Manage Your House

Q: “I Forget About My Things When I Put Them Away!”

When your stuff is out of sight, is it too far out of mind? While decluttering and organizing, do you stash things and then forget where? Here, learn how to remember where you put something — and keep it immediate but not under foot.

Waist-level view of a person closing an open drawer with their hips.Steve Pomberg / WebMD

Q: “I have a problem with tidying up clutter: I forget about items when I put them away, which creates its own problems. Any solutions?”

Here we confront the age-old struggle between leaving things out so you can see them, and creating so much visual chaos that you can’t find anything! The solution is common sense: easily accessed storage with clear labeling.

In choosing a place for your items, ask yourself, “Where would I look for this in a stranger’s home?” Well, you would expect to find first aid items in the medicine chest, dishes in the kitchen, and paperwork in the file cabinet. Don’t get clever: Hiding your will under your mattress only means you will never find it again!

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

Once “homes” are established for items, we can use a few organizing tricks and tools to keep them on our radar.

1. Organizational systems should allow you to see all items stored in them, so after putting items away you can easily find them. A shallow, top bureau drawer fitted with a compartmentalized tray allows you to see all of your jewelry. I love bookcases because you can plop things on a shelf and see all your items at once. A bookcase with doors is fine, too; the doors can be closed when you need a break from seeing the clutter.

2. Clear bins and trays will help to keep things visible.

3. Give your papers a common-sense home — clear, labeled, desk-top stacking trays and half empty file drawers. By weeding out unnecessary files and labeling the remainder in bold letters, you will have created a system that enables you to find your papers.

Organizing Solutions for ADHD Minds: Next Steps

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