Living with ADHD can present challenges for decluttering and organizing one’s living space. Executive function challenges with planning, initiation, distractions, difficulty in focusing, and feeling overwhelmed by the process are common experiences. Taking a less linear, more creative approach to decluttering and organizing can add interest and create success in editing and organizing your space. Here are some strategies for ADHD-friendly ways to organize.
The Spark Joy method: Inspired by Marie Kondo, this method involves decluttering and organizing by category rather than by room. Decluttering focuses on keeping items that “spark joy” and encourages discarding items that create stress, anxiety, or unhappiness. Start by gathering the items together for one category. Once you see these together, make decisions on what to keep rather than what to let go.
Decluttering Challenges: Decluttering challenges bring energy to the editing process. There are many versions of these Challenges. The “One-A-Day Challenge” involves getting rid of one item every day for a set period. Or try the “30-Day Minimalism Game,” where you get rid of one item on the first day, two on the second, three on the third, and so on for 30 days. There are also social media groups that set challenges and help each member with accountability. Get started with the easiest of Challenges and track your success.
The ‘Just-in-Case’ Box: Too many times items stay in our space “just in case.” Create a box for items in this category. Seal it and put a date on it to open it in six months or a year from now. If nothing has been retrieved, donate the box. Get started with this with the paperwork you have struggled to declutter. Out of sight can help you be less attached to the items as well, making these easier to eliminate.
The 20-20 Rule: This rule was made popular by the Minimalists. Consider letting go of an item you can replace in 20 minutes or for $20. The 20-20 rules frees you up from making every decision. Get started by reviewing items that have been without a home in your space.
Partner Up: Invite a friend or family member to help you declutter. Having someone alongside you can offer motivation, support, and accountability. This can make the process more enjoyable and efficient. If you prefer to declutter alone but still want that sense of someone being present, consider using video calls or apps that allow you to connect with a friend or professional organizer virtually. You can both work on decluttering your respective spaces while staying connected.
No matter which strategy you use, committing to decluttering your space frees you up emotionally and physically.