5 Tips for ADHD Productivity

5 Tips for ADHD Productivity

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. ~~Paul J. Meyer

While planning or focus may not be the greatest strength for ADHD, commitment is often the key to outstanding productivity.  Adding in these 5 tips for ADHD productivity will boost your success.

Chunk your projects

Long term projects can get lost in the shuffle.   Break your project into manageable pieces either one hour in time slots or smaller sections of the project.  Smaller sections can be just one step forward in a project or several small steps that coordinate together.



Collaboration is the key to success. Choose a partner who has different skills and abilities to bring about productivity.

Reminders and tracking

Use a planner that works with your strengths.  You can add in reminders that are both visual (dry erase board or large sticky notes) and auditory (alarms or timer) to help you stay on track.


Work from  your strengths

Your strengths could be creativity, tech savviness, working well with others, and any number of skills and abilities.  Create a plan that includes this.



The most effective plans and projects include meetings for accountability and a time line.  With deadlines,  you will complete tasks and projects timely.  Meeting keep you focused about the desired outcome.  Coordination brings this all into being.



Check out more tips on ADHD here on Ellen’s Blog ADD!

Getting Prepared and Organized in Case of an Emergency

organizing in case of emergency



Disasters happen across the US and throughout the year resulting in property damage, injuries and stress. There are some tasks that you can do to keep yourself organized during these potentially high stress situations.  Getting prepared and organized in case of an emergency makes everyone feel in control and as ready as possible.


Create a Kit

Include items like water, canned foods, a can opener and blankets. These are the basic necessities that can support you in case you are stranded or without power. If anyone in your family, including your pets, requires medication, make sure to grab this medication prior to exiting your home. Additional items like batteries, a flashlight, a first aid kit and wet wipes can come in handy. Consult ready.gov for a checklist.


An Evacuation Plan

One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with disasters is knowing where your family members are located and how to get to them. If everyone is in the same house, write down a plan to leave the home and get to safety. If family members are at school, work or running errands, determine what meeting place will be the central location and how to evacuate the area. It is good practice to document these processes and review them periodically.


Get Digitally Prepared

With the use of mobile phones, computers, tablets and other technology, there are a number of ways to protect your family during an extreme situation. Make an investment in back up chargers for these devices. Using cloud technology, identify pertinent documents and take photos of all your belongings and upload this information into a solution that can support photos and documents. Safely storing your information in the cloud can protect in case your home is no longer standing after a tragedy.

Get Your Home Prepared

With some effort, making enhancements around the home can help protect your home a little better during disasters. Add boards to windows and move outdoor furniture in or out of the line of the house when a hurricane warnings are issued. Trim back trees and shrubs when heavy winds and potential wild fires are expected. Invest in a generator if you are prone to a lot of storms which take out the power regularly.

These helpful tips can help make a difference during high stress situations. It is good to practice emergency preparedness when an emergency is not present to get in the habit when the unexpected happens.



Home Zada


Elizabeth Dodson is the co-founder of HomeZada, a cloud-based home management and organizational software tool. HomeZada strives to educate and provide resources for homeowners in all areas of home management, including home improvement projects, maintenance, inventory, and preparedness.

Favorite Travel Organizing Products

travel organizing



Travel  today is a bit more like stage coach travel in the wild west.  You have to be prepared for anything and everything.  You may not leave or arrive on time and there’s always weather to work around.  Being organized makes travel easier.


More of us are trying to be well prepared and hassle free by carrying on our luggage  With all the regulations on what we can carry on, it’s great to have organizing products that make it easy to consolidate what you need.    Here are my favorites for my carry on bags.


travel organizing

My Travel Tubes


Toiletries organizer

With TSA requirements, liquids need a great leak proof container.   These refillable bottles travel pack  has a zipper case to keep it together in my carry on.  This makes it easy to pull out for going through the security line.  I include my hair products, face wash and other liquids I use when I travel.




Hanging Make Up Bag

Hanging Make Up Bag


Make up and Medicine organizer

For make  up and medicines, this organizing product helps you consolidate and categorize.  Two clear zipper pockets hold my make up and the zipper case holds my medicine.  A top hook helps you hang it at your destination.  It folds into a small clutch size in your carry on.




