The Key to Beginning

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One of the things I hear over and over again is about being so overwhelmed by something – usually housekeeping – that you don’t know where to begin.

I totally get that. I think we all do. In fact, it’s one of the things we talk about in my ADD Coaching Program.

Here are some ideas that might work for you:

Find the pain. What is the one thing that aggravates you most when it comes to your clutter? Is it losing the car keys? Your purse? Maybe it’s a kitchen counter that’s disappeared under a pile of papers. When you find the pain, you find a place to begin.

Find a 10 minute task. For weeks I’ve been looking at a steadily growing pile of mail and papers accumulating in my family room. Some needed filing, but a lot was just useless. I pay all of our bills online but forget to throw away the paper copy. Today I took 10 minutes and went through the pile. I ended up with 4 things to keep out of a 2″ pile of paper. Find a quick 10 minute task and do it. You’ll feel better.

Find the reward. Sure, cleaning and organizing are their own rewards, but sometimes that is not incentive enough. Think of something that you would really look forward to and then promise yourself that when you reach your cleaning goals. Start out small – maybe a new top if you clean out the bedroom closet. Then set bigger goals – maybe a redecorated room after you clean it. A pretty room that you enjoy is more likely to motivate you to keep it clean.

Find the underlying reason. If depression is part of your ADD package, then there is a good chance that it’s keeping you from being motivated to do simple things like basic self care and housekeeping. Maybe you don’t begin because you don’t know what to do with all that stuff. Often things without a specific place in our home end up as clutter. Maybe you just don’t know how to clean properly. I’m serious. My mom never taught me, and even if she had, she had ADHD too. I don’t know that her methods would have been that helpful. Once you figure out the reason, you can begin to work on a solution.

Find the truth. Housekeeping is dull and repetitive. There’s nothng exciting about it, and even if you do a really good job, you’re going to have to do it all over again way too soon. You just have to learn to accept that. I will tell you that the less stuff you have, the easier it is. And the more often you do it, the less work you will have to do. Seriously. A bathroom that gets wiped down every day will look and stay cleaner than one that gets scrubbed once a week or so.

If you would like more help managing your ADHD – including your housekeeping – join us in the ADD Coaching Program.

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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One Response

  1. One thing that I have found to make housework less dull is to listen to fun podcasts or radio shows, put on a funny T.V. program and also listen to exciting uplifting music while cleaning or organizing. I have an mp5 player that I also use when washing dishes.
    Another thing to make time go faster is to talk to someone on the phone while preforming certain tasks.
    Now when I’m filing and can’t really put my full attention on other things I watch reruns of DVD movies that I bought and listen to instrumental music. All of these things take the drab out of these chores.
    All the best,