Manage Your House

10 Hacks for Conquering Household Chores with ADHD

“Laundry and dishes and bills, oh my!” Household chores are a necessary evil — especially for ADHD brains that thrive on dopamine, not repetition. Here, ADDitude readers share tips for tackling the most mundane jobs around the house.

Woman underneath wave of laundry. Ryan McVay/Getty Images

From laundry and dishes to meal-planning and grocery shopping, there’s no shortage of household tasks that need to get to done — again and again and again.

They are boring, repetitive, and necessary — kryptonite for ADHD brains that light up over novelty, not the same old same old. Meanwhile, the unfolded laundry, unpaid bills, and empty fridge continue to loom.

To transform monotonous household tasks into worthy challenges, ADHD brains need creative hacks. Here, ADDitude readers share their ADHD-specific solutions for tackling household chores; add yours in the Comments section below.

“Every day, I make three lists: Four things I need to get done before bed; four things I’d like to get done; and four things I just need to get off of my mind.”

“I moved all my fresh vegetables to the door and middle shelves so I don’t forget and waste them; condiments go in the crisper. I also ordered a new draining rack that I intend to use for dirty items so they have somewhere to live while I’m waiting for the dishwasher to run or be unloaded.”

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“I keep a routine — laundry on Tuesdays and Fridays; grocery shopping on Saturdays; meal-planning on Thursday nights while making the grocery list. Of course, vacations can wreak havoc on routines. Then I need to make a conscious decision to ‘get back on the wagon.’”

“To reduce the number of cups and plates we own, each family member has one designated cup that they rinse between uses. This also limits the dirty dishes!”

“I use a bullet journal for my morning ‘brain dumps’ and to track habits, cleaning schedules, and bills all in one place.”

“Laundry: I set alarms on my phone or smartphone device to remind me to move wet laundry to the dryer. Grocery shopping I do online. This gives me back some time, which I need, because everything just takes me a little longer than it takes most people.”

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“The Paprika app creates a grocery list based on recipes I find online. It’s been a lifesaver!”

“When cleaning the kitchen, I set a timer for 15 minutes and just focus on that one task. If an idea pops into my head, I write it down for later. It’s amazing how much I can accomplish in that time.”

“Color coding — each member of the family has an assigned color for clothes hangers, lunch bags, winter hats, dry erase board pens, everything!”

“I listen to music, cue up a podcast, or call a friend to help stay focused and actually start and finish a task.”

Household Chores: Next Steps

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