Adult Add: The End Of Sticky Messes

You have attention deficit disorder or someone close to you does, or you probably wouldn’t be reading this article, right? Let’s talk a bit about organization, ADD, and how you can avoid the dreaded “stuff everywhere” syndrome.

The most notorious place for attention deficit induced clutter is in your bedroom. Clothes are probably scattered over most of it, shoes may be piled sky-high, and what’s a laundry hamper? Right? We know how this feels, and had the same kind of problems, but we learned that if you can create an ADD-friendly system to handle the clutter, life will be much smoother for you and for your loved ones.

If your bedroom is large enough, buy three big trash cans, about the 30 gallon size. If you can buy them in different colors, that would be ideal, but in lieu of that, what if you just spray one white; one a dark color, like navy blue or black; and one red?

Every day when you take off your clothes, decide whether they should go into the bin for white clothes, the bin for dark clothes, or the bin for colored clothes and then, just throw your stuff into the appropriate bin. How cool is that? They’ll already be separated when it comes time to wash them. Plus, there’s the added benefit of not walking into your bedroom and tripping over a pair of underpants.

For shoes, you can do the same kind of thing. Buy open-ended (veggie-type) bins so the shoes are easier to see, maybe one black, one brown, one colored, or just one, period. (It depends on how many shoes you have, but we ADD people are always collecting.) Here, it’s the same principle. You’ll be able to just toss your shoes into the bins, instead of leaving them all around.

Let’s move to our ADD-littered office. What’s everywhere, even on the floor? Books? Papers? Are there sticky notes all over the computer monitor or the hutch above your desk? How do you help your attention deficit brain remember your appointments?

Books need bookshelves, and people with ADD need plenty of space in them to store their books. Have one as close to your desk as possible and be sure not to overload the shelves. If a book won’t fit, get rid of another so that it will and don’t let your attention deficit get in the way. ADD people tend to the pack rat syndrome, too. If you haven’t used the book about the joys of cooking blowfish in 6 months, you probably won’t. Get rid of it, or get another bookcase.

Then, tackle those sticky papers. Get a small notebook that will fit on your desk beside you. You can buy inexpensive books or whatever you like. If you really like the book, your ADD brain will use it. But any note that you have to make during the day should go into that book–everything. Telephone numbers, quick notes to yourself, addresses. So make sure it can open flat and that pages can be turned back. Your attention deficit may drive you to that purple suede journal, but if it’s like a hardback book, it won’t work well. Get something that’s more ADD convenient.

Then, either at the end of the day or the next morning–whatever works, but make it a routine–transfer what needs to go into your address book to your address book. Use a desk calendar, too. Write all of your appointments into the calendar and keep it directly in front of you every day. You can’t make any mistakes that way, and all of your notes will be in one place if you need to refer to them later on. No more ADD panic over where you put that important phone number!

As for the papers. Gather all of them, and you’ll have to take time to sort them into piles: important, not quite as important, and throw away. Because your attention deficit won’t do well with the boredom this will create, get yourself a timer. Set it for 5 minutes. Go through your papers for 5 minutes every morning, then stop. Don’t go one minute over. Take 5 minutes a day to file your papers in hanging files in a file cabinet or box. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done in that short time. Before you know it, your paper stack will be gone.

But you’ll be adding to the piles every day. Get three file bins for papers and just toss papers into one of the bins as they’re received. After a while doing this, it will take less than 5 minutes to clear things up each day. How great will that be?

People with attention deficit really don’t like clutter, they just have trouble dealing with boring things like filing, hanging, and putting away. Give yourself an ADD-friendly system and follow an ADD-simple routine. You’ll be a much happier person for it, and your non-ADD family members will love you.

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