Cocoon Grid It for Electronics

Cocoon Grid It for Electronics


Electronics organizer

With all our cords and chargers for multiple devices, we need an a travel organizing product.  The Cocoon Grid It has rubberized straps to hold cords, flash drives and other accessories in place.   It zips up for easy storage.



travel organizing products

Ebags 3 Medium Packing Cubes

Clothes, lingerie and swim organizer

Think of your carry on luggage as a big open slot.  Things slide around in there!  Packing cubes consolidate and categorize your clothes, lingerie and swim wear.  Cubes keep clothes neatly folded and ready to go when you arrive.



travel organizing

Mini charger


Communication organizer

Travel plans seldom follow Plan A.  We want to stay in touch when Plan B happens.  Having a mini charger for your devices ensures that you are always connected by your devices.  Be sure to charge this ahead of time so it’s ready to use.


Travel organizing product tips

  • These travel organizing products are available at local big box stores, online at Amazon.com or ContainerStore.com.  Purchase these well ahead of your travel date to be sure they arrive on time.
  • Spend a few minutes the week before you travel setting up your travel products so you are ready to go. Pack your bag to be sure they are fit properly in your current carry on.
  • When you return home, reset with all products needed.  Store these in your carry on and you are ready for your next trip.



 Wishing you a fabulous and organized time on holiday!




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Making the Most of Summer with Summer Organizing

summer organizing


All the signs point to summer time is here!  Our weather is warmer. Pool season has started.  Days are longer.  There are lots of ways to celebrate the arrival of fun in the sun.  Summer organizing helps you make the most of summer fun.



Start off the season organized!

  • Switch out your seasonal clothes.  It’s time to release those winter items that were not worn in the last few years.   Move your summer items into your primary closet and organize them in a way that work for you, whether its by color, sleeve length or set.  Use a bin for flip flops and organize your shoes so you can see them best.
  • Replace your winter linens with summer light weight cottons.  Swapping to lighter weight linens gives you the opportunity to clean your bed covers.  Eliminate extra decorative bed pillows and freshen up the look of your bedroom.
  • Give your pantry the once over.  During winter we cook differently.  Think of fresh new menus and ways you can start a new plan for eating.  Mark your calendar for your grocery runs that will include fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Set up outside areas.  Scrub down the patio or have it power washed.  Freshen up outdoor seating cushions and furniture.  Add in patio lighting, candles or lanterns.   Create a pool toy play bin to corral balls and floats.  Be ready for outside fun with storage designed for outside toys.
  • Get your activity bags ready to go.  Create travel or activity bags for you and your kids.  Your bag can include chargers, reading material, sunscreen, bug spray and other goodies while you watch your kids at swim team.  Your kids’ bags include whatever they need for an activity. Have one bag per activity so everything is ready to walk out the door.
  • Pick a single flower from your garden or pick up a small fragrant herb from the store.  Bringing in the smell of the outdoors is a great pick me up in the summer.


Work Life Balance

Start off summer with a plan.

  • Host a family meeting focusing on vacations, camps and time at home. Write your family’s plans on your family calendar so everyone is in the know.  Add in preparation times, when you will be packing and unpacking.  Make a list of what you need to purchase to be prepared for your outings.
  • Discuss what family time routines will be maintained or added this summer.  A little structure goes a long way during the summer.  What will be added responsibilities? What time will bedtime be?  What are ways to keep up with reading and math? Having these conversations now set the stage for summer success.  Once decided,  create a chart or online reminder system to keep your family on target.
  • Scout out additional resources for summer supervision.  Are there neighborhood teens, additional baby sitters or ways to add time with grand parents that can help you in a pinch?  You will be ready for extended meetings or other delays just in case.
  • Check out new collaboration tools that you can use to work at home.  Dropbox offers you access to your files at work from any device.  With Skype you can have a face to face conversation using your device.  LastPass keeps all your passwords accessible and organized from anywhere.  Join.me allows for screen sharing.  Evernote keeps you organized with your lists.  Just one of these tools could be a bonus for your productivity this summer.
  • Take time for real vacation and create real rejuvenation time.  According to The Energy Project,  59% of of workers are physically depleted, emotionally drained, mentally distracted, and lacking in meaning because they need time away from work.  If you are away, post an auto-response giving a heads up.  If you check email while away, keep it to a minimum.  Create space for what you love to do this summer.  Read some of the magazines or books poolside that you have collected all year.  Enjoy time for a pedicure,  exercise or cooking.  Summer is our time to play!


Best of all these summer organizing projects can be chunked down to one hour time slots.  You can enjoy the day and not be bogged down all day with organizing.  Make this your best summer ever with your summer organizing.


