View Full Version : Household tips for ADD'ers

08-09-06, 02:37 PM
I need to get my house cleaned up. I have tried working in 15 minutes at a time but I get the work done and it gets messed up again. It's like I am replacing one mess for another mess. UGH!!! Been working at getting my house clean for about two weeks now and it still isn't done!

They took me off my adderall which doesn't help at all. When I was on adderall my house was a lot cleaner and neater.

Any tips on how I can get this house cleaned up sometime by Friday ( yea, this Friday). My house is not really bad.. it is a disaster but could look much worse. I just need help staying on task.

Any tips that will work for an Add'er like myself? I really need help and any advice would be appreciated. thanks!!

08-09-06, 02:51 PM
How about just rolling up your sleeves and work until it is done? If you need to have it done by Friday then that might be your only solution. Block out a day or evening and just work until you are finished. If you start later in the day you can go to bed as soon as it is finished and wake up to clean house.

Or, if the reason you need to clean up is due to guests coming, try just focusing on the areas people see and work until you get those straightened up. Worry about the cluttered areas, that can be closed off by shutting a door or closing a closet, another time.

Is there a medical reason they took you off Adderall?

08-09-06, 04:11 PM
its doing it boxs a bit at a time the better you become at it the more you can do just take it easy an see where you go from there .....dorm

08-09-06, 04:14 PM
Will try that tonight. I will work until it is all done. The timer is going out and I am going to set it for only 20 minutes at a time, then take a 10 minute break, and repeat until housework is complete. I want this burden off my chest. I keep putting it off. I might try multi tasking.

I will check back later tonight to tell all of you how I did.

I had to go off the adderall because of the side effects. I am also bipolar and have just recently accepted it. I was getting the adderall from my medical doctor and not my psychiatrist. I am just beginning to cooperate with my psychiatrist. She told me that when a person has a comorbid add and bipolar that the bipolar must be stabilized first. She just put me on wellbutrin which is an antidepressant which she says is also good for attention deficit. On the 17th of this month, I try lamictal which is a bipolar med for mood swings. If I still can't function well after beng on the wellbutrin and lamictal combo she says we'll just see how many attention deficit symptoms are left and take it from there. She might put me on stratterra but says she hopes it doesn't come to that as she doesn't want me on any more drugs than neccessary. Wish me luck!

08-09-06, 04:50 PM
Good luck! I hope you are able to put your hyperfocus in drive and get everything done. I have to do this too when I put things off, so don't worry, you are not alone.

08-09-06, 06:08 PM
My advice - throw things away. Lots and lots of things. Even before I moved, I began doing a shelf at a time, or a room at a time, and as the garbage bags piled up, and the physical clutter lessened, I felt much calmer and more capable of handling the cleaning. If you're afraid, put things in a box. Put the box out of the way with a date on it. If it sits without being opened for six months, you know you don't >really< need the stuff in it.

08-09-06, 09:08 PM
The house is finally done, after 4 hours of hard work. I hyperfocused and I did a lot of multi tasking and did it pay off!! The house looks great and I would be proud to have someone walk in. Gee it looks so nice I might try to keep it like this all the time. My counselor gave me a chore chart that has been on the fridge for a few weeks and been used only once to complete some but not all tasks. LOL!!

My mom tells me one room at a time.. yeah *******' right. Ha ha... she does not have ADD. I do well having many things going on at once and I get bored and discouraged being in one room too long at a time. Plus I might hyperfocus on getting that one room done to perfection, then I am too tired to complete the other rooms. I just picked up trails and cleaned as I spotted the messes.Works just great!!! Oh yea I tried turning the tv on as I worked.. that helped me focus a lot.

08-09-06, 09:39 PM
Congratulations Jett! You did a great job! The one thing that has really helped me KEEP my place in order, and I've said it before, I will say it again, is the OHIO rule. Only Handle It Once. Before setting something down, just put it where it belongs, then you are not doubling efforts by dealing with it, really, twice or more. I bring in my mail, and have my shredder and my file and my bill place all in the same area. As soon as I walk in the door, the mail gets dealt with right away. Takes a minute. Same with anything else. I keep a hook by the inside of my door for my purse and keys, they just go there always. When I bring stuff in the house, I deal with it right away, then it's not hanging over me. I used to be such an uncontrollable slob.

i'm so happy for you that you met your goal! :-)

08-10-06, 11:36 AM
I just hired a professional organizer!! Best money I ever spent!

08-19-06, 12:28 PM
Faylen gives good advice. Throw things away.

