View Full Version : Housekeeping and Women with ADD

03-04-03, 09:12 PM
housekeeping Posted 1-7-2003 22:06

I'm 49 and if it takes the rest of my life I am determined to find a way to get and keep my house in order. I wasn't diagnoised until a few years I have alot of "old cleaning" to do.
Any advice? Suggestions on books, articles to read, personal experiences?

housekeeping Posted 1-7-2003 23:15

A great Book is ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life" by by Judith Kolberg, Kathleen Nadeau

A website that many people find helpful is

Speedchasergrrl [guest]
re: Add & Cleaning Posted 1-22-2003 21:35

Hello I justwanted to give you a little advice on organizing your home. If it has been some time since you have cleaned or organized it is very easy especially for those of us with ADD to become frustrated very quickly with all the piles we make. I own a cleaning business & the best advice I can give you is to start one room at a time. Make lists of the things you need to accomplish in each room & get colored folders & lables for bills & all paperwork.Remember you won't get everything done all in one day so just take a deep breath & handle one area at a time.

Thanks for Suggestions Posted 1-24-2003 17:07

Thanks for the suggestions. I have been using the color codes for bills and papers for quite and while and they really do help. When we moved into the house I was carrying my 6th child.....we have gone from 8 people to 2. The house is big..and once I get a few of the rooms done I can close them off and not worry about them being cluttered up again...provided I can keep from putting stuff in there because noone will see it. My main project is the front part of the house we live in...and you are right about the deep breath and the house didn't become the disaster it is over night or even over the course of a few I know it will take time.. alot of it...but as long as I know I can get it done I won't get as discouraged.
And needeless to say the Support means more than words can say.

03-07-03, 11:02 AM
I want to second the suggestion of She is the best think that has ever happened to my housekeeping. I told my therapist about her and she is suggesting her to other clients who are thrilled. The Fly stands for Finally Loving Yourself.

03-07-03, 02:12 PM
I have heard about Fly Lady for Years. I never knew what it it stood

BTW...It's great to see you on the boards. I hope things are going will with you!

03-11-03, 09:04 PM
The labels and folders are a great suggestion. I recently did this for my bills and papers and it is a tremendous help.

I absolutely must have things organized. Otherwise, I cannot think or function, my life seems totally out of control.

03-12-03, 01:53 AM
it took me several years to figure out bills and appointments. I keep a calendar book.. with all my bills in it.. Somehow it works to write down on the calendar all appointments, days to pay bills, conversations..ect.. This book has MY LIFE in it. I don't leave the house with out it.

03-12-03, 11:08 AM
although it has yet to "stick" here, it seems that flylady has an excellent following, maybe if i unsubscribe and resubscribe to it, it would stick better <g>

Franklin Planner works ok here to.

03-13-03, 05:32 PM
i could kiss you all, i've been dying for a more efficient way to organize my new life in my new home with my guy. I moved to my place back in May, and well i've been trying to get us settled ever since,
i checked out that Fly lady site, and the SHE section,
right up my alley i'm telling you!

03-14-03, 09:59 AM
We can do anything for 15 minutes.

03-16-03, 05:37 PM
I checked out the flylady site and signed up! The meds help me focus, but the problem is I have never ever developed a routine. I have no clue how to start.

It is presented in a way that I can follow. Having someone plan my week in regards to cleaning and remind me on top of it sounds perfect for me!

03-16-03, 05:46 PM
You may also want to consider partcipating in the Peer Coaching Forum
(for registered members)

03-16-03, 05:47 PM
Ive been working towards flying for awhile now. With my OCD under control , my confusion at grouping and organizing is really showing. Once I realized that what flylady said were SUGGESTIONS and that I could take or leave whatever, I was much more comfortable with myself. My house isnt spotless like it used to be before my OCD got under control, but then again, Im not cleaning non stop, having bleach fumes in my lungs and nose all day or yelling at my kids to pick something up.

My sister, who is also AD/HD used to have this nightmare as a kid when her room got cluttered or messy. She would dream that there was this cocktail party going on in her messy room. The clutter was noise to her, as it is to me, and makes it harder to think. So decluttering and some semblence of organization is important to my life and emotional well being.