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Best Mother’s Day Gifts (What Mom Really Wants)

Mother's Day

Give Mom the gift she wants most.   Moms don’t want expensive jewelry, a new Dyson vacuum cleaner, fancy perfumes or other stuff.  What they really want is help around the house.  There are lots of small ways to give these gifts to your mom this week for Mother’s Day or throughout the year. What’s the best Mother’s Day gifts?  It’s the gift of service and appreciation.


Give the gift of dinner.

Mom could use some help grocery shopping.  Use the OurGroceries app to share the grocery list or simply take a photo of the list on the refrigerator.   Make dinner for Mother’s Day and add in a once a week drop off. Make a weekly date to head to the grocery store with Mom including a latte and laughter.


Give the gift of extra hands and help

Moms are often left alone to do dishes, laundry and house cleaning.  In most families individuals do their own laundry.  Give mom the gift of help by not only doing your laundry, but doing other family members laundry. It’s not only putting it in the washer and dryer, but putting it away in the drawers or hanging. Moms love to see your and their own clothes neatly hung and folded.  Work together as a team and chat with Mom while partnering to do the dishes, load or unload the dishwasher, or do a little cleaning around the house.


Give the gift of serenity.

Most moms don’t like to nag every day about putting your things away. Give mom the gift of serenity by having a nightly reset time to things are put away. Your reset can include picking up around the house, getting ready for the next day, charging your technology in a common space, or picking out clothes for tomorrow.  Prevent nagging by setting the alarm on your phone to remind you to do this responsibility.


Give the gift of appreciation.

Moms love to know that they are appreciated.  A simple text, phone call or card on Mother’s Day and any other day of the year makes a Mom’s day! Moms put a lot of energy into their work.  It’s not always  acknowledged.  Your mom will know she made a difference with a small note of appreciation.  It’s powerful for your mom to hear, “yes, you’re right Mom!”


I wish all the moms, aunties, stepmoms and other non-Moms a fabulous Mother’s Day!

Hugs and happy organizing Office Organizing

office organizing


Hugs and happy organizing are client success stories.  Here’s a story about a client’s office.


Office desks become overwhelming with scraps, notes, and more. It’s hard to find the time to organize at work. Why organize when every day is chaotic?


There are simple steps to organize your office space.   Refresh your desk every evening and do a major overhaul monthly to keep productive in this space.


  • Decide what’s most important and what you use daily. These tools are the only items that remain on the desk top.
  • Set up a command center for actionable tasks and current projects.
  • Decide on what works best for you for a task list and consolidate all  your post it notes there.
  • Establish a reference area in a desk drawer or corner of your desk.  Keep what you refer to often in a notebook with inserts on the desk or a hanging file in your drawer.
  • Take home extra items that belong at home, such as extra pairs of shoes, books or personal items.
  • Keep a drawer with personal items such as lotion, snacks or hand sanitizer.


Check out these small biz ideas!

ADHD, Decision making and Organizing


ADHD Decision making and Organizing


Decision making is the first step in all organizing projects. And when those decisions become overwhelming is when we become paralyzed.  For ADHD and executive function challenges, decision making can halt organizing progress.  There’s a definite connection between ADHD, decision making and organizing.


Too many decisions

It’s overwhelming to think about the number of decisions we make in a day.  Research reveals that when we make decision after decision, we become frustrated, angry or anxious.  Each day we are make decisions about literally thousands of questions or crossroads.  When it comes to decision making, think about limiting choices.  Keep it simple like just 3 -5 options, rather than ten or more.


  • When you begin organizing, make decision making simple and easy.  Start with decisions to let go of things that are easy to part with, you have not used or seen in a long time, or without hesitation know your decision.


  • When it comes to the stuff in your life, one question can be all you need.  Make decision making easy with one big question to answer: does this make me look or feel fabulous?  If the answer is no, off it goes.


  • Use the tournament method.  Compare two items, pick the best.  Use the “winner”  and compare with another item, pick the best.  You can divide items into four piles and use the tournament method too.


 Good decisions start with wellness

It’s not surprising how much rest and nutrition play a role in good decision making.  Research shows that a good night’s sleep makes for better decision making, improved retention of information and a better outcome.


  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Not only will you feel better on all fronts, it’s easy to make decisions and be productive. Start with an earlier than expected prep time for bedtime. It’s easy to get in bed when you are ready.



  • Keep protein handy.  We can’t make good decisions with just snacks.  Eating protein regularly helps us think clearly.



 Resources for decision making

We know we don’t know it all.  But that’s not a problem! We have trust resources to help make decisions.   Our resources include an array of options, including our friends, professionals and the internet.  Build competence and confidence with your resources.


