How do I conquer clutter with ADHD? That’s a very good question. We, those of us with ADHD, know all too well the trials of dealing with our disorder. And one of the more overwhelming parts of this disorder is, well, the disorder, the piles of things everywhere. Piles that seem, to the untrained eye, to have no order or definition at all. In fact, even to the eye of the ADHDer that made them, they might elude being defined.
The logic that caused this piece of paper to be placed on that corner of your desk, only to be covered by a scanner and three paper clips, a box that used to contain a dozen pens, two business cards, a digital audio recorder, two blank CD’s, a book and an empty coffee cup … is no longer evident. Even to me, the guy who piled the stuff there, there seems to be no sense.
Yeah, that’s still a very good question. Is the answer to not make these piles? If I stop what I’m doing to put away everything I handle, I will not get what I’m working on done. Seriously. Well, maybe I’m serious. Actually, I’m not so sure about that. I guess I’ve never really tried.
But I’m pretty sure. I’m pretty sure, because I often will decide to put something away where it belongs and once the original task is out of sight, I’m off on a walk-about, and may not return for some time.
I’ve described this phenomenon before. I’ll have my coffee cup in my hand, heading from my office to the kitchen. So far, so good. I’ll pass the washroom and notice that my keys are on the vanity. I’ll pick them up to put them on the rack by the back door. There it is, the first distraction.
At the back door I’ll discover the groceries I’d bought this morning that are needing to be put away. I’ll gather them up and head to the kitchen. I’ll put them away and, feeling pleased with myself for getting that done. I’ll head back to my office, again, happy that I’ve remembered that I was working in the office.
Then I’ll sit down at my desk, try to recall what I’d been doing when I left, remember I was going for a coffee and do the obligatory ADHD palm-to-the-forehead salute. I’ll get up and, again, head out of my office, this time on a quest to discover where I left my coffee cup.
If I’m lucky, it will be on the vanity in the bathroom, or at the back door where I found the groceries or even in the kitchen.
If I’m unlucky, I’ll waste half an hour looking for it, and doing 20 other random things. And I’ll finishing up by getting a clean coffee cup. And I’ll find my original coffee cup three days later, on the hearth of the fireplace or the window sill in the dining room. Hopefully, my keys will be there too.
Maybe it’s best to make piles and leave them be when you’re trying to accomplish some important project.
Oh, right, I forgot that was the topic. Well, the deal is this, there was a joke that was popular when I was a youngster. It went something like …
How do you get down off an elephant?
You don’t, you get down off a duck.
That makes sense in a sensational sort of way, and it seems that the same twisted sort of logic applies here. Thus, we have this …
How do you conquer clutter with ADHD?
You don’t, you conquer clutter with decisive action
– you conquer boredom with ADHD.
Sorry, that’s all I got.
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Last reviewed: 5 Feb 2013