ADD people: how do you manage your stuff?

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by hyrax, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. fractalLettuce

    fractalLettuce a disaster cabbage

    I was diagnosed at 6, and still struggle with keeping my habitat unfucked. There's a book written specifically about organizing with ADHD, I think organizing from the inside out? My parents bought the teen version for me when I was a kid and it was a godsend.

    I've always had a lot of trouble picking up because of getting overwhelmed super easily, to the point that my mom would go from telling me to pick up my toys, to telling me to pick up my legos, to telling me to pick up my RED legos and then I could function. So we still refer to breaking down tasks as finding the legos.

    Current system is arbitrarily picking a 3-4 foot area to focus on and sorting between a bin for "put away" and a trash bag/recycling bin for "throw away" and just not focusing on anything besides those two categories until I have space to exist and sort further?

    Once I have a floor or desk or bed again, it's way easier to then set the "put away" bin on my bed and actually put things in the cubbies where they belong.

    So that's what I usually do for myself, and for my fiance now, who might even have worse executive dysfunction than I do. So I sit on the bed and help with initial sort and then help him categorize 'cause I'm really good at setting up systems that aren't for me.
    • Like x 4
  2. Enzel

    Enzel androgynous jrpg protag

    Listening to music or youtube vids while working is what got me thru school before I could get on medication. So I'll vouch for that.

    I'm really bad at breaking down tasks to begin with but the combining them definitely works for me. For example, I hate taking out the trash because I live on the third floor. But if I put it right outside the door, and just bring it to the can outside when I'm actually leaving for work or whatever, that makes it bearable.

    Having a Designated Spot for things if you lose them or are forgetful can work. (I can't tell you how many times I lost my phone or keys as a teenager etc.) I have a little wooden bowl where I put my keys every time I come home, so I know they'll be there when I need them.

    Having an open bin for trash. This is less good in the kitchen but in a bedroom it helps. Just reducing the number of steps a task requires--so you just have to put trash in the bin, no need to open it or pull it out first, w/e.

    My big issue tends to be clothes. I try to wear outer things multiple times until they get dirty to reduce the amount of washing needed to be done. So I keep ending up with a pile of "worn once, can be worn again but can't be put back in dresser" on my floor.

    A couple things help w this--I got a series of hooks for my wardrobe door and hang them on that. Things for wearing the very next day go on the back of my desk chair. Laundry basket is also out in the open so things can go right in it once they're determined to be too dirty.

    Folding laundry also sucks! I used to dump it in a pile and move it back and forth from chair to bed until I got fed up. Now that I do is sort it by type first. So dump it out on bed, shirts in one pile, socks in another, underwear, etc. Then I see how I'm feeling. Underwear doesn't need folding (if you fold yours, you're way more determined than I am) so I can just dump that pile right in the drawer. Sometimes I leave the piles for a bit until I feel like doing more. Socks get matched together while I sit there doing something else, like watching a video, to make it less tedious. Etc.

    It helps that I find the action of sorting things soothing for whatever reason, I guess...

    A common stumbling block esp for people diagnosed as adults seems to be getting hung up on being unable to do tasks the same way everyone else does. You have to fight this. It's ok to do things the "lazy" way or set up your environment so things are easier for you to do.

    Ex. Back when I used to live with my parents, I hardly ever brushed my teeth because my mom insisted at the bathroom counter needed to always be left clear. But I kept being able to do that because the step of getting the toothpaste out of the drawer was one thing too much. This might sound ridiculous but that was the reality of it...and the result was that teeth didn't get brushed. Leaving the toothpaste out, in sight and in reach, meant more brushing. So the net outcome is positive even of the change seems trivial, and that's what's important.
    • Like x 6
  3. Salted Earth


    I'm awful at managing my stuff, but I have at least one text document open at all times where I write down anything that might be important, like whether I've brushed my teeth already that day or the last time I charged my water flosser or whether I have to remember to ring someone or reminders to remind other people to do things. (Which is hilarious.)

    I also have a spreadsheet calendar to keep track of appointments.

    I set alarms on my phone for pretty much anything. Reminding me to wake someone up, or to check the stove, or to take the trash out... I used to have alarms for my meds when I took some in the middle of the day.

    And I keep a trash bag in my room for trash which is in reach of my desk so I don't have trash items piling up... quite as much at least, at least.
    • Like x 3
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