When I first got serious about clutter "management" I said to myself "I have got to straighten up this mess." I ended up with a straightened-up mess that soon reverted to a messed-up mess.

That became an endless and frustrating cycle so I decided to learn some organizaional skills. You know, "a place for everything and everything in its place." The results were much better this time but clutter was still a problem. It is one thing to decide where to keep things and another to have the organizational skills to actually keep stuff put away where it belongs.

Then one day the light came on and I realized I had too much stuff. This was obvious to others, why not to me. I remember telling our kids that if we kept bringing in new toys without getting rid of some of the old ones the house would just fill up and we wouldn't have anywhere to live. Well this applied to my stuff as well which was literally crowding me out of my work spaces and sometimes out of my favorite spot on the couch.

Now I have adopted the battle cry "You can't mess up your house if you don't have stuff to mess it up with! Purge! Purge! Purge!"

This new approach has been very helpful but it is often difficult to decide what to keep and what to throw out. I found the following article (can't remember the source) and it has been very enlightening. I still tend to clutter things up but now the things around me are there for a reason. I am in control of my physical environment and feel much better.

Here is the article:
What is clutter?

<DIR><DIR>· Clutter is stuff in your home or life which no longer brings you joy, creative inspiration, sentiment, or a reasonable measure of practical benefit.

· Clutter is whatever requires more of your time and attention than it is worth.

· Clutter is that which you don't need or use or want.

· Clutter is anything you keep out of a sense of obligation rather than because you love it.

· Clutter is anything you own that does not enhance your life on a regular basis.

· Clutter is unfinished business.

· Clutter is stuck energy that has physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual results.

</DIR></DIR>Do these descriptions of clutter bring up feelings for you? Do you feel as if you have things in your life that are unwanted, unneeded, or unloved? Does your home environment bring you peace and calm, or are there areas that feel chaotic?

Clutter clearing is related to getting organized and beautifying your space, but it is not the same thing. Clutter clearing is a process of assessing all of the things in your environment in terms of the practical purposes that they serve. Things that make you feel good, function better, and contribute to the quality of your life can stay; all else goes. Deciding where to put what you are keeping is organizing. Because organizational solutions are so plentiful, having an idea of how you want things to look and ways you want to use each space will facilitate your selection of organizing methods and tools.

The truth is, there is no end to clutter. Clutter is endless, but there is good news. Rather than think that one day your clutter will be gone forever, I suggest that you instead try to develop a lifelong relationship with your physical environment that makes it a joyful place in which to dwell. This can be accomplished when everything in your physical environment is there because you consciously determined that it should be, and that when you bring new things into your life, they have a place.

What would your life be like if clutter were not in the way? Having objectives and strategies for achievement has always been a good business practice; borrowing this approach to clear clutter will help you implement the process. I have worked with people with ADD, whose way of thinking makes organization difficult to achieve until they have a personalized system.

While you are putting your external world in order there are corresponding changes going on internally. Everything around you mirrors your inner self. By changing your home you also change the possibilities in your life. The flow of energy opens you up for more harmony and makes space for your hopes and dreams—for miracles!

08-19-06, 12:35 PM
GeorgeT, for your first post, that was awesome!

To sum up my thoughts on clutter (I've lived with it and dealt with it much like you posted):

Clutter is OPRESSIVE
Purging is FREEDOM

08-19-06, 01:26 PM
1kid2dogs, thanks for the compliment. Your thoughts on clutter are right on. I will save them in my quotes file.

08-19-06, 02:46 PM
Now I have adopted the battle cry "You can't mess up your house if you don't have stuff to mess it up with! Purge! Purge! Purge!"
I discovered this long before I discovered I had ADHD ... it's probably the only reason I have been able to function and survived all these years. I would highly recommend this approach. LET IT GO. ALL OF IT. I barely own furniture.

The sad end to my tale is that my parents asked me to move into a house they own but vacated to move into a new house. The houses are close by, everyone has health issues and so they wanted me to be close by. The problem is their stuff is still in my basement, and the house overall is more than I would choose to try and manage on my own ... so round two of the battle begins.

12-11-06, 12:41 PM
You have a quotes file? I have files from 2 years ago when I decided to get organized but nothing has been added to them. I never can find birth certificiates, social security numbers for the kid or bills.

About the purging idea. This sounds feasable. And needed in my house for sure. I have a confession to make and will feel better after making it. My laundry room. You can't walk into it but you have to climb over clothes to get to the washer. The sad thing is the things we wear all the time we wash and dry every day or so. Everything else in the laundry is things we don't ever wear, clothes that spilled out from bags from my last purging attempt and clothes from last summer.

