ADHD can make staying organized a challenge. However, there are lots of easy ways to keep your home in good order.
Sometimes ADHD feels like a superpower — the laser focus, creativity, and seemingly endless energy. Yes, it’s amazing when it’s working in your favor. But when it comes to staying organized, ADHD can be frustrating AF.
Here are 16 ADHD-friendly home hacks to help you stay organized.
ADHD can make home organization feel like an impossible task. But by thinking outside the box, even the most organizationally challenged person can find a good flow. Here are 16 tips.
1. Use clear storage bins
Buy some some clear storage containers. Since ADHD can make it hard to stay on task, having your eye on the prize might help you focus. With clear containers, you’ll be able to see everything at a glance. This can save you precious time and helps you avoid frustration.
2. Invest in a label maker
If the idea of clear storage containers doesn’t float your boat, invest in a good quality label maker. You can then quickly and easily label containers, so you know exactly what’s inside without having to search through each one. It’s particularly helpful if you have stacks of similar-looking boxes.
3. Use your walls
If you’re short on storage space, get creative and use your walls. Hang things up with command strips or put up some shelving. It’s a great way to make use of vertical space and declutter your surfaces.
Hanging shoe organizers are a versatile storage solution. You can use them to store cleaning supplies, stationary, or even non-perishable food items in a pantry or kitchen.
4. Corral the cords
Cords are the bane of any organized home. They’re always getting tangled and out of place.
A simple solution is to use binder clips to keep them together and under control. Just clip them to the cords and then to the back of your desk or TV stand. No more wasted time untangling cords or trying to work out which one goes to what.
5. Utilize your free time
A simple but effective hack for keeping your home tidy is to use those spare minutes you have sprinked through the day. Whenever you have 5 minutes free, use that time to do a quick clean-up. It could be putting away dishes, folding clothes, or cleaning up any clutter that’s been left out.
So next time the kettle’s boiling or you’re waiting for your computer to boot up, take 5 minutes to tidy up. It’ll make a big difference in the long run.
6. Hook it up
Hooks are your best friend when it comes to ADHD home organization. They’re perfect for hanging up keys, coats, bags, umbrellas, and other items that tend to get left lying around the house.
Install hooks in strategic places like near the door, in the hallway, or in the bedroom. Then make sure everyone uses them.
7. Basket case
Baskets are another great way to keep your home organized. They’re perfect for storing items that don’t have a specific home, like throws, cushions, blankets, and toys.
Make sure you get big enough baskets to fit everything in, but not so big that they become a dumping ground for all your junk.
8. The one-in, one-out rule
A rule to live by that keeps your home from becoming overrun with stuff is to get rid of one old item for every new one that comes into the house.
If you’ve just bought new pants, check out your old ones. That pair with the hole in the crotch? Say goodbye! And be ruthless. If you haven’t used something in 6 months, chances are you never will. So get rid of it and free up some space in your home.
9. The 30-day rule
This rule is similar to the one-in, one-out rule but with a time limit. If you haven’t used an item in 30 days — and it’s sat gathering dust — either find it a place to live or get rid.
Regular decluttering helps keep your home tidy and organized and stops that horrible overwhelm from setting in.
10. The 10-minute rule
If you struggle with procrastination, this rule is for you. The next time you’re avoiding a task, set a timer for 10 minutes and start working. Chances are, once you get started, you’ll find it’s not as bad as you thought, and you’ll keep going. This rule works for any task, no matter how big or small.
11. The outbox
An outbox is a designated place for things that need to leave the house. Anything you need to return, recycle, or re-home goes in the outbox. Then, when you have a free moment, you can deal with everything in one go.
It’s a great way to stop yourself from leaving things lying around the house or forgetting to return them.
12. Store items by frequency of use
A fab rule of thumb for storing items is to keep the things you use most often within easy reach and store the things you use less often out of the way.
For example, if you only use your winter coat or other clothes at set times of the year, they can be stored in the back of your closet or in a storage box in the attic. But stuff like your coffee mug should be kept front and center of a cupboard that’s easy to access.
13. Designate days
A bit like the old ‘I can’t tonight, I’m washing my hair’ trick, designating days for specific tasks can help you stay on top of things.
So have a laundry day, a grocery shopping day, and a declutter day. This way, you know when certain tasks need to be done, and you can plan your week accordingly.
14. Get smartphone smart
Smartphones can be a great way to stay organized. There are tons of apps available to help you with everything from managing your to-do list to paying your bills.
You can also go simple and use the calendar alarm to remind you of important tasks, dates, or appointments. So whether it’s taking out the trash or paying rent, set a reminder on your phone, and you’re less likely to forget.
15. The whiteboard
If you prefer a visual clue to a smartphone app, get a whiteboard and use it to keep track of your weekly schedule. By having a massive visual reminder of what needs to be done each day, you’ll be less likely to forget essential tasks.
Color coding is your friend here and is super helpful if you live with other people. Use different colored sticky notes or pieces of duct tape for each person in the house, and everyone knows whose turn it is to do what.
16. Get a good night’s sleep
Random right? But it’s crucial. Getting enough sleep is essential for keeping your focus and concentration levels up. And when you’re well rested, you’re more likely to be able to handle the day-to-day tasks that keep your home running smoothly.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 7 or more hours a night for the average adult. You might be be surprised at how much easier it is to stay on top of things. Plus, it’ll help you avoid those dreaded burnout moments.
Planning is the ADHD brain’s kryptonite, especially when it comes to dull everyday tasks that are hardly sparkling with excitement. But, despite its unglamorous reputation, planning is essential for anyone with attention issues.
Without planning, things are bound to fall through the cracks, urgent deadlines are missed, and everyday tasks quickly become overwhelming. But with a little bit of forethought, you can stay on top of things and avoid the ADHD chaos.
Yes, planning is tricky for ADHD brains because of poor executive function. If you have trouble analyzing, planning, organizing, scheduling, and completing tasks, that’s executive dysfunction at play. Spinning too many plates is exhausting and can quickly lead to feelings of inadequacy and failure.
But planning allows you to externalize executive functioning and makes life work for your brain. By breaking down big projects into manageable tasks to be done at specific times, you can avoid that sense of being overwhelmed.
And while it might not come naturally to you, like any skill, planning can be learned with practice. A solid plan saves energy, eases anxiety, makes time for the good stuff, and gives you a sense of control. All of which are critical when you’re an ADHD superstar.
Try out some of the hacks and see how they work for you. And most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Organization is a skill that takes time and practice to perfect. So cut yourself some slack and keep at it. Soon enough, you’ll be an organization pro, and overwhelm will be a thing of the past.