ADHD Relationships

ADHD and Clutter

Those of us with ADHD tend to be notorious about letting our homes get cluttered. We tend to get things out and not put them away. Living with us is can be like living with a human hurricane that leaves a mess in its wake. There’s a tendency to have times of concentrated energy and ambition where we clean up the entire house, or bedrooms for teens with ADHD, only to have the clutter reclaim it after only a day or so. This can be quite hard on the people who have to share living quarters with us.

There is a saying among hikers and backpackers about “leaving the trail better than you found it”. This usually means clearing out obstacles as you go, or maybe fixing parts of a trail that are damaged so the next person coming through has a better experience. I’ve done this at the park trails where I walk. If I come across a plastic grocery back on the trail (happens a lot along paths along the roadway), I try to grab it and pick up trash on my way back home. I feel better about cleaning up the walkway and get to enjoy a better experience the next time I go out for a walk on that trail.

So, why not apply this simple principle to the home. Leave every room better than it was when you entered it. If you can develop this habit, you’ll find yourself carrying your dishes with you when you leave a room and head for the kitchen. Once in the kitchen, maybe you put something away that you left on the counter. As you walk through the dining area, you might push in the chair you left out when you got up from the table earlier. You might also find yourself carrying those wrappers to the trash as you go instead of leaving them for your parent or spouse to pick up.

Developing this as a small habit, some call it small but sustained effort will certainly make you easier to live with and you will feel better about yourself for being a more responsible person.