5 Non-Traditional Ways to Declutter Your Space


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.

In Honor of Get Organized Month 2024


January is Get Organized (GO) month! This annual celebration of all things organizing connects with goals and New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. Getting organized is always one of the top 3 New Year’s resolutions.


This year take a non-traditional route to getting organized. Throughout the month, each blog post will share not-so-typical strategies to declutter, create routines, and schedule time for what is important to you. Here are some ways to find success in your organizing at home and work.


Making change happen

Having an awareness that things are not working is the first step in making change happen. However, it takes commitment and accountability to move forward. Finding your “why” helps you commit to new habits and routines. Sharing your “why” and finding partners along the way help you be accountable for the new habits.


Working from  your strengths

Too often we learn about organizing strategies that will not work for you. Learn more about your learning modalities and work from these strengths to help you create systems that will work for you.


Think systems

Creating systems is one of the best ways to be organized, save time, and maximize productivity. A system is a method or process that you create to carry out repeated actions in a consistent way. Even better, systems can be automated and streamlined to maximize efficiency. A system is the best way to save your sanity.


Add strong self-care as support

Energy and ideas work together to create change. The more energy you have, the easier it is to modify your lifestyle. That energy comes from self-care like a good night’s rest, hydration, exercise, and time in the sunlight.


Enjoy this month’s blog posts as you enter a fresh new year!

Holidays Start With the End in Mind and the Beginning of Next Holiday Season


As holidays wind down, it is time for us to start with the end in mind and to unwind all the holiday spirit. The days have flown by, the festivities have been fabulous and now it is time to gather everything back and put it away for the next year. The best gift you can give yourself is the gift of an organized holiday for next year.  Here are some strategies to do just that.


Decisions on undecorating

The biggest factor in undecorating with energy is knowing when to undecorate. It may be before school starts again, the day of a holiday or a weekend. Make this decision based on your energy level in order to do your best work.


Declutter now for happy holidays

If you have not used decorations for several years, it is time to regift to those who will value the decorations. Go through and edit the bins of extra decorations to slim down your collection. If you plan a major shift in themes or colors, do this now.


Its a wrap

It might feel easy to dump all the exterior lights in any bin and call it a day. Wrap your lights around cardboard tubes to keep them ready to use for the next week. Start with the same end, with or without prongs, to wrap. Use tissue to wrap delicate ornaments and store groups of ornaments together by theme or room. You can also find specific organizers for holiday decorations like ornament boxes and canvas tree bags. Label the bins with the name of the theme or room on two sides and top to be able to decorate next year in manageable chunks.


Gather together and review

Gather your family and do a holiday review.  At the family meeting set an agenda that includes reviewing all the holiday events, calendar and more. What were the highlights to repeat next year? What added more stress but not more joy? Create a holiday notebook of hits and misses. In the notebook, either digital or paper, write your lists that works, foods that were fabulous and events most notable. This will help you more than you can imagine next year.


Incorporate gifts into your home

The holidays have been busy and now your gifts are sitting on the floor, waiting to have a home. Take time to incorporate these gifts into their existing spaces. Gifts belong back into closets, bath areas, or toy rooms. The next steps include consolidating and editing items that have been a long time part of your family or new gifts.


Starting with the end in mind and the beginning of next holiday season will be a wonderful finish to the holiday season.

Holidays + Family Games

holidays and family games


Family time is our most precious time. The holidays give us time to be at home or away together. Our family loves puzzles and games while we visit or travel. It has become a fun way for us to spend time together over the holidays.


There are more reasons to play family games. Research has found that playing games together supports more effective, open family communication and a greater sense of family cohesiveness. For families with ADHD,  games help to build skills like working memory, recall, focus, and strategic planning.


Here are a few of our favorites. These make great gifts too if you are searching for family gifts this season.

Puzzles for all ages

No matter how old your family members are, many people love puzzles. This quiet activity gives everyone an equal opportunity to participate. We have a puzzle out every holiday season throughout our time together.

Digital games

If you are waiting on travel in an airport or stopping overnight on the way, digital games are a fun way to spend time together. These are free and available for download from the App store on either Android or Apple phones.

  • Psych, trivia and a word game.
  • Heads Up, a guessing game.


Board games

Here are a few of our favorite family games at home.

  • Do You Really Know Your Family? 
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Apples to Apples
  • Monopoly

Card games

Favorite card games of our family include Uno and Crazy Eight. For more sophisticated games there is Mafia, Seven-Up, and Speed.


Host a family game night during your holiday vacation, including snacks and hot cocoa. The time together will bring lots of laughs.

Favorite Holiday Organizing Gifts to Share

holiday favorites organizing gifts


Practical gifts make the best gifts for the holidays. Each of us can use a little more functional and fun organization at home and when you travel. Here are a few of my favorite things!