  • Start with your easiest way of finding information.  Phone or text a friend or look online are the simplest first steps.  Reading a book or blog can help you find the information you need.  Add in a clutter buddy or paper partner.  They are your trusted friend for decision making; your go to resource for no matter what the question is.  Decide on what’s easiest for you.


  • Take the emotion out of your decision.  Think about the decision as if you were making it for someone else.  Take a deep breath, do 10 jumping jacks, call a friend and share why this is so hard.  Ask yourself what’s the worst thing that can happen if this decision is not right.  Then get back to that decision.  It’s often not the decision at all that is hard but an emotion associated with it.


  • Ask for help.  It’s hard to accept ask for or accept help.  But a partnership can make all the difference.  Ask for help when you find yourself lacking a skill, not sure of how to manage technology or to speed the project along.  Remember that in doubling up with a partner you have more brain and brawn to find solutions.


We all get stuck sometime.  Find ways to help yourself with decision making whether it’s paring down, wellness, or resources to make decisions happen.


More resources  on my ADD/ADHD pinterest board.

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Hugs and Happy Organizing Your Command Center

command center organizing your papers


Hugs and happy organizing are client success stories.  Here is a story about a client’s command center in her kitchen.


Paper is a necessary evil on our kitchens.  It’s best to have a dedicated command center in our kitchen for paper, school supplies, technology and projects.  A kitchen desk and cabinets make up a great station for these items.

  • Clear out your cabinet completely.  Keep this area designated for just the command center.
  • Consolidate office supplies, use bins to keep them together and label the bins.
  • Set  up bins for your kids and your incoming papers.  Label the bins
  • Keep a daily routine to go through the mail and backpacks for 5 minutes daily.
  • Once a week set up an hour to work on papers and other admin tasks at your home.


All good organizing systems rely on having a place for everything. If you have more categories, you need more bins.  Having a good routine for daily and weekly management makes a difference too.


More Command Centers here!


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The Art of Letting Go

The art of letting go

Our industry gathers each year for our NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) conference.  It’s our annual family reunion where we learn and hug!  This year we were privileged to hear The Minimalists.  Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write a blog about living a meaningful life with less stuff (for 4 million readers.)  They shared their powerful stories of transition to simplicity.  They shared some powerful stuff.


The Art of Letting Go

Josh and Ryan are best friends from way back. Both chose a new path to having less and experiencing more because of transitions in their lives.  Originally living more traditional lives, they chose to let go of what is meaningless to them.   It required them facing situations that were emotion charged losses.  It made me think about how a sad and difficult situations can create the opportunity for change.


The Art of Letting go comes from the perspective of our new assessment of what our stuff means to us.  Our stuff does not define us.  Our memories are within us, not in our stuff. We can share our stuff with others who will find it useful.  We can remember without the stuff.   It all came down to this question about our stuff.  The question they asked of us…how might your life be better if you owned fewer material possessions?  Are you ready to embrace a life that means more without your stuff holding you back?

Getting started

Are you ready to simplify your life?  The Minimalists offer their solution to get started called #MinsGame. You eliminate one thing on the first day of the month. On the second, eliminate two things. Three items on the third.  It’s contagious! And who doesn’t like to play when you are an automatic winner?


I love the baby steps here.  Not only do you feel the emotional lift of less in your space, #MinsGame offers a daily dose of paring down in a small way.  It can be anything in your space that you choose to eliminate.


I love that decluttering takes on a powerful reason.  It shifts your focus from holding on tight to what you have just in case to keeping only what is most meaningful and useful.  Your decluttering and letting go will give you more opportunity to live the life you have imagined. 


(I first heard of this game last year.  Join the game and play with colleague Andrea Sharb.)


A final thought


The Minimalists resonated with me because of this quote they shared. Love People. Use Things. The opposite never works.  It’s in the art of letting go that we find what is being camouflaged by stuff and see what’s important to us.  That’s what’s empowering about organizing and simplicity.  Isn’t that what we are truly want?




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Hugs and happy organizing Storage




storage organizing


Hugs and Happy Organizing posts are about client successes. Here you will find a happy organizing story about storage.
We all want more storage! Having an extra closet makes all the difference!
  • Be sure to keep your floor clear.   When your floor is cluttered, storage space becomes chaotic.
  • Review what you are storing annually.  Be sure to decluttered what is past it’s prime or unused.
  • A great shelving installation makes all the difference. Inexpensive or custom, shelving heights should make it easy to store items.
  • Color coded, labelled bins make it easy to retrieve seasonal storage.


More posts on Hugs and Happy Organizing here.


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