Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”

Henry David Thoreau

In organizing for ADD I always make efficiency –least number of steps, least amount of effort- take precedence in all of my organizing strategies. I reject beauty, preparedness and even frugality in order to create an efficient maintainable home and home office. Here are some examples where efficiency has been placed before other values in order to create a quick and easy-to-maintain system.

Beauty sacrificed to efficiency:
Tall kitchen sized garbage bins instead of small decorative waste baskets in the bathrooms and bedrooms make it easier to throw out shoe boxes and other packaging (bedroom), and feminine hygiene products and large shampoo bottles (bathroom), and of course don’t need to be emptied as often.

On the other hand, won’t your home be more beautiful if the garbage is in a garbage can?

Don’t be prepared, be resourceful:
Throw all of that paid bill paperwork you probably won’t need into the large milk crate sized paper recycling basket you should keep near your desk. Don’t empty this office recycling basket until it fills. If you use it only for office paperwork, it will take a year or two to fill. On the off chance that you really do get curious regarding last January’s electric bill, you can either find it, filed chronologically, in the recycle bin, or resourcefully procure another copy with one phone call to the electric company.

Besides, overall won’t you be better prepared if the papers in your home are so limited that they become manageable?

Weighting frugality in the efficiency equation: 
Consider selling your lawn mower and hiring a lawn service. True, it will be one more bill to pay, but that bill might represent one minute of your time and a negligible fraction of your seasonal budget, while mowing the lawn could cost you hours every week, garage space (the lawn mower must live somewhere), and of course further time and money for machine maintenance.

Is it possible that when the equation includes, time, space, and stress, then frugality is just too expensive?

If it’s efficient, you’ll finish it

Those with ADHD have a particularly difficult time with finishing tasks, so in organzing for ADHD I make finishing the easiest, most efficient part of the job. The bureau on the left requires opening a door and a drawer before clothes can be put away, and because it is so much work to get access, one  naturally sorts the laundry into ‘like’ piles on the bed first  –no wonder  clean laundry ends up half done in crumpled heaps about the bedroom! The closet system on the right allows those with ADHD to wing their clothing from the laundry basket into the appropriate open bin in one motion –no sorting, minimal or no folding, and no opening of doors or drawers.  Is it pretty? No,  but it sure is nicer than spending your life dodging piles of unsorted laundry.