From chaos to calm: The home organisation guide for ADHD brains

If you have ADHD, the thought of organising your home might trigger a wave of overwhelm. Traditional organisational methods often need to be revised when your brain works differently. But don't despair, it's possible to achieve a sense of calm in your living space. This guide explores strategies explicitly tailored for ADHD brains to declutter, organise, and maintain order in your home.


6 strategies to organise your home with ADHD

1. Understand your ADHD hurdles

  • Impulsivity: The urge to start projects without finishing them, leading to piles of unfinished tasks.
  • Distractibility: Getting sidetracked mid-task, leaving areas in disarray.
  • Difficulty prioritising: Struggling to decide where to begin or what's most important.
  • Out of sight, out of mind: If you can't see it, it doesn't seem to exist, leading to hidden clutter.
  • Hyperfocus challenges: While hyperfocus is an ADHD superpower, it can lead to neglect of other areas in need of attention.

2. The small-wins approach

Instead of overwhelming yourself with a whole-house overhaul, start small.

  • Mini missions: Tackle 10-15 minute organisation bursts focused on a single drawer, shelf, or corner.
  • The 'done is better than perfect' mantra: Celebrate even small victories. A half-organised space is better than none.

3. Declutter for ADHD success

Clearing unnecessary items is the foundation of a calm home.

  • The "Does it spark joy?" question: But with an ADHD twist. Ask, "Does this spark joy, serve a vital purpose, or reduce my mental overwhelm?"
  • The three-box method: Label boxes 'Keep', 'Donate/Sell', and 'Toss'. Take your time thinking and making quick decisions.
  • Goodbye guilt: Let go of items attached to "shoulds" or sunk costs. It's OK if something wasn't as helpful as you thought.

4. ADHD-friendly storage

Visibility is key. Use clear bins, open shelving, and hooks to keep things visible. This combats the "out of sight, out of mind" issue.

  • Label liberally: Label containers with both words and pictures to cater to different learning styles.
  • Zones, not perfection: Group items by category (clothes, hobbies, paperwork) into general zones. Aim for "good enough" sorting.
  • Embrace duplicates: Have cleaning supplies in multiple rooms or extra chargers where you need them to avoid frantic searching.

5. Systems over willpower

Relying on willpower for order is a recipe for overwhelm with ADHD. Build systems instead.

  • Entryway drop zone: Designate a bin or basket for keys, mail, etc, to prevent clutter the moment you walk in.
  • The two-minute rule: If a task takes less than two minutes, do it immediately.
  • Habit stacking: Pair a mundane task (e.g. folding laundry) with something enjoyable (e.g. listening to a podcast).
  • Brain dump basket: Keep a basket handy to toss random papers or items. Sort through it weekly.

6. Maintenance mode

Staying organised is an ongoing journey, not a destination.

  • Daily reset: A 10-minute evening tidy-up makes mornings less chaotic.
  • 'Use and return' rule: After using an item, immediately return it where it belongs to reduce scattered belongings.
  • Delegate and outsource: Where possible, get help! Hire a cleaner, have kids help with specific chores, or swap tasks with a partner.
  • Forgive and adapt: Things won't be perfect. When systems fail, tweak them instead of beating yourself up.

Additional tips

  • Body doubling: Clean alongside a friend for accountability.
  • Timers: Set timers to stay focused and prevent time blindness.
  • Pomodoro technique: Work in focused chunks with breaks in between.
  • Visual aids: Create checklists, chore charts, or a cleaning schedule.

Celebrate your calm space

A more organised life reduces ADHD overwhelm, improves focus, and brings peace of mind. Take pride in the journey and the sanctuary you create! Remember, progress over perfection is the key to sustainably organising your home with an ADHD brain.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, WC2N
Written by Aaron McCarthy, Expert Career & Confidence Coach.
London, WC2N

I am a passionate and experienced life coach with a decade of success empowering individuals to achieve their personal and professional goals. Expert in motivational strategies, stress management, and personal development. Known for a compassionate yet results-driven approach. Let's unlock your potential and transform your life!.

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