How to Be & Stay Organized W/ADHD: A Guide For People With ADHD or Just Difficulty Staying Organized

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has many pros and cons. One con about having this disorder is that it seems almost IMPOSSIBLE to stay organized once organized. And I would know since I have this torturous disorder. So allow me to help you be AND STAY organized.

1. Use A Planner

You may underestimate the power of a planner. I mean it’s just a simple planner! There isn’t much value to it. Well that is where you, my friend, are wrong.

“An effective, consistent planning system is the number one strategy to better organize, prioritize and manage time,”

— Laurie Dupar

2. Use Eye-Catching Materials

On your weekly schedule, color in the most important tasks with your brightest/hottest colored pencil or marker.

3. Forget Your Appointment Time

Instead of worrying and focusing on when your appointment starts, plan the time you need to leave in order to get there on time.

4. Sort Items Using the 5-Box Method

Keep 5 boxes & label them “Keep, Toss, Give away, Donate, and Trash”. When you’re done figuring out whether to keep or toss something, avoid questioning yourself, “does this item have any value to me?” or, “do I need more time to think this decision over?” Instead, ask yourself, “does this item have enough value to me?” and, “Will this get in the way of finding more important things?”

5. Purge Excess Possessions Without Too Much Thought

The more items you own, the more difficult it is to get & stay organized. This is because there is mush less space and more laundry; more dishes and more to clean. Good organization for those with ADHD is all about efficiency with the least amount of effort and steps. Plus, managing less will ALWAYS mean & be less work.

6. Get Creative W/Visual Reminders

One example of this is if your medication is running low, you can turn the cups or bottles in your cabinet upside down as a reminder to call in soon for refills.

7. Recruit an Organizing Buddy

Ask one of your friends who may have a similar problem with being and staying organized or who has a natural flair of it to help you. If it is someone who has a similar difficulty, you could help them in return.

8. Cut Out Logos or Make Labels for Your File Folders

One of the best ways to know what is in what folder is to give folders labels or representation logos. This way when you look at your file of folders, you know which one to go to right away. For instance if you still go to school, you can make a folder and stick a smiley face sticker or draw one on it in a visible spot. That could stand for something like, “interesting thing(s) to study” or “skeptical good grades” or “fun projects”.

9. Sort Mail Near Wastebasket

When you sort through your mail, have a wastebasket within arms length so you can discard whatever has no worth or is not important to you. One example is something you haven’t unsubscribed to receiving yet that you have been meaning to unsubscribe to.

10. File Drawer

Make a file drawer. It could include things like graded schoolwork you’ve saved to review for an upcoming test or tests, some drawings of yours or photos you may want to keep, or chores/tasks.

11. Boxes

Boxes are wonderful places to put old memories. For instance: photos, artwork, cards/letters, or even tests you were 100% convinced you’d flunk but ended up acing. I have one that I bought from Michael’s that I keep my drawings/sketches and cards/letters my artistic friends have given me in.

12. Ideas

Fill your wall, mirror, refrigerator, bulletin board, or wherever you want that is a visible, every-day-encountered place with post-it notes with ideas, plans, chores/tasks, etc.

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