They’re at it again, those ADHD organizing experts who I often think just need to keep their ideas to themselves. I recently heard this recommendation by someone who helps people learn to manage ADHD.
How to organize a closet: Remove everything from the closet. What?
Remove everything from the closet? NO!
This has to be the worst ADHD organizing advice I’ve ever heard.
Worst ADHD Organizing Advice
If someone with ADHD tried to organize their closet this way, here’s what would happen…
She would look at every thing from the closet piled on the bedroom floor – the true definition of a ‘floordrobe’. She would try to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. She would give a shot at deciding the best way to reorganize everything back in the closet. In about a half an hour, totally overwhelmed and frustrated, she would probably walk away, leaving the room cluttered with all the stuff that once was in the closet. Sure, she would intend to come back and finish the job in a few minutes.
Do you really think that someone with ADHD is going to come back in a few minutes and tackle the rest of this incredibly huge, overwhelming job? No way!
The piles of stuff that were once in the closet will probably stay in the middle of the floor and get stepped over for a few days. Of course, she’d get dressed out of the mess because all her clothes would be in that pile. Eventually she’d shove everything into the corner of the room. Then, company will be coming over and everything will get jammed back in the closet. It might be months before the job ever gets done. IF it ever gets done.
Yes on face value, removing everything from the closet in order to get it organized may sound like a logical step if you have ADHD. In reality it isn’t, it’s just leaving the door open for clutter and mayhem.
So what advice is helpful for people with ADHD?
The Better Way to Organize with ADHD
I suggest you break the project up into smaller steps…
Start at one end of your closet – maybe the top left corner -and work your way from left to right through everything you own. Don’t expect to tackle the whole job all in one day. Remember your overall goal: you like and actually wear everything in your closet. If you don’t love it or use it, get rid of it!
The key to getting organized if you have ADHD is to do it in small bits. Manageable steps. Sure you won’t do this whole project fast, but at least it won’t add more clutter while you’re waiting to finish it and you will get the job done eventually. Remember, schedule a little bit of time maybe once a week or a few minutes every single day to tackle the job – and make sure you have a ‘to charity’ box handy so you can easily fill it up as you go.
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