Physical Clutter and the ADD Brain
by Cary Farrell
April 25, 2019
I do not have ADD nor do I have a degree that makes me an expert on ADD but after 19 years of working as a professional organizer, I do have some insight to reduce the stress of clutter for those with creative brains.
See your brain as beautiful and unique because it is!
Stop fighting with it! Organization is not a one-size-fits-all process. Let your brain think outside the typical organizational box and create a system that works for you!
Start with the everyday activities, the ones that need to happen to keep your world spinning smoothly. Just choose one area to work on at a time until you get a handle on it then consider adding another activity to create a system for.
Daily routine - not militant but a loose routine that keeps you on task for the most important activities giving you free time to be distracted or creative.
Sally broke out in hives at the thought of having to keep a rigid schedule so we made a list of the important tasks that she needed to do each day and put them in order of importance. She then had a loose guide to keep her on track but freedom to go at her pace each day. If she got sidetracked then she would just go back to the schedule and pick up where she left off to help her to accomplish her vital daily tasks.
Meals - the hardest part is making a plan. Pick some favorite meals and be flexible when you fix them each week but stick with some basic meals that you can work around your daily mood. Make a master shopping list and keep one on the fridge for you to circle what you need for the upcoming week.
Elizabeth hated scrambling for dinner each night to feed the family and wanted to save money on their budget and offer healthier options than fast food for her family. We made a simple weekly plan of dinner theme nights and she wrote down everyone's favorite dish which she could plug in throughout the month. She also used the crock pot on busy nights when no one had time to cook. She created a master shopping list that she could circle what she needed each week to reduce her trips to the store.
Laundry /clothes - Choose some favorite classic pieces that you can dress up with accessories. If you like to see your clothes, use open shelving, hooks and open baskets.
Use three mesh laundry baskets: Lights, darks, towels & sheets. When the basket is full do a load of laundry! Set timers on your phone to remind you to move them from the washer to the dryer and then get them out of the dryer/fold and put away immediately.
Jenny made her closet feel like a boutique by reducing her options, using nice hangers, grouping her clothing by type and putting up some art work and décor in her closet. It is a lot more fun dressing in a boutique rather than a crowed thrift store where finding an outfit can be challenging. She hung her jewelry where she could see it to give creativity to her outfits.
Bills/mail - This might be the most difficult activity you have to do so be sure you create a simple system that is easy to maintain. As challenging as paper can be I encourage you to make it a daily priority so the pile stays small.
Kim and Tom both hated dealing with the mail so they created a simple system to help them manage it together. They placed a recycle bin and shredder near the door that they brought the mail in and purged as much as they could each day. Then they had a place designated for the bills/important papers and a place for their individual mail. Each Wed night they sat down together to go over the mail and tackle the bills together. Neither one felt the weight of the burden alone and they were able to stay on top of the paper piles.
Your mantra should be Less is More
Less stuff is more time to be creative
Less stuff is more time to relax or play
Less stuff is more peace because you will be able to find and put away everything you own quickly and easily without feeling overwhelmed.
Less stuff is more money to spend on adventures and experiences
You can be bright, colorful, and creative but keep your options limited so you don't get overwhelmed!
One in one out keeps your stash manageable.
Celebrate ALL your brain can do but be kind to it and keep your options few and create some simple systems so that you can function to give yourself time to be creative!