Reply To: Need advise for house cleaning/organization

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Hi ellewolfe! My husband and I both have ADHD. We’ve been together for 10 years and are both unmedicated, so, we use a lot of other strategies to keep our lives from slipping into chaos. 🙂 Here’s a few things that help us:

1. Minimalism. We googled it, and it changed the way we think about our stuff. Having less is definitely freeing and much more manageable. We purge whenever the seasons change, usually 2-3 times per year. If we haven’t used it in a year, it doesn’t fit our current lifestyle, and we don’t love it, it goes. We donate or sell as much as possible. It’s much easier to give things a new home than to toss it.

2. Dishes. We cut back to 6 bowls, 6 plates, 2 pans, and 2 pots. With so few dishes, we HAVE to wash them every few days because we run out. And it only takes about 10 minutes to load/unload the dishwasher because there’s not an overwhelming amount of stuff. We keep a matching set in storage and only break it out for dinner parties.

3. Simplify. We only buy one type of tupperware, socks, soap, towels, shampoo, etc. When everything matches, it’s easier to store and see what you have.

4. A place for everything. New stuff gets a home within a week. I leave it out until it has a place. This keeps it on my mind. Keep daily/weekly use items close at hand. Everything else can be stored away. EVERYTHING is out of sight as much as possible. Visual clutter can be overwhelming, even if it’s organized. Pinterest has a TON of organizing ideas. Keep trying different ones till you find what works for you.

5. Chore chart. The hubs and I divided up our weekly chores based on what we hate least and posted it by the door. Even if we don’t get to everything on the list each week, we usually get to some or most of it. It keeps our home out of the chaos zone and allows for more deep cleaning when I go into super-cleaner mode.

6. Split up big tasks. Laundry is my nemesis. It always seems overwhelming, whether we have one load or twelve. So, I wash and dry, he folds. The hubs hates cleaning the kitchen, so, he cooks, and I clean. It’s nice being on the same team, and we appreciate each other taking away some of the overwhelm.

7. Make it easy. We keep bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, and paper towels in the bathroom. Large trash cans in every room. Vacuum stays in the living room closet, broom stays in the kitchen, and I have a microfiber cloth stuffed behind a picture or box on a shelf in each room. Kitchen cleaner stays OUT on the counter. It’s much easier to get motivated when tools are close by.

8. Know your cleaning style. I tried a lot of daily/weekly checklists and tried to structure everything. That just doesn’t work for me. I like a more fluid schedule, so I can clean when I have energy for it. I usually unload the dishwasher while dinner is cooking. I do all the big cleaning stuff (mop/vacuum/dust) once a week. The hubs likes to fold laundry while watching a movie. Find what works for you.

9. Motivation. This was my biggest hurdle. For 6 years, no matter what new cleaning plan I found online, I could NOT get myself to stick to it. Those plans just don’t work for me. Now, I block out a “cleaning day” once a week and put on music while I tackle my list. Making it fun and keeping it manageable REALLY helps.
– I keep a timer in each room. I can do anything for 5 minutes. I can get a room done in 30, and I can get my whole list done in 2 hours.
– Keep it novel. Add something new to the mix. A weird new duster, a good smelling cleaner, or a new playlist can make it less monotonous.
– Rewards. When all else fails, bribery usually works. I like ice cream, soda, and binge watching Parks and Rec. 🙂

10. Let go of perfection. Our home is never going to look like a magazine for more than an hour. We’re too forgetful. People live here, and that’s okay. We allow clutter in a few places, and that helps to keep it from taking over: shelf by the front door, kitchen table, coffee table, and bathroom vanity. We clear them off every few days to keep the piles of stuff at bay, and the rest of our home stays looking pretty good.

It’s a process, but building habits/routines into your lives can help. Sharing the load helps too. Remember that y’all both deserve a happy and livable space. Working together to create that space for each other can be a great motivator. <3

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by strwbry. Reason: correct numbering