Tag Archive for: ADHD and paper

ADHD and Paper


ADHD and Paper


It’s a love/hate relationship with paper!  What do we keep? How long do we keep it? Or are you just overwhelmed by it and can’t even get started!   What’s a person to do?

Working with paper if you are ADD/ADHD, hone in on your strengths and personalize your systems and routines.  Start by facing the fear, overwhelm and hatred (yes, a powerful emotion) about paper.   It is an evil monster, an anchor, and the enemy. But  now that we have vented, we are ready.   Paper may never be easy, but something we can work through.

Be brutal about what to keep and what to toss.  Often we are keeping way to much!  Using these resources, as well as asking your accountant,  you will keep less and work with less paper.



Keep paper from even coming in your home. Drop paper at the gas station when you are filling up. Shred paper by having a baby shredder in the kitchen.  Say no to receipts for gas.

It is very important to create “slots” to drop your paper.

  • Everyone needs a command center with easy access.   Here is where papers that need action start.  If you need to have a basket just to hold paper until “processed,” it can sit where you normally drop the paper.  In the command center are the actions you need to do.  Label the slots with what you call these items. Action, Pay, File are all required here.  But in addition you might have Pending, one for each of your kids and your partner, Receipts, and Contacts.
  • Next step is to create your files, which are the papers you will reference in the next year.  First decide what to keep and how long.  Don’t get overwhelmed, thinking about how much you have back logged on paper here.  Just work in 15 minute segments with a timer.  Everyone can do this for 15 minutes!  Start with general categories, like Auto/Home, Finance and Personal.  Keeping categories general makes it simple to file and simpler filing means more filing!
  • Add an archive section for required papers. This includes your taxes, legal documents, and other long term papers. You may need to add a section for investments that are getting to be a very large volume.
  • Keep your important documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, wills and related papers in a safe or safe deposit box.  You will always know where these are.

Sounds like a big project? Get help each step of the way with a professional organizer, trusted friend or reliable assistant in turning your paper  into a workable system. It is worth the work to create what works for you!


Image courtesy of the Container Store.