Clear countertop organizers for jewelry, makeup up, or other small items


Air tags to find lost devices, keys, or luggage

Electronics organizer for cords and small device accessories


Family fun at home or on vacation for fun communication and connection

Travel makeup organizer for on-the-go ease






Embracing Joy with ADHD During the Holiday Season


The holiday season often means joy, laughter, and togetherness. However, for individuals with ADHD, it can also mean long task lists, impossible levels of perfectionism, and overstimulation with sights, sounds and emotions. With intention and strategies, you can enjoy the magic of the season.


Plan with Purpose

One of the strategies during the holidays is planning with intention and knowledge. Know what works best for your planning. This depends on your work flow and your energy level. You can create a detailed plan for each day or think big picture with a week dedicated to specific parts of your holiday plan. Make use of family and personal calendars, to-do lists, or digital reminders to help you stay organized. You may find that some days you need to regroup from the plan. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in the time you have. Curb staying up late to make up for your less productive times and reallocate that task to another day.


Prioritize Self-Care

Amidst the business of the holiday season, it’s crucial to prioritize self-care for energy and mood regulation. Making self-care a priority means skipping a party once in a while to get in bed on time, or skipping that last glass of champagne for a better night’s rest. Keep active with outside walks, time at the gym or pilates, or time for any kind of movement. Your  mental and physical well-being will help you better manage ADHD symptoms and reduce stress.


Embrace Simplicity

Too often we see the extravagance of the season as a necessity. We may feel that this holiday requires lots of twinkling lights and decorations.  Step back with intention to embrace simplicity. Choose those truly meaningful traditions or activities that you genuinely enjoy and spend time with family and friends.


Delegate and Collaborate

Throughout the year we need to delegate and collaborate. This is even more true during the holidays. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate tasks. Family and friends want to join in the fun by bringing a favorite food during the holidays. Collaborative family events reduce the burden on you and also create opportunities for bonding and shared joy.


Practice Gratitude

Gratitude changes our perspective on everything. Pause and reflect on the abundance in your life and find those “glimmers” of joy that are a part of daily life. Perfectionism and comparison are the thieves of joy. Be realistic in getting up your calendar and task list knowing that you are grateful in the shared experiences of the holidays. Set a time each day to fully reflect on your gratitude. Many people enjoy a quiet time with prayer during this time too.


Embracing joy during the holiday season is possible through thoughtful planning, self-care, and a positive mindset. By prioritizing your well-being, simplifying your celebrations, and seeking support from loved ones, you can make the most of this special time of year. Remember that the essence of the holidays lies in the moments you share and the love you give through thoughts and deeds at this season.

Week by Week Holiday Planning



week by week holiday planning


The weeks of December pass quickly! There are more activities to attend and more tasks to do as each week goes by.  Focusing on one task per week, even with all the events to attend, makes it easier to enjoy the holidays. You will have to make decisions on what is most important for your family, meaning that some tasks may not happen at all. Prioritize first, then follow this weekly plan.


Before the end of November – create your holiday calendar

Start off with your family’s holiday calendar. Holiday social schedules, school activities and religious events are all part of the fun and at the same time overwhelming.  Those with with ADHD feel stressed with all the responsibilities and multiple overlapping events. Be wise to choose which engagements are most important and put these on the calendar. For those last minute oops events, decide which take priority or if you can attend multiple events on the same day.  Prepare for the energy needed to attend, the transitions between events,  and the preparation time for you to be ready.


First week of December – decorate for the holiday

Decorating gets us in the holiday spirit. Gather on the weekend to decorate your home and tree for the holidays. Take out all the decorations, mark which ones you are using this year, and let go of what is broken and in less than good condition. Keep your perfectionism in check as  you and your family work together on this.

If you celebrate without decorating, use this time to volunteer and give back. There are many needs in your local community where you can make a difference.


Second week of December – purchase and wrap your holiday gifts

Gift giving is part of the joy of the season. Organize what you have and make a list to know what  you still need to purchase. Wrap as you go by setting up a wrapping station and place gifts under the tree as you wrap. Be prepared with tape, gift wrap, bows, tissue and gift bags. Many families are opting for the Four Gifts or the gift of experiences. Mail your gifts now to avoid the holiday rush and have these arrive on time.


Third week of December  -mail your holiday cards or bake holiday treats

Start by choosing a family photo and card. Many stores have 2 day delivery of cards. Gather the cards you have received and your contacts list to create an address list. Purchase stamps online or at local groceries or pharmacies. Enjoy watching a holiday movie while you address and stamp.


If cards are not on your list this year, use this time for baking holiday treats. Keep it simple with up to three treats to bake or make. Be prepared with holiday tins for gift giving. Invite your family to bake with you as part of holiday traditions. Bake extra goodies to serve at home.


