to use it. Before you squirrel something away, ask yourself, “Do I really need to keep this?
  4. Never accept anything for free, unless you’re thrilled with it. A mug, a tote bag, a hand-me-down toy, the lamp from your mother-in-law — if you don’t need it, don’t take it.
  5. Don’t tolerate burnt-out light bulbs and empty toilet-paper holders. They are signs of a dilapidated home.
  6. Have plenty of hangers in every closet.
  7. Make your bed every morning.

[Self-Test: Is Your Clutter and Disorganization Out of Control?]

  1. Hang up your coat.
  2. If you have things that you’re reluctant to throw away because you’re not sure what they are — mystery cables, random remote-control devices, important-looking screws that appeared mysteriously on the floor, strange vacuum-cleaner attachments — put them all in one box. You’ll never use the stuff, but you’ll know it’s there.
  3. For extra credit, put a date on the box, and if you haven’t opened it in a year, throw it away.
  4. Set aside a place where you put things to give away, and as soon as you realize you want to get rid of something, put it there.
  5. If you can’t find something, clean up.

[Quick Ways to Conquer Clutter]

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2 Comments & Reviews

  1. I agree on ALL of these. I live in utter CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome -FlyLady.Net). My mother raised me right. She taught me to make my bed, always wash the dishes after every meal and pick up after myself…but I don’t. I disappoint her and my kids. I KNOW how I should live but I don’t. I love a clutter free house but I always fail. I don’t have a shopping problem thank goodness. I only just learned about my anxiety and AdD in the last 7 years. Still learning so much everyday. Still surprised to learn about why I procrastinate, why I can’t be on time (5 minutes vs. 20 minutes always feels the same), why I feel overwhelmed by nearly every task from laundry to going through my mail. Horizontal surfaces are my enemies. When I move the first thing I unpack is silverware. Why? I know exactly where it goes. There’s always a home for silverware. No question.

    1. Dear newenglandrose,

      Thank you for sharing, because I KNOW the struggle is real! Everything seems so overwhelming, like no matter what you do, you can never get ahead, which is sooooo defeating! I have to tell you that I love, love, love your acronym for CHAOS! That is genius and so true! I haven’t been able to have people over for a long time. I used to be able to manage and compensate pretty well for my ADHD, but then I had some health problems. A couple of surgeries later and I am so far behind on things that I struggle everyday, which had just added to the depression and feelings of inadequacy. I have been able to start exercising again, which has helped some in addition to some med management. One foot in front of the other right? Well, take care and know that you are not alone!


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