If you struggle to declutter with ADHD, this super simple 5 step system will allow you to tidy your house quickly and easily!

5 Steps to Declutter and Organize When You Have ADHD

Picture this: you get the motivation to start cleaning your space and you are determined to tackle the entire house. To get yourself psyched up, you turn on some music, roll up your sleeves, and decluttering your closet. As you put clothes away, you notice some dishes still left on your dresser. Because you’re in go mode, you run the dishes down the hall and plop them in your sink. While you’re in the kitchen you can’t help but notice the counters could use a quick wipe down. After putting some elbow grease into cleaning the counters, you happen to notice the junk drawer is over-flowing. Before you know it, you’re wiping out the inside of your now hyper-organized junk drawer only to realize your bedroom closet is an even bigger mess. You’ve been going non-stop and yet somehow nothing is really clean. Welcome to organizing with ADHD.

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ADHD and Cleaning

There is an awesome video from @the_dadvocate on TikTok that shares 3 things people with ADHD don’t want you to know about. This video can help give so much validation to people with ADHD as it explains different habits people who are diagnosed with ADHD might have/benefit from doing.

The 3 examples shared in this video are perfectly in alignment with the methods taught in the ADHD Declutter Guide.

The examples in the video include:

  • Body Doubling – Having a friend nearby helps encourage getting tasks done
  • DOOM Piles – “Didn’t organize, only moved,” piles
  • Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria – Sensitivity around being criticized for their unique way of doing things.

You can check out the video here as it might help you understand why certain tasks are more difficult for you if you have ADHD and then check out the 5 steps to declutter your space with ADHD or grab the ADHD Declutter Guide.

@renee.benes

#duet with @Lauren #adhd This video was awesome, so informative, well said and aligns completely with everything I try to do in my live declutter session ♥️ #minimalistlifestyle #declutteringtips #clutterfreeliving #cleaninghacks #cleaningtipsandhacks #organizationtiktok #minimalismtiktok

♬ original sound – Lauren

Step 1: Have a buddy on hand AKA “Body Doubling”

In the video they share that people who have ADHD do much better simply having a “body double” present. When it comes to having a body double on hand it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean the person is required to actually do anything or help with the decluttering and organizing process at all. Simply having another person nearby can encourage a neurodivergent person to stay on task and accomplish more.

This is amazing information to have if you are a person with ADHD because it might help shed a little light as to why you struggle to stay focused when you’re on your own. In the ADHD Decluttter Guide there are even examples of how to trick yourself into thinking you have a body double on hand. I mean, let’s face it, we don’t always have access to a person who is willing to watch us clean all day. Tricking your brain into getting the same results can be the next best thing!

Step 2: Start small and set a timer

The idea that setting a timer can help you effectively clean or declutter your space isn’t really all that new of a concept. In fact, even the idea of setting a 20 minute timer can be overwhelming for a person who is neurodivergent or has ADHD.

If setting a timer still feels too intimidating, try encouraging yourself to get things accomplished whenever you have food in the oven or even the microwave! You’d be surprised how much you can get done in the 30 seconds it takes to warm up your coffee for the third time!

Have you ever had that random burst of energy to tackle a major cleaning project only to lose steam a quarter of the way through? You look around and find yourself left with a room that was even messier then when you started? Yeah, me too. That’s why starting small and setting a timer can really come in handy. Also, if you are warming up your coffee several times a day, might we suggest getting yourself an Ember mug?

Starting small

When it comes to getting organized with ADHD, starting with a small space allows you to really hone your focus so you don’t get pulled off task. Often times a neurodivergent brain can focus so much on the big-ness of cleaning that the idea of tidying up at all becomes too overwhelming.

By giving yourself permission to only organize or clean a really small section of your home, it can make the task seem a lot less daunting.

Combine small space tidying with the 4 bin declutter method that is used in the ADHD Declutter Guide, you are almost guaranteed to have a far more successful declutter method.

Starting small can be extra beneficial because you are more likely to feel accomplished and therefore continuously energized to keep tidying more.

Step 3: Use the 4 bin declutter method (Organized DOOM piles)

Instead of expecting someone with ADHD or other neurodivergent diagnoses to clean in an orderly fashion, having a pile system can help keep the focus in one area and prevent “scatter cleaning.”

Scatter Cleaning: Starting your cleaning project in one area of the home only to get distracted with another area thereby tidying several random spots, but never fully accomplishing a thorough cleaning in one area.

Sticking with this 4 bin decluttering system will help someone with ADHD easily give all of their items a home and avoid overwhelm while still making sure everything gets tidied up and taken care of. Remember, you don’t need to purchase the bins themselves, the ADHD Declutter Guide says that creating piles for organization will work just fine!

Read: 4 Bin System for Effectively Cleaning and Decluttering Quickly

If you struggle with cleaning and decluttering your home because of ADHD, these 5 simple tips can help you effectively get started right now!

Step 4: Refresh each space

As you work to tidy your designated small space, take the time to tidy the area as you remove items.

For example, if you have decided to declutter and tidy your dresser drawer, take the time to remove everything from the drawer. Sort each item into one of your 4 piles and before placing items back in the drawer take 1 minute to vacuum out any dust particles and give the area a quick wipe down before putting all of your items back.

Taking the time to do a quick clean-up of each newly decluttered area can help deepen your sense of accomplishment and give you an overall deep-clean feeling when you are finished. Cleaning away excess dust is one of the things that can help clear negative energy from your home and bring you a little more peace. Read: 8 Steps to Declutter and Clear You House of Negative Energy

If you struggle to declutter with ADHD, this super simple 5 step system will allow you to tidy your house quickly and easily!

Step 5: Repeat if ready to

Even if we struggle to find the motivation to tidy our space in the first place, once we get going, and start to get the dopamine hits from having a clean space