Its horrible and I feel like a complete loser mother/wife. My kids wish we had a normal life with a clean house and organized.

:( I'm sad today.

01-08-07, 09:20 PM
It is so refreshing to hear about other's clutter problems. I started taking adderall xr about 1.5 months ago and decided to take 2 weeks off of work around Christmas to clear my house. I have done an incredible amount of work - painting, organizing (I even bought a filing cabinet and put everything in a file with labels - amazing!!!), decorating (for the holidays), and definitely purging - that was probably my biggest problem. I had had some of that stuff for YEARS - it was ridiculous. I took the approach that Clean House (or what ever the name of the show is) on HGTV and made a decision about each little thing - throw it out or put it in its place. I FORCED myself to do it and donated BOXES full of stuff to Goodwill. I haven't missed any of it either.

It is so unlike me because all of my life I have been "messy" - sanitary mind you, but messy. I would be embarrassed for people to come to my house; I would make excuses for them not to come.

THe adderall has had a huge effect on my life - I was getting to the point that I couldn't have a "clear" mind because all the junk in my house was preventing that. Now I walk in my door every day after work and I still can't believe it's my house. I even threw a NYE party and all my friends loved my house! I just put my mind to it and that's where I think the meds have helped - I can focus on one project and get it done! I even vacuum and dust and do light cleaning (toilets, counters, etc) at least once a week, if not more if time allows.

However, I am working on changing my mental attitude about things - sort of like - OK, I am 31 years old, own my own home, and can't even keep it clean? I am working on retraining my brain and being proactive to situations rather than just being dependant on a pill.

So, kudos to all of you out there who are working on changing your lifestyle. Keep up the good work - a clean home environment can do amazing things to your mental health!

01-20-07, 10:21 AM
Awesome post by George....Thank you.

I also have a clutter problem. I havent seen the top of my desk at home in months and I keep procrastenating to straighten it up but it never gets done.

Procrastenation is also another downfall that I have. So I guess you can say I am a procrastenating, forgetful pack-rat.

The tips I have read here are real helpful, especially what George has posted but what do you do when you cant remember to do those things. My mind stays so active that I have a million things I think about at the same time. One thought may be to clean the desk yet another thought, say, cut firewood seems more important at the time and cleaning the desk is forgotten after only 10 minutes of chopping wood.

Priority in thoughts is how I try to think and sometimes things get pushed to the rear burner fpr some time.

Any suggestions on how to better prioritize my thoughts so I might be able to finally clean the desk.I am sure there is a top to it somewhere.

01-30-07, 01:15 AM
I read "the perfect is the opposite of the done" in one of my books. It's true. It always has to be perfect....and if it's really bad, I can't see how to get from the chaos I have to the perfection I want. SO I've lowered my standards. Sounds simple. It's not. I'm happy with sanitary and fire hazard, no chance of kids tripping over their toys/clothes/etc., if there's a fire and they can't see.

When it's really bad and I just need to do it -- I attack it. One room at a time and I take several boxes/bins/trash bags/laundry baskets....whatever I need so I can leave that room done. In my house, I have to have a bin for each member of the house....if there weren't other people, I'd have a bin for each, bathroom, office, etc. Anything in the room I'm working on that doesn't belong in that room but belongs in another room, goes in the bin/box/basket for that other room. I don't take it to it right away...the last thing I do is take all the respective baskets/boxes to their correct rooms. Then when I work on that room, I take care of the contents of that basket. I've had times when I needed many many trash bags. So much stuff I used to hang onto for who knows what I toss it. Junkmail goes in the trashcan right by the door. I don't shuffle it around anymore. I haven't had to do this in awhile, but it does work for me. I have things I do now to keep up, and thekids have to help....they have daily chores. Little things, really, but they're little things that I don't have to worry about. I don't even think about them if they're on the list for the kids to do.

I also work from one corner of the room all the way around it till I come back to where I started. If it's bad a room is going to take ALL DAY LONG. It takes far less if I get help from others.

The only thing with those bins/boxes/ they have to be taken care of when you get to the rooms they belong in. Otherwise you'll end up with a collection of boxes of stuff in every room in the house.

02-24-07, 12:02 AM
Okay, I'm taking notes. Dustbin in hand, sweeping. Boxes all over the place. I got boxes for boxes.

03-11-07, 10:55 AM
Okay, I'm taking notes. Dustbin in hand, sweeping. Boxes all over the place. I got boxes for boxes.
I have bins for bins. I'll trade you a bin for two boxes. :cool:

I really need to take notes myself. So far, the best I can do is just hide everything, because going through bins is...terrible.:faint:

03-11-07, 02:27 PM
I just thought I would post here because the name of this forum 'household tips..' is sort of spot on..I have a household tip!