Last week of December – preparing your meals and preparing for company

Enjoy the time together as a family and friends by preparing your meal ahead as much as you can. Do a high level cleaning of your home with a sweep through bathrooms and the kitchen. Set the table, grocery shop and meal prep.


Having just one focus every week gives you the opportunity break each task into manageable chunks and accomplish all your holiday tasks.

Favorite Quick Tips for Holiday Happiness


Thank you to my amazing clients who share so many strategies with me! My clients who have ADHD are creative and resourceful, finding ways to make the holidays fun with ADHD-friendly ways to get tasks done. Here is a list of favorite quick tips to embrace the holiday spirit!


Strategies for holiday planning

  • Family calendars and a dry-erase board make it easy to see what we have planned. We ask our family what they love to do and the favorite is always driving to see Christmas lights. We do that as much as we can. All our other activities are on the calendar.
  • Use your devices like your phone and iPad to keep up with details. Create an album in your photos to screenshot activities and tickets.
  • Plan as much time without activities as with activities. Your family-together time can be time at home with puzzles or board games.
  • Make a list of everything you plan to do: cooking, shopping, hosting, attending – everything. Then go back through the list and cross off 30% of it, planning for only the things that will be most meaningful and helping you to go in with more realistic expectations of how much you can accomplish.
  • Assign tasks to specific people by giving them a list. No doubt does who does what and your kiddos will know what to do to help.

Strategies for holiday treats

  • Homemade gifts are something I love to do and give. I prepare one easy treat, usually a recipe that has three steps and three ingredients. I keep supplies on hand to be able to make treats as needed throughout the season.
  • Bake multiple holiday treats like bread and cakes well ahead of time. Label and freeze to share later in the holidays.
  • Prep before you begin! It makes all the difference, especially for us Adhd peeps who get distracted. If we know we have 25 gifts to do with all the supplies and whatnot, our brains can work more efficiently to get it done.

Strategies for gift-giving

  • Santa’s workshop is filled with socks! The joy of fluffy socks for everyone, including teens, can be immeasurable. I keep a stock of socks of all sorts, gift bags and tissue ready to assemble as gifts. As surprises happen, I am prepared.
  • It is easy to go down a million rabbit holes searching for holiday gifts. Order from the same vendors as much as possible and keep the receipts in a digital folder for returns.
  • Buy a stack of generic gift cards like Amazon, Target, or Starbucks, for gifts and to keep on hand in case you forgot a gift.
  • Decide once on teacher gifts. An Amazon gift card in an envelope (labeled with the recipient’s name) attached to a movie-size box of candy makes a fabulous teacher gift!

Strategies for decorating

  • Start and finish early. We decorate the first weekend of November every year and take down our holidays right before New Year’s Eve.
  • We make an appointment with our holiday decorator early in the season to put up the treat and decorate the mantle. It saves us time and we enjoy the festive decorations longer.
  • Know when to end your decorating and start the next things on your list.

Strategies for self-care

  • Stay the course on everyday routines. Try to keep your routines of sleep especially as close as possible given all the extra stuff you are doing.
  • Ask for help. Easier said than done but every little way someone or some delivery can help make it easier.
  • Know your limits before you reach them. When you are feeling overwhelmed or over-tired, state your feelings and take a break.
  • Remember the power of music and smell. Holiday favorites bring joy to the day.


Create your own list of quick tips to keep in your holiday notebook for this year and the coming years.

Empowering Holiday Joy Using Lists


Lists empower holiday joy


During the holiday season, the foundation of good project management is list making. Using lists helps you prepare and prioritize for each step of the holidays.  Check out these ADHD-friendly ways to use lists effectively during the holiday season.

The Power of Lists

Lists are a powerful tool for individuals with ADHD because these help to lift cognitive load, assist with processing and prioritizing of tasks, and bring order and serenity. Lists give structure to success because you can conquer everything in manageable chunks.  Having a place to hold all the ideas rather than in your head helps you enjoy the season.


Lists empower time management

Having a list will not guarantee success during the holidays. Prioritize first what will be most important since some tasks might be aspirational rather than practical.  Use your list as a guide to how for how you conquer both big and small parts of the holiday season. Write down how much time generally you want to allocate to each task. A suggestion might be by week so to keep on the same project throughout a week’s duration. Combine your lists with your calendar and assign specific dates to specific tasks on your list. You might spend an afternoon looking up recipes and writing a shopping list, then another afternoon baking holiday treats.

Lists reduce overwhelm

The holiday season overwhelms us with the amount of tasks added to your already filled days. Using your lists, you can create daily action lists with 3 Most Important Tasks. Your list can also include the one next step, rather than the entire project. Decide what is the best way for you to chunk your list whether it is by day, task, place of the task, or whatever categories work for you.


