ADHD? Hoarder? What Causes the Clutter?

by | Apr 3, 2015 | Organizing ADHD | 5 comments

adhd hoarder, adult add, adult adhd, dana rayburn, add coachIs your clutter so totally out of control that your family and friends make jokes that you’re a hoarder? ADHD can be like that!

So many piles. So much stuff to manage. Deep down you might even worry that they’re right; that you do have a hoarding problem.

Before you get too worked up, let’s open the ADHD Success inbox and peek at an email I got a few weeks ago from a reader who wants to know how to stop looking like an ADHD hoarder.

Gayle wrote, “Yes, I want to learn how to live easier with ADHD. Like managing my living space and the things that I need, for instance my clothes! How many pants should I have? I have so much stuff and clutter It looks like I am a hoarder! Frustrated, please help.”

Great question, Gayle.

There’s a reason clearing clutter and getting organized with ADHD are challenging. And it’s not because you’re a hoarder.

Often ADHD adults have a hard time making decisions.

What’s at the core of clearing clutter and getting organized? Making decisions, of course.

Not making decisions means you keep too much stuff. So, you look like a hoarder.

Not making decisions about where to keep things means your stuff piles up around your office and house. And, you look like a hoarder.

So the trick to both living easier with ADHD and not looking like you’re hoarding is learning to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

That’s why when I teach people how to get organized with ADHD I guide them with a simple list of questions to make those decisions easier.

(If you have my book, Organized for Life!, you’ll find the clutter clearing questions on page 82.)

You also need ADHD-friendly organizing systems so the things you keep have good homes and don’t pile up.

Not knowing how to decide what to get rid of is different than wanting to keep everything. Hoarders can’t get rid of anything.

To stop looking like an ADHD hoarder you need to get good at making decisions about what to keep and where to keep it. That’s a key skill for staying organized for life.


  1. Eleanor Skale

    Hi Dana,

    In what form do your ebooks come in? A disk or download? I would like to buy the bundle and have them on my PC and mobile devices. Are there visuals?

    Thank you,

    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Eleanor,

      My ebooks are a pdf download so you can have them on your PC and devices. No, visuals. Though they have been graphically designed to be easier to read. Thanks for asking!



  2. Daisy

    Hi Dana

    I’ve been following you for quite some time and I’m so grateful for the work you do!

    Very did in your book, but as a matter of principle I do not use Amazon. Might there be another way I can purchase your book?

    Also, tried to sign up for the clutter report but when I hit the send button it looks like nothing happened, perhaps I’m wrong.

    Again, you are a beacon of hope!


    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Daisy – Thank you so much. I’m so happy to help. You can purchase my book as a pdf download through my web site. I’m sorry but there’s no other way than Amazon to get a paper copy.

      Yes, we’ve learned the Discover Your Clutter Type Report link is broken. That will get fixed tomorrow. Sorry for the confusion!

    • Dana Rayburn

      Daisy – Update – you CAN get the Clutter Type report on my homepage: Look for the cool graphic of files. Whew!!



  1. ADHD Paper Clutter - What to Keep and What to Toss - Dana Rayburn ADHD Coach - […] The real ADHD paper clutter challenge is knowing what to keep and what to toss, so it doesn’t grow…

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