As an ADHD Coach, I’ve had many conversations around the topic of cleaning. I’m mindful though, that cleaning is organizing, and for the ADHD mind, organizing is a little different than in people without ADHD. The ADHD mind uses interest, curiosity, and challenge rather than the concept of importance, or thinking about sequence and order. For this reason, setting yourself up for success in this area may require adding some creativity to your thought processes.
For example, some cleaning experts instruct to set up rules like putting things back where they “belong” as soon as they’re finished being used. Many suggest creating “homes” for things so that they have a place to “live”.
So, if I’m home, back from grocery shopping, I would return my keys to the key holder thing-a-ma-jig in the kitchen, my bag would go in it’s spot on the side table in the living room, and all of the groceries would be put away properly where they belong.
What happens in the real world is that while these items may have spots where they belong, initiating the intentional act of placing each item where it goes can feel like a chore. It feels boring. It feels forced and it can wait. It’s so much easier to plop everything on the counter and then maybe, if motivated, begin to put away the groceries.
When you have ADHD you may even decide to bust into the crackers before you put them away and now you’re sitting on the sofa, TV turned on, having a snack, taking a break, and only half of the groceries are put away. Where’s your bag and keys? Well, they’re on the counter, of course; you don’t need them right now anyway.
If you live alone this may be okay. If you don’t, another person may bring in the mail, set it over your keys on the counter, and bam! That will cost an extra 5 minutes of searching tomorrow when you need to leave the house again.
So, using this same scenario, how can you tap into your natural interest and curiosity instead of worrying about the order of things? There’s no right or wrong answer but I challenge you to consider:
What about “putting things where they belong” can YOU get in to?
Here are 5 suggestions to get you started but remember, it’s your story and it’s your stuff, be your own authentic self when figuring out your answer and then please share it in the comments!
- You’re a Ninja! Don’t just clean, bust out your most Mission Impossible moves and sneak around every corner.
- Turn up the Tunes Don’t even try to put things away until you turn on your favorite cleaning song.
- Live-stream Yourself on Periscope! Doing the first task/chore you decide on.
- Number 1 – 5 Chores on a Piece of Paper and then ask people on social media to choose a number between 1 – 5. First do the most popular chosen number, then the second and so on until all 5 are complete.
- Take Note of the First Letter of the First 3 License Plates You See. Then go home and do a task/chore that begins with each of those letters.
Let me know how you do!