Things are piled up in your work space, drawers and closet spaces are stuffed to overfull with things you never wear or use, and undone tasks weigh you down mentally. You waste time looking for important papers in the piles of unfiled items. You feel overwhelmed and unproductive.
If any of that sounds like you, whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, writer Susan Minsky offers some great organizing solutions.
Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD & You
I’ve never been diagnosed with ADHD and I doubt that anyone who knows me would suspect I should be. I can buckle down and work on a project. I don’t struggle with misplaced keys or other everyday items.
Yet … when I stumbled across this book, I knew I had to read it. You see I have a secret. While I can organize a project or put together a lesson, blog post, or Bible study, there are areas of my life where I can be very disorganized!
There are so many tasks that I allow to pile up (shredding and filing personal papers, for example 🙁 ). I put off sorting and disposing of unneeded items. I have a hard time parting with all those things I might want some day, but never use. And let’s not talk about those clothes I intend to fit into again some day!
Allowing things to pile up in our work spaces, take up needed drawer and closet space, and hang over our heads mentally can make any of us feel overwhelmed. We waste time looking for important papers in the piles of unfiled items. Closets are jammed with things we never wear and undone tasks stay on our to-do lists causing us to feel unproductive.
I am acutely aware of my natural tendencies in these areas and have to make a conscious effort to overcome the inertia. For those of you who struggle with some of the characteristics we commonly call ADHD, I know it can be even harder.
All of us have areas where we struggle. It’s important to understand our strengths and weaknesses and look for solutions that can help us live a well-ordered life.
In her book, Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD, Susan Pinsky explains that:
The best organizational system for someone with ADD is the one that is most efficient, simplest, most convenient, and the easiest to maintain, because it requires the least number of steps and materials.
And honestly, isn’t that what most of us are looking for … the “most efficient, simplest, most convenient, and the easiest to maintain.” I know I am.
Susan’s book is divided into two sections. The first is “Organizing for the Disorganized.” It explains the author’s organizing strategies and exposes the myths about organization. It’s not a one size fits all, but offers solutions for a variety of situations and personalities. She offers hope that any of us can become more efficient and better organized.
The second section is simply called “Individual Projects” and consists of common organizing challenges and a simple plan for tackling each one.
The book can be read from cover to cover or, once you have read part one, you can pick and choose the projects that interest you or the ones you need the most.
I found dozens of helpful tips in its pages. One that impacted me was the need to adjust my expectations, at times, trading some beauty for efficiency. Susan says:
In designing your most efficient organizing system, you must ask yourself: Can I find what I need? Is it conveniently located? Is it easy to retrieve and easy to put away? Does it require little or no maintenance?
Another one designed for our ADD friends, but valuable for all of us:
When an area becomes messy, the person with ADD must ask herself: has the number of my possessions been reduced enough, and my organizational system simplified enough, that it can be cleaned in a matter of minutes?
Her “14 Rules of Organizing” are the heart of her system.
Susan’s 14 Rules of Organizing:
1. Give everything a home.
2. Store things on the wall or on a shelf, never on the floor.
3. Take advantage of vertical storage space by using tall shelves and bureaus.
4. Wherever possible, use hooks instead of hangers.
5. Don’t increase your storage—reduce your inventory.
6. Touch it only once (file or toss mail as soon as you open it; don’t add it to a pile you’ll have to sort again later).
7. If you haven’t used it in a year, discard it.
8. Duplicate where necessary to store things where you use them (toilet bowl brush in every bathroom).
9. Eliminate items that unnecessarily duplicate functions (hand can opener or electric can opener, not both).
10. Arrange your possessions within activity areas or zones.
11. Don’t overcrowd shelving, cabinets, and drawers.
12. Make your things easy to access and easy to put away.
13. Name your cabinets and shelves (dish cabinet, sock drawer) to remind you that only these specific items are stored therein.
14. Make sure the “rough storage” areas in your home are well lit and easily accessible. Guard these areas well—they are more valuable than any other living area.
If you’re like me and you want to make life more manageable, these rules and Susan’s other suggestions can help us simplify our systems, eliminate unnecessary possessions, and finally get our homes and offices under control.Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD & You #organizing #ADHD Click To Tweet
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What others had to say:
Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD, 2nd Edition—Revised and Updated presents a simple but effective, long-term solution to get you back in control of your life. Written by professional organizer Susan Pinsky, it outlines a practical, ADHD-friendly organizing approach that emphasizes easy maintenance techniques and methods for maximum efficiency, catering to the specific needs of the ADHD population. Color photos, useful tips, and bulleted lists make this a quick and manageable read.
Armed with this unique, step-by-step approach to organizing, you’ll receive the tools and the knowledge you need to eliminate stress from your home and lead a more organized life.