My Very Messy Move

My small, humdrum chores quickly attained nervous-breakdown proportions during a recent move that exposed my ADHD and procrastination.

Sunlight & shadows across porch boards late in the day and stil procrastinating
Sunlight & shadows across porch boards late in the day and stil procrastinating

I talk a lot about the importance of being organized, but I didn’t fully understand that “talking ain’t doing” until my friend Danielle and I moved into our very own house. Our front porch is just half a block away from the college dorm where I used to live, so I decided to move my clothes, books, and other “small” stuff all by myself. After 20 or so trips back and forth, I realized there was nowhere to put anything — because I had no furniture yet. (Acting before thinking isn’t unusual for me though, is it?) I heaped everything on my bedroom floor, and this “domestic landfill” is still there, weeks later. Oh, well, I’ll get to it someday.

Danielle, who doesn’t have ADHD, had an easier time moving in. Within a day, she had organized her bedroom, put up curtains, and hooked up her TV. I’m still trying to figure out which drawer to put my underwear in. After a trip to The Container Store, I thought I was set to sail. But now I know what you get when you buy containers before considering what you will store in them: You get a roomful of empty containers.

Wait, it gets better. Once my parents realized my old bedroom at their house was empty, they took the liberty of packing up all the knickknacks I had accumulated over a lifetime and delivering them to my new house. (Most of these things would be classified as “trash I can’t throw away yet.”) Now, on top of my list of things to do, I have to find places for my soccer trophies, stocking stuffers, and about $200 worth of old beauty products.

Living in my own house has taught me a lot, and not all of it is positive. I’ve learned, for example, that it is easier for me to put up with minor inconveniences than to take the time to make things right. A week after Danielle and I moved in, one of our toilets stopped working — and I have yet to call the maintenance man. The curtain rods that we bought for our living room proved to be too short, so we have to take out the rod-holders we just screwed in. This hasn’t been done yet, either. There are still stains inside the kitchen cabinets, because we haven’t cleaned them yet. And no matter how much I complain about the pitiful display of grass in our yard, I still can’t find the time to water it.

Another thing I’ve learned is that the trash needs to be taken out the night before it gets picked up. Recently, Danielle (the responsible one) went out of town. My chance to show her that I am capable of rolling a trash bin five yards to the curb, right? Wrong. I forgot, and the trash went nowhere. I vowed to do it the following week. And guess what: I forgot again. At 8 a.m., I woke up to the sound of the garbage truck. Since I didn’t want to be sitting on three weeks’ worth of trash, I jumped out of bed and ran outside, just as the truck pulled away. I gave chase, begging the driver to stop. Maybe it was because he was a nice guy, or maybe it was because my pink night-shorts were skimpy enough to be mistaken for underwear, but he did stop. THAT was close.

If you’re wondering where I’m going with this, it’s that all these chores are going unfinished because of the “dynamic duo” that rule my life: ADHD and procrastination. By now, I should know to do things as soon as I think of them. Otherwise, I’ve discovered, small, humdrum chores can quickly attain nervous-breakdown proportions.