Clutter, Organization, and ADHD

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If you have Attention Deficit Disorder, I probably don’t have to tell you about how easy it is for clutter to creep up on you. It’s everywhere – the house, the car, our workspace, even our purses or briefcases.

Clutter is one of the biggest reasons that we find it hard to keep our houses orderly, find things we need, even pay our bills on time. (When bills get covered by clutter, or there are so many of them they turn into clutter, it makes it hard to remember them or pay them.)

I’ve often mentioned that one of the primary reasons that we ADDers are disorganized is because we tend to leave things out in the open so that we can find them when we need them. But what happens in a short while is that we’ve left so many things out that it all becomes a useless blur of clutter, with no clear way of seeing what’s there.

We have a tendency to lose things, so we leave them out in the open.

We have a tendency to forget things, so we leave them out in the open.

We’ve learned that when we put things in a “safe place”, we forget where that place is, so we leave them out in the open.

Another issue that contributes to clutter when you have ADHD is an inability to make a decision. Now indecisiveness by itself is not a symptom of Attention Deficit Disorder, but it can be a sort of side effect.

An inability to pay attention is the very heart of ADHD. So is lack of focus and impulsiveness. Take all of these things into consideration and you can see how it might be easy to make a decision that you later regret. Of course, everyone has made decisions that they’ve later regretted, but the chances of that happening with ADHD are greater.

So if you know that you sometimes don’t make good decisions, what is the natural counter tactic? Spend more time thinking before acting. A good practice, most of the time. However, spending more time thinking often turns into no action at all, and that can result in clutter.

Should I accept this invitation? Should I go back to school? Should I give these things to charity? Will I need them?

While you’re trying to decide, the invitation, the school catalog, and those old clothes are laying around your home, adding to the clutter.

Another cause of clutter is that we don’t know what to do with it. Many people mistakenly think that neat piles of stuff about the house is cleaning and organizing. No, it’s just neat clutter.

There are some great solutions that can help us conquer our clutter and lead more serene lives, but that’s another post.

In the meantime, I found a couple of really good articles for you to read:

Cause of Clutter

Clutter Clearing and Control

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Lacy Estelle

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

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you for your post. I also just recently found out about this autism program, never knew that such was available. Did you ever hear about such programs before? Anyhows, keep up your blog posts, look forward to reading them.

  2. Thank you for sharing that information with me and my readers.

    While I know that ADHD and Autism are somewhat linked, I actually know very little about Autism. If you are on Twitter, though, I know several parents on there that have Autistic children. I’d be glad to introduce you to them. Follow me at