Here are lists of lists that can help you manage your holiday season.

    • Holiday binder: a comprehensive lists of schedules, information and all the lists for the holidays
    • Gifting list: all the items you are purchasing, where these are ordered from, and receipts
    • Grocery list: all the items you are serving and making for holiday gifts, including recipes
    • Family calendar: list of all the activities for the holiday season
    • Helpers list: a list of all those you can enlist for delivery services, extra help at home, cleaning, and baby and dog sitting
    • Digital wallet: all the tickets for the performances


The joy of lists

Make your lists fun by customizing what works for you. Digital lists can include a project management tool like Trello or Notes app. Paper lists are best written with jolly gel pens and markers. If you love stickers, purchase a pack of holiday stickers to remind you of tasks. A weekly planning time also ensures you stick to your list, rather than adding more and more tasks. During that time update your list with what has been accomplished to see and feel your success.


The holiday season will be a time of joy and connection, not stress and overwhelm by using lists effectively. Keep your lists visual and easy to see while using them. Avoid the temptation to stop using the lists, even if they are lengthy.  Use your list as a way to keep true to your holiday planning.  By harnessing the power of lists, using your customized approach to writing tasks, and building effective time management with chunking, individuals with ADHD can navigate the holiday preparations with greater ease and effectiveness.

ADHD and Holiday Preparation: Tips for a Joyous Holiday Season

adhd and holiday preparation


The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, bringing together spirituality and family. It can also be a time of stress and overwhelm for those with ADHD. There are so many more events to track and attend, lots of socializing, purchasing and organizing gift giving, food preparation, and decorating which all need to be started and completed in a short time frame. There may also be a bit of perfectionism with often accompanies executive function challenges with ADHD. With an ADHD-friendly approach to planning, you can enjoy a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday season.


Start Early: Begin with a Holiday Calendar

There is a lot of power to early planning and getting started on holiday events early. Giving yourself the extra time you need by starting early allows you to stretch out all the parts of the holiday season. Starting in early November, you can use your holiday calendar to outline all your commitments, including parties, family gatherings, and gift exchanges. With a visual strategy, you see upcoming events, where you might be overcommitted, and avoid last-minute hiccups that cause stress.  Host a family meeting for everyone to share their one favorite holiday activity to ensure it is included in this year’s events.  Post your paper calendar where everyone can see it and duplicate this information on everyone’s digital calendar. Start strong and end strong by checking this calendar every week and adding tasks to your task list.


Breaking It Down: The Art of Task Chunking

With so much to do during the holidays, it is easy to get overwhelmed and paralyzed. ADHD can make it difficult to tackle big tasks all at once. Make holiday preparation more manageable by breaking each part of holiday preparation into smaller, actionable steps. It is easier to focus on one area at a time. Segment your calendar with these chunks. A typical schedule might include one week with a single focus, such as a week for decorating, a week for gift purchasing, a week for food preparation, and a week of rest.  This approach gives you the time you need for tasks and the opportunity to focus on one thing at a time. Use this approach with all the related holiday activities as well.


Tech-Savvy Solutions

The best gift you give yourself is the gift of tech-savvy solutions. Everything you can do with your devices, such as purchase and track gifts, make calendar reminders, and take photos to include your holiday decorations. Use a simple app to capture all of this information, such as Notes or Google Drive so you know where to find your information. Make albums in your photos app to include all of this information.


The Gift of Thoughtful and Meaningful Gifting

While giving gifts is thoughtful, it can be a major stressor during the holiday season. To make it easier, create a gift-giving strategy. Think about a universal gift for families, individuals, and co-workers. Remember that finding the perfect gift is not the goal of the holiday season. Keep it simple with a single homemade treat just to let know people that you are thinking of them.


Asking for Help: Bring on the Elves

Help is all around you. It is a matter of asking and being specific about the task. Support is here with local grocery stores and delivery services. Share food preparation responsibilities with your family and friends to enjoy the time together. This is also a time to stay connected to your therapist, coach, and professional organizer who all want to support you all through the year.


Prioritizing Your Well-Being

You have a lot on your plate all year long and holidays add even more.  Holiday preparation is exhausting, especially for individuals with ADHD. Make your self-care a priority by keeping to your regular bedtime, maintaining a regular exercise routine, and time away from toxic people. Enjoy time outside to keep grounded and focused. Fill your home with the scents of the season to remind you of the joy of the holidays. Most especially this is a time of gratitude. Tap into deep-rooted gratitude with a daily record of “glimmers”.  These are small moments of connection and joy that occur each day through the holidays. These glimmers give back to you the real meaning of the season.


Holiday preparation can be challenging for anyone, but individuals with ADHD face unique hurdles in managing holiday projects. Embrace the holiday spirit, and don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments along the way. Wishing you a happy and stress-free holiday season!