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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 direction.

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:

Take advantage of "organizational moments"

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 less fortunate.

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.

 

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Many more tips, tools and strategies for creating an ADD-friendly life can be found in...
Add-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life

ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life

Kathleen Nadeau & Judith Kolberg

266 pages; $21.95

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