I file things too. It doesn't make it any easier to find things because i forget where i put the file but it does get stuff out of the living room..its amazing how much stuff u never need again!

Also I have this terrible habit of printing interestin stuff i see on the net..i mean it can't be real unless its on paper..right?

06-18-07, 03:21 AM
I find no matter how hard i try, if i don't want to take the time for organization i won't. Something i find what works well is to have a lot of "miscellaneous" type boxes or files. for example: I do have an organized file cabinet but instead of losing my paperwork when i throw it in the corner, i throw it in the easy to access miscellaneous file folder to deal with when i feel like it. organized disorganization i call it.

06-22-07, 07:08 PM
I find that lists are my most powerful asset in organization - not only in housework, but in every aspect of my life. I maintain lists everywhere that I need to take care of tasks. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that it's very easy to forget what things I need to do if they're not written down. It almost feels like I'm losing my mind sometimes because I just forget.

So I use lists. A list on the garage door that checklists the things I normally take to work, like my meds, lunch, ipod, phone, whatever. I also make sure to have a list for working out on the door, so I remember to "drop and give me 20" in the day. It's frustrating to get down the road only to remember that I forgot something.

Same with housework. Lists remind me what's most important, what the sequence is, and how not to disappoint my wife by not following through. :-)

Something else I've found that works really well (aside from taking my meds) is to jump between tasks. Obviously ADD likes "new and fresh" stuff, so I jump between tasks before I get bored with one. A list makes sure that I don't forget what the options are to jump to. Does it take longer? Maybe a little. But this way I find that I actually finish things.

09-13-07, 10:15 AM
check out it sends you daily emails ie "spend ten minutes cleaning up one room of the house.." or "throw out 20 pieces of clutter" or "sort laundry" it's kind of an intense site but I know some people who find it really helpful

Desert Dweller
09-19-07, 02:41 PM
So I figured out a way to keep my bathroom counter realitivey uncluttered. I placed a basket on the counter and I keep all my fequently used items in it.

Everyday items like toothpaste , toothbursh, facial moisterizer, etc.... It is an open basket so its easy to see what I need and I when I am done I just drop the itme back in the basket.

It keeps the counter clutter free and when I have company I just shove the basket under the sink!

09-25-07, 01:25 AM
I'm trying to get things done by making a list of the things I need and want to do eg.housework, internet, filing. I give each thing on the list 10 minutes of my time in rotation building up to half hour blocks. It seems to help. I had to start doing my tax and have to organise receipts. I've put it off for ages. I found that I started to enjoy it and wanted to do it for longer than the time I'd given it...I think that was because the next thing on the list was housework. I'm sure I will find a way to disorganise myself - by hyperfocusing on the tax receipts...that could be a good thing too...Has anyone else tried a method like this? How did it go?

09-25-07, 08:36 AM
I'm trying to get things done by making a list of the things I need and want to do eg.housework, internet, filing. I give each thing on the list 10 minutes of my time in rotation building up to half hour blocks. It seems to help. I had to start doing my tax and have to organise receipts. I've put it off for ages. I found that I started to enjoy it and wanted to do it for longer than the time I'd given it...I think that was because the next thing on the list was housework. I'm sure I will find a way to disorganise myself - by hyperfocusing on the tax receipts...that could be a good thing too...Has anyone else tried a method like this? How did it go?Yea. I'm so all-or-none that it never occurs to me that a person could do a job in parts. So when a job gets too big in my eyes, I procrastinate on it. Lets say...all of the laundry is dirty. OK, almost all. So in my mind, I've got to be ready to devote an entire day to doing a job I hate, so I procrastinate even more. And once I get going on it, it really bothers me to stop without finishing. I'm programmed that way - based on past experience if I stop in the middle of a project I may never return.

I've tried out the "little-of-this, little-of-that" method with limited success - first when I had about 4 major projects (one of which was the laundry) that needed to be done NOW! It did get me moving on things, which was good, but you're right - it takes real effort to stick to what you've allotted. I think you need to decide how you're going to do that - set rules for yourself beforehand. In my case, if I decided to do 4 loads of laundry instead of 1, then the other 3 projects (which were equally important) did not get their little bit done for that day... So even though my mind says "Cool! we're finally moving on the laundry, lets get it done!", it's better to enforce the 1-load rule and remind myself that there are OTHER concerns.