03-16-03, 06:30 PM
I also see clutter as noise, I understand completely! My laundry pile is VERY loud, LOL. Lafnalot, I'm glad to hear you are getting your ocd under control. Must be a very good feeling.:)

The peer coaching forum would work wonderful for me. Encouragement and suggestions on tackling a project would be very helpful. For me, it will also make me feel a bit accountable to someone. That can be a huge motivator for me.

I am slowly gaining on the basics in the house. When I get that completed, I will move to some major projects and ask for peer coaching. I have a storage room in my basement. It is filled with just about a little bit everything. Boxes from when me moved is a lot of it. It's overwhelming trying to figure out what to do with all the stuff. When it's time, I think I might post a picture of the room so anyone who wants to help me could see the project. Even post pics of the progress.

03-16-03, 07:16 PM
My favorite addage, and it works so well for large projects is "What's the best way to eat an elephant?----One bite at a time"
So take one box, and only one, and do that one , say , while watching tv.And dont start another til that ones stuff has a home. remember, it's ok to throw stuff out or give it away.

03-18-03, 09:53 PM
i have to add this; i'm sorry i've been dying to share this since it happened.
Back in January i had such an add moment,
i went into my den, but when i got there i couldn't for the life of me remember why i was there.
I looked around, noticed that it was a complete sty, so for the next hour i power tidy'd (i'm still in the process of making my apt a home). Once the place was completely tidy,
i looked over at my desk, saw the phone,
smacked myself in the forehead laughing,
"GEEZ, that's what i was looking for!"

ADDorable Mom
10-11-03, 03:19 PM
I've had difficulties with keeping my house in order my whole life. My mother and sister are extremely organized, and I always felt like the disorganized slob who MUST have low-self-esteem otherwise why wouldn't I want to live in a neater environment, but sometimes just getting things accomplished at work exhausted me and by the time I got home I just couldn't focus enough to get things in order there.

I was only recently diagnosed with ADD. And a friend of mine lent me a book MOMS WITH ADD and it's got some great organizational tips in it.

I keep an organizer/datebook that helps me stay focused. I stick all of my bills in there and this way they're all in one place when it's time to pay them. I don't have the problem of disconnect notices anymore, which I used to all the time. But then once they're paid, I seem to always stack them up and there are piles of them (paid bills) in my bedroom on the nightstands. I once tackled a filing cabinet project, labeling files to place all paid bills in. And it's very nice and organized, but I can't seem to get off my butt on a regular basis to actually UTILIZE this wonderful system. LOLOL sheesh.....will it ever end?

And keep in mind that I'm not medicated. I've just learned to adapt and live with my ADD. And I try not to take the messy house personally.....and if it begins to bother me that much, I'll take a Saturday morning once a month and tackle it. But again, I usually run out of steam before I get the paid bills filed!! with ADD is so much fun at times......yet so difficult at other times!! Maybe some day I'll be able to afford a maid??? And I can pay HER to file my bills??? he he

10-25-03, 07:00 AM
My house used to be a mess and joining flylady has made one of the biggest changes in my life ever. After 6 months I fired my cleaning lady because there was nothing to do for her anymore. It felt like suddenly housecleaning wasn't so difficult anymore and certainly not overwhelming which it always had been.
Moving in with my boyfriend has made things more difficult for me because it's harder to maintain the routines with him around.

11-26-03, 11:12 PM
When my get up and go is going, it helps me to do one thing at a time...not look at the whole picture. (That's sometimes hard to do), but it helps to just take a small chunk at a time. If it's too much to do, you quit before you start-- and I guess that's what procrastination is all about.

(WOW! I said something profound)!!!

It also helps me to turn things like the TV and computer off because they are going to distract me. Radio talk shows are distracting too. Anything that is going to require me to pull my attention away from the work that I need to do needs to be put away or turned off.

Music is good, though. Especially upbeat music. I love to put on my CD's while I do the dishes. Not that I love the dishes, mind you, but the music helps me keep in pace-- and keep going.


