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"I'm Too Ashamed to Clean My House"

You've been called a "messy" person your whole life, and now you can't even look at your unorganized house without feeling the familiar twinge of shame. But shame is not a solution, and it won't help you tackle your mess OR live a happier, more confident life. Here, an ADHD coach explains how to let go of negative emotions and find the neatening tricks that work for you.

4 Comments: "I'm Too Ashamed to Clean My House"

  1. You know that game ‘Whack a Mole’? Where when you finally hit one, another pops up undefeated?

    That is the essence of trying to maintain a home with ADD. Basically; if it ain’t on fire, you don’t need to deal with it.

  2. Great article! Finally an article that addresses the dynamics of ADD and doesn’t offer neurotypical solutions which are impractical and ineffective

  3. Great article! My best years in life were the 3 years I lived in Mexico and could afford a daily maid. She took care of all this and I was peaceful, happy and productive on so many levels. I do agree that the SHAME
    about my house is even more debilitating than the mess itself. I have twice subscribed to Flylady reminders.
    She provides multiple reminders into your IN BOX and helps you break the job down into little parts. Her best tip is to: Shine Your Sink. When you don’t know where to start, clean your sink and keep it empty. It is like “home base”.
    My impulse buying is part of my issue. As my EFT tapping counselor Laurel Brookes says ( says: “You like multiples.” If one is good, 4 are better!….Especially if it is on sale or in several different colors. Lately I’ve been paring items down to 1: Example ice cream scoops. I don’t eat it that often, why do I need two of these? I take a moment and compare them…which one do I like the best, and put the less favored one in a box I have in the corner for “giveaways.”
    Thanks for a great article.
    John Bradshaw wrote a book calling Healing the Shame that Binds You. He has videos on You Tube. My story is complicated by the fact that I suffered childhood abuse and neglect. I think both my parents and all my siblings had ADD too…so I grew up in a bucket of shame. For me, it is hard to distinguish between emotional toxic pain and my “brain chemistry”. One thing for sure…I can beat me down to a tiny pulp of anguish pretty easily without a “kinder, gentler” version of myself saying: Its OK to take a break and sit down with a cup of tea and watch the birds at the feeder for awhile. That Driven to Distraction feeling is relentless for me.
    My BEST cleaning tip is to “Decorate” first….make it pretty. I pick an area and start making it pretty and that means I have to declutter the stuff that distracts from the visual pleasure. I will often decorate a container: such as an old oatmeal box with pretty paper and labels and repurpose it for a storage item for that particular room. When the element of creativity, joy, playfulness and beauty coalesce for me, I am stimulated in a positive way.
    If I am giving a party, I’ll decorate the room first, and then clean it. (Backwards, but it gets me “in the mood” and I watch the transformation unfold as we have the joy of the party in the space).

    1. Everything you say makes so much sense. I love your tips and strategies as well. I love the way you have learned and know about yourself. I love that you have found ways to make things better especially coming from a not-so-typical family situation. Not meaning to make light of this issue. One thing you seem to not have a problem with is prancing your thoughts to right them down. I think your concise writing skills are impeccable.

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