Homekeeping with ADHD

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I like Martha Stewart’s use of the word homekeeping when it comes to taking care of your house rather than calling it housecleaning. After all, isn’t a warm, comfortable home what we’re all interested in having?

And yet those of us with ADHD often struggle to find or make such a simple pleasure.

As I write this, my home is in chaos.

Let’s see:

We’re remodeling the basement which means my youngest daughter Caitlin has been moved out of her bedroom and into my office, putting me anywhere I can plug in my laptop and putting her clothes everywhere.

Ford Motor Company can’t decide which shift they would like my husband to work, so it’s sort of anybody’s guess from week to week. (I’m extremely grateful that he’s working at all, but the poor man doesn’t know sunrise from sunset.)

And all of my kids went back to school this week, which is always an adjustment in schedules.

There’s more, but you get the idea.

Homekeeping, housecleaning, however you want to think of it, has been on my mind lately. In addition to my own circumstances, I’ve had other ADD Moms ask me about this as well. I think coming off of summer vacation and back into the routine of school makes us feel that we need to be more organized and that the sooner, the better.

Being organized is a huge topic and the idea of being organized is different for everyone, but what I thought I would do is to start with getting your home organized.

I’ve got a lot to say, so this is probably going to be the theme this week.

Let’s start with clutter.

We all have some clutter – some of us more than others. Neat piles or messy piles, if you’ve got them, you’ve got clutter. (Note: if you’ve got paths instead of piles, you need more help than I can give you. And that’s said in kindness, not sarcasm. Please get some help. And let me know if I can help you find someone.)

So, neat piles are still piles. And piles mean that what’s in them doesn’t have a place to go, you don’t know what to do with it, or it’s too hard to put them away.

Kitchen tables, next to your favorite chair, the nearest flat surface from the mailbox and the door you use to come in the house are all potential pile gatherers.

Start by taking a look at what lives there. Backpacks and shoes are often piled by the door, and maybe the mail, too. Is there a way you can contain it? Maybe some hooks for backpacks and coats and a basket for shoes? Mail should travel in the door and directly to the trash can or shredder. Sort it right away so that all you’re keeping is what’s important, and make sure you have a place for it!

What do you have in piles around your house that you don’t know what to do with? You need to be really decisive and ruthless here. Why are you keeping it? If you needed the information and you threw it away, how easy would it be to get it again? Is it yours or does it belong to someone else? If it does, return it to the owner (even if that means putting it in their room).

How much of what’s laying around is stuff that you intend to get around to “one day”? If you have those kinds of piles, grab a stack while you’re watching tv or on the phone. You can sort and handle it during commercials or as you talk. Make a decision above all.

Removing the clutter from your home will make a big difference in how it feels. Start today to get yours under control and I will join you. We’ll have a smoothly running home in no time!

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Lacy Estelle

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

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4 Responses

  1. Breaking it into smaller pieces always works for me. Monday/kitchen, Tuesday/living rm, Wednesday/bathrm, Thursday/bedrooms, and Friday/a chunk of basement cleaning.

    Clutter-wise I’m doing better but it just takes so much darn work! LOL Especially with two kids 5 and under and a hubby in school full time while working 40+ hrs/week! LOL

  2. Clutter? What’s clutter?It’s my stuff! Boy I’m glad I was never a mom. More power to ya’. But I think the cleaning up clutter thing is highly overrated. Especially for those of us with small problems like Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. The only clutter-control for us is brain surgery. And there’s too much of that going around as it is. See the picture of my computer room (where I am right now) onmy posting for today. Then, if you have any energy left after remodelling your basement, you can come and help me. Am I just lazy? Probably. But be a little gentle on those of us for whom sorting might as well be building a guided missle :>)

  3. Harold – thanks for taking the time to read my blog and leave a comment.

    I did check out the picture of your space and took some time to read your blog. Perhaps it won’t mean much coming from me, but I think you are a really good writer.

    And if you’re happy and content living as you do, so be it. Who am I to tell you how to live? Although this line “It gives me an excuse not to fully participate in the world around me.” kinda makes me sad.