More Organizing Strategies that Work with your ADD (ADHD)
Instead of spending all of your energy trying to control
your ADD (ADHD), look for ways to work with your natural
tendencies. There are many traits associated with ADD (ADHD)
that can be very positive traits if they are used in the right
You've probably been criticized and given advice by people
that don't have ADD (ADHD) - people who don't understand why
you can't "just do it" the way they do things. Instead
of trying to do things "their" way, why not give
yourself permission to get things done in a way that suits
your natural tendencies? There's more than one way to get
things done! So get in the habit of looking for ADD-friendly
strategies. For example:
Organizational moments are times when you take advantage
of unplanned opportunities to organize. An example is filing
a paid bill and then, while you're at it, flipping through
the file folder and throwing out any obsolete junk. Or it
might be the opportunity to empty out your glove compartment
when you're stopped at a traffic signal. Or cleaning out your
purse while you search for your nail file buried at the bottom.
Organize for reasons that matter to you.
Don't try to adopt some else's organizing values. If being
"tidy" or "organized" has negative connotations
for you (tedious, boring, uptight, perfectionist), motivate
yourself by organizing according to your own values.
For example, if you value social service, put together coordinated
outfits from clothing that you want to discard, then donate
these complete outfits to a local homeless shelter or shelter
for victims of domestic abuse. Your castoffs can be transformed
into job-interview outfits for women with limited income.
With this goal in mind, you're not engaged in tedious tidying
fv - you're making a positive difference in the life of someone
If you value creativity, imagine an art project - a collage,
a quilt, a sculpture, or braided rug. Then, just as some artists
collect objects at the local dump, or collect discarded clothing
at a thrift store for their art projects, go around the house
with a collection bag looking for items for future art projects.
You've had fun collecting materials and have de-cluttered
your environment at the same time.
Clear as soon as you've cluttered.
Don't view cleaning up as a separate activity. So often
our clutter gets the best of us because we think of "straightening
up" as a separate, distinct, and dreaded activity that
we put off as long as possible. Meanwhile, our piles of clutter
continue to grow.
Develop the habit of straightening as you go. Hang up your
robe instead of tossing it in the pile on top of other clothing
waiting to be put away. If you've got the inclination, hang
up another item or two as well. Pretty soon, the clutter will
begin to melt because you're not adding to it and you're slowly
making it disappear - without having to go through the dreaded
exercise of spending hours de-cluttering.
Making a "clean sweep" every now and then doesn't
help you develop the habits you'll need to keep your environment
more organized. But using this ADD-friendly approach, you'll
find that your home stays less cluttered, creating an environment
that feels better and helps you to function better.
More information on life planning and AD/HD-friendly organizing
strategies can be found in ADD-friendly
Ways to Organize Your Life.