11-26-03, 11:16 PM
Oh, one other thing.....when my get up and go has gotten up and gone....and I know that not much housework (or no housework) is going to get done that day, I try to aim for maintainance. I may not get anything picked up but I don't have to be making new messes either. This is harder on weekends when my 9yo ADHD dd is helping her 43yo ADD mother make the messes.


12-15-03, 05:16 AM
What do you do if you can't do Flylady? It doesn't work for me. I get overwhelmed by all the emails and stuff. I'm thinking of ordering her Control Journal - and leaving the email list. Are there any good options? I'm going to try to find the book MOMS WITH ADD mentioned. I'm off meds and losing my mind (I'm pregnant). I carry on about three conversations at once in my head and can't remember from moment to moment what I'm doing!! I wish they had some studies on Strattera and pregnancy!!!!!!!!! I have three children (9, 3, 1) and my husband is not ADD, but is OCD (God help us all) and walks around in hysterics over the house. If I could just clean the d*** house. I read the Orgainzation for ADD book but it doesn't talk about basic housekeeping. I feel so overwhelmed by the piles and piles and piles. Even if I look at them and try to fix it, I don't know where to put anything. I understand about the throw away/give away and put in storage things. But what about the stuff I'm into right now and I don't want to lose? Where does it go? UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for listening!!

12-15-03, 10:49 AM

I feel your pain!! I've got piles and piles--dust piles included!!! But fortunately for me, I live alone. However, the chaos can really get on my nerves and shut me down.

I have one suggestion: perhaps you have a non-ADDer friend (or I guess a fellow ADDer could work just as well) that would be willing to come over and either help you, hands-on, with the clean-up or just be there to keep you on track....

Keep posting and let us know how it's going, 'k?

Positive thoughts sent your way! :D

12-16-03, 02:48 AM
I want to know about fly lady? I have all the same clutter problems as sonshine, I just don't know what to do with it all.
My solution for my room today was to hand another expandable hanger (thosewooden things with knobs poking out, kind of like a coat rack or mug holder) Anyway now I can get the clothes heap that isn't dirty enough for the laundry hanging instead of heaped all over. I have 3 of those multi knob thingy's. One for sleepy wear, one for sweaters and purses/camera bag. And the new one.

12-16-03, 11:07 AM
Here is a thread on FlyLady

12-18-03, 02:55 AM
Also, the site is
Motivated moms has a system that is good too. It's

It's just with my off wiring, I can't seem to get any of these to work. Either I DON'T want to do it so ignore it. Or I start, get distracted, off on a tanget, etc. The worst is how forgetful I am. It's so hard enough to try to stay on track with something boring as heck like housework, but then I'll be doing a part of it and forget why I'm in such and such room - put it down and the mess just grows. OR the phone rings. Or I remember to mail something. It's like my brain is firing messages constantly and some of it is IMPORTANT to remember - UGH, I miss my meds......

12-18-03, 02:57 AM
Maybe I'm just lazy.

12-18-03, 05:36 AM
Quit saying that. :p Be NICE to you!

12-19-03, 12:39 AM
Well, my husband came home from his trip this week and is MAD as h*** about the ongoing disaster state of the house. However, I do have a new idea..... IF I could DECLUTTER the KITCHEN and the LIVING ROOM *AND* learn to maintain them at a CLEAN level ALL the time, it would make a DRAMATIC difference between Wayne and me as well as on my attitude toward the house. However, the hard part is getting it CLEANED UP. I have stuff stacked in piles on every surface and in every corner.... What do I do? I want to keep ALL of it. I just don't know WHERE to put it!!! Where do you put your stuff? Where is it SUPPOSED to go? Does anyone KNOW THIS???? Because I LOVE my stuff!!!! It's just messy!

12-20-03, 10:22 AM
I'm with you all on this issue. I despise housekeeping. It's one task I truly stink at if I don't take the meds. I'm trying to work out a schedule for myself now, so all the tasks can become routine. I had issues with Flylady, and I think I'll be more likely to follow my own plan. Once I have one. :rolleyes: (Shut up. It could happen!)

01-03-04, 05:38 PM
I'm planning to have a plan as well.;)

01-03-04, 08:53 PM
I usually have to load myself with a pot or two of strong coffee to get focused enough. It seems like I can't start cleaning one thing without first cleaning something else, and for that I need to clean something else first ect... Half the time I can't start because I feel overwhelmed for not knowing where to start.

If I could win the lottery I'd just fork out $50 a week to have it done for me :D

I find storage space to be essential. I need bins and drawers assigned to specific things, and only those things. That makes it easier when it comes to putting things away.

Part of the difficulty is that cleaning is not fun. It helps when I listen to pubic talk radio or news, that way my mind is engaged in something I enjoy yet my hands are free to work. I have a radio in every room, and when I clean the house I have all of them on at full volume and tuned to the same station. It really helps!

01-03-04, 09:01 PM
What helps me is having penty of indentured servants about. Around here, you can get away with being a freeloader till you are three or so, then its matching up sox and folding towels for you!:D

I'm grooming them all to be able to run the whole show.

01-03-04, 09:03 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the Red Bull. I can't stand coffee.:p

01-03-04, 11:53 PM
I can relate to almost everything you peple have said. All except the lack of children in my situation and my disabled husband, who wants to "help" in the one room I obsess over: MY kitchen. But enough about him.

I envy those of you who have [/]piles[/i] of stuff. Stacks would be an improvement. I just have heaps. Heaps like archeological digs in each corner and covering all tabletops. Spreads. Arrays. Festoons.

My house must have some mischievous elves who come in regularly while I'm asleep. There are (let's say) 9 of them, and each one of them takes a room to start in, and each picks up 9 things. Then they all run to new rooms, drop those things and pick up 9 more and go through the whole house until everybody has thoroughly screwed up everything. I can't have done this all myself, can I?

My psychologist said, "Ace, I can see that cleaning up your house is very important to you. Can you tell me about that?" Well, in addition to ADD I have (to quote Flylady) what she calls CHAOS: "Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome." I am getting more withdrawn. I would like to be in a position to access healthcare services my husband may one day be entitled to. I'd be mortally embarrassed with things as they are.

Thanks to Ritalin, I have been doggedly cleaning one room for the 8 days, taking it in orderly, logical steps. Thirty-three hours of back-breaking work and counting. I have thrown out 5 black bags of trash, and have the van full of stuff to donate. I have found the floor again, and the guest bed. There are my metals, and over there the fabric stashes. I still have paper, art supplies, bedding, family snapshots covering the past century, books, craft stuff, and on and on. Not enough containers; not enough storage. My rule is that I can't let spillover "migrate" to anywhere else in the house. Every room already has major "stuffification."

A neighbor came by last week witih a petition for us to sign, and saw my relatively respectable living room (we never use it). Today she called and gave me the name of a woman who cleans houses for $15 an hour. Swell. I don't even have the energy for hurt feelings any more. She could see I needed help, even though I never asked. How long do you folks think it would take me to make my house clean enough for a cleaning professional to "clean" it for me?

If only I knew how to do the whole thing a room at a time and not be dead at the end, when "all" I'd have to do is keep it clean and respectable. I've never mastered the putting-away-thing in all my life, and neither has my husband, really. I have cleaned the whole place periodically, when houseguests were coming, but lots of stuff gets hidden in the garage in times like that. I don't think anyone else can help me. I can't think of anyone but me. I guess I'll try to do it slowly over the months and let you know how I'm getting along.

01-04-04, 12:25 AM
Awesome on the headway, Ace! :D

My sister and I call those elves 'pookas'! For us, they also are behind KNOWING for a fact that you set something in one place, walked away, came back to find it missing. Turns up days later in or close to the same place.

01-04-04, 11:44 AM
We only have one guy who is basically responsible for everything which goes wrong at our house: his name is "Not Me" and when I get my hands on him I will wring his neck.:mad:

01-26-04, 12:50 AM
we have one of those at out house too; we call him the little blue guy or minute builder. Those of you who watched the new Twilight Zone might know what I'm talking about. I won't bore you with the whole story. Suffice it to say, the things that couldn't be found where you supposedly put them one minute would show up in that same spot in the next minute, because the minute builders made a mistake in rebuilding the minute.

01-26-04, 09:38 AM
I like the minute builder explanation. I usually call those "continuity errors." ;)