To be honest the most worrisome for me is the marijuana use. ADHD brains are highly prone to developing addictions and addicted brains are great at making up a lot of excuses, rather than dealing with what’s in front of them.
Anyways: avoiding messes in ADHD households can also be done by switching up the current routines and systems. Make sure you, as a couple, give everything in the house a place. Communicate. Sit down together and write down both your decisions. She has to be in on the system. Make it logical for the ADHD mind.
A few tricks that work for me:
1) If anything takes more than a few steps to grab and store away while in a hurry, you can be certain it won’t be cleaned up. So Marie Kondo’s folding methods won’t do (except for if she thinks rolling socks is fun).
2) Make things sensible and “fun”. I categorized all my books by colour (it’ll look out of place if one’s gone) and hung up my clothes on racks rather than in drawers or shelves. I’m a visual person, so all my stuff used to end up on the floor because I couldn’t find it otherwise.
2) Help her turn extensive chores into subtle in-between habits (cooking: immediately clean the cutting board while your cut veggies are boiling) so nothing becomes too overwhelming and piles up. By the end of dinner, you’ll only have to wash your plate and cutlery.
3) Small steps, challenges, rewards and reminders help. Print out a weekly cleaning schedule (or a tally stripe contest). If she’s lagging behind you, then you can point her to the agreement that you have BOTH set up. Set up standard cleaning days that end in date nights. Be creative.
4) Simply own less. The less junk you own, the less you can make into a mess. I only actively use two plates (the rest is somewhere on top of a high shelf for fancy dinners) so when those are dirty, I will have to clean them before I can eat.
5) Give everything a clear and logical place, so that even the muddy mind will do it blindly. The Japanese call this “poka-yoke”, foolproof manufacturing.
6) Remember: you are her partner. Support her, but don’t become her guidance-dog or housemaid. She’s a grown-up and part of your relationship, and her own life too. If she wants to become an online artist, she will have to be willing to become a responsible person – no excuses.
Structure and simplicity is key and saviour for the ADHD’ers out here.
Lots of love.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by McvW.