Decluttering, downsizing, professional organizer Toronto

Three Great Tips for Organizing AD/HD Households

I recently got to sit on a session by Leslie Josel who has delivered many a teleclass via ICD, the source of my certifications. Read on for her three great tips and my take on organizing AD/HD households.

3 Great Tips for Organizing ADHD Households 

1. Leslie’s first tip was something that I absolutely do with all happy pea clients. She talked about the importance of removing barriers to entry. If a task takes more than 2-3 steps, it won’t happen.  

If you’ve worked with us you know about our love of clear, labeled plastic bins. The thinking behind that approach really reflects the idea of removing the barrier to retrieving and returning household items. The clear bin gives you a quick visual of what’s inside with the label reinforcing the fast identification. Every organization project needs to start with categorizing items, and it’s a quick step from that to setting up bins that make retrieval and returning easy.  

2. Next up was a great tip for time management. Analog clocks are very important for kids and adults with ADHD, but even if you have them scattered around to monitor your time, the entire idea of budgeting the right amount of time to accomplish a task can still be tough.  

 When coaching your child, spouse, or even self, a great way to approach time budgeting and management is to compare the task or trip to something that is done regularly. If your child needs to clear off her study desk, ask her to compare how long she thinks that will take in relation to something she does regularly, like getting ready for bed. If you tell her it will take about the same amount of time, then she can easily plan the task. 


3. Lastly, asking the right questions is a great way to get tasks and projects completed. We do that a lot when working with clients. Often the project ahead is overwhelming and can shut down all forward momentum for the client. So, we start by breaking it all down.  

First question: “What is the plan?”  

The answer might be “I really want to be able to go into the basement without feeling stressed”. For your child it could be “I want to get homework done early enough so that I can have some screen time before bed”.  

From there move on to “What is the first step to do that?”  

For your child the answer might be that she needs to be finished by 8pm.  

“What is the next step?”  

At this point she can work backwards from 8:00, knowing that homework is usually a one-hour effort. The answer to “What is the next step?” is to plan to start by 7:00.  

The last and probably most important question is  “What might get in the way?”  

This is the time to brainstorm all the possible barriers to successfully getting started at 7pm. That might bring you back to point two and a discussion about having to start 15 minutes before 7:00 to get the desk cleared and ready for studying. 

Susan has a specialist certificate in working with ADHD clients. Book a free 30minute phone consultation to get started on your path to a less stressful life.


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