I sit up and pay attention when I find someone who has accomplished what I want to do. How did they do it? What were their struggles? What can I learn from them? That’s why today I’m sharing my own success story. So you can learn how to be organized with ADHD, too.
If you have Adult ADHD you already know how frustrating disorganization is. It’s embarrassing and depressing. Unmanaged ADHD on its own can make you feel like an out-of-control failure. Adding clutter makes it even worse.
How do I know? Because for the first twenty-eight years of my life I lived in clutter and chaos.
Oh, I put on a good front. I managed to hide my disorganization from most everyone except my family and roommates. Even my husband didn’t discover how messy I was until after our wedding. Was he ever surprised!
One day for my sanity and self-respect, not to mention the health of my marriage, I decided I had to change my sloppy ways. I had to learn how to be organized. ADHD wasn’t something I knew about. I simply couldn’t picture a the rosy future I wanted for my life until I overcame disorganization.
I got discouraged though. I discovered quickly that finding practical, useful organizing information wasn’t easy.
How I Learned How To Be Organzied
First, I signed up for a class on how to get organized at my local community center. The instructor was a lovely professional organizer. She had some decent ideas. The problem was she was one of those born organized people who just couldn’t grasp my ADHD challenges. If I were organized her suggestions would have been great. But, at that point I wasn’t.
Next, I tried reading organizing books. I gleaned some ideas. But as with the organizing class, most of the authors were born organized. They didn’t have a clue how I struggled. You know what I’m talking about if you agreed with my take on The Magical Art of Tidying Up.
After that I accepted that I’d have to learn how to get organized on my own. That’s when I began secretly study the organized people in my life.
These weren’t people with elaborate organizing systems. These were regular folks. My friends, family, and co-workers. People who kept their homes and offices under control.
What I realized was life changing. A big chunk of organizing is about habits. I wasn’t a lazy failure. My habits were just different than my organized friends. Plus, if I wanted to stick to my habits my organizing systems needed to be easier than theirs.
Here’s what I did. I took those same habits and techniques my dear ones used and adjusted them to work for me. (They’re the foundation taught in my Organized for Life book.)
Getting organized took time and effort; about two years actually, but I did it. Eventually I learned how to keep my home and office tidy, comfortable, and clutter-free.
I still remember my surprise the day my friend Pam complemented me on how organized I was. After the shock wore off I realized it was true. I had become an organized person. Now, more than twenty-five years later, I am still an organized person.
Being Organized Is Cool!
That doesn’t mean our house is always tidy. It doesn’t mean papers don’t gather on my desk sometimes. What does it mean? I’m organized enough so I’m not embarrassed when someone drops by for a visit. And when things do get a bit cluttered I can straighten it all up again in a flash.
Getting that disorganized monkey off your back feels incredible. Life is much easier and more satisfying. That’s why it’s become my mission to help other people learn to become organized, too.
Teaching simple organizing skills are a big part of my ADHD coaching work. Practical organizing is a focus of my ADHD Success Club group program.
Here’s what I want you to know. If I can learn how to be organized so can you. I’m not any smarter than you. I have ADHD, too. My gift is being able to figure out easier ways to do things, but I’ve done that for you in Organized for Life.
This isn’t rocket science. You just need a huge dose of determination, and be willing to work at it and get up and keep going when you slip up.
There you have it. My ADHD Success story. How I learned to be organized even while struggling with undiagnosed ADHD. I hope you found it helpful.