Reply To: Interior Design for Mental Health

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Yep, I thought about this (and a thousand other things, beware! :)). There is actually a fair amount of thought about that, although they will call it “good living” or “a restful place” rather than mention mental health. The tricky part is that everybody seems to need different things. If you go on a site like Houzz, you’ll see the minimalists and maximalists battle it out, with the minimalists feeling too supercharged when they look at too many things, and the maximalists feeling that they are in a sensory deprivation chamber in a minimalist environment. The battles over neutral vs. color vs. “pops of color” can get equally heated. (Ok, not nearly as heated as about bidets and duvet covers (!), but I digress).

However, I will never have a house like any of these, because we are all ADHD here. Books on organizing for ADHD people exist, and the most useful tips for me have been to have all parts of a project clearly visible (no putting them away in a drawer to tidy the workspace), have a place where everything needed for next day is put, only have the tools needed for a day’s work in the house (a set number of plates, 2 spatulas, a pair of scissors etc.) since duplicates will give you the illusion you can find something and never put it back, no overstocking on toilet paper or food or emergency supplies, or everyday life will become an emergency, have an item near where you will use it, corral all kid and husband toys in their own messy enclosed rooms with dire warnings if they somehow escape… So in summary, for a working ADHD house, pretty takes a back seat to usefulness or nothing will ever get done.

Here are some fun reads on the topic:
House Thinking and The Power of Place by Winnifred Gallagher ( — easy and fun readings; she also has a book on attention and one on novelty seeking, so I suspect she’s from our tribe
House As a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home Paperback by Clare Cooper Marcus ( – a reviewer called it psycho-babble and he/she is correct, but it was an interesting psycho-babble, if a bit dense
Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD, 2nd Edition-Revised and Updated: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized by Susan C Pinsky ( – grand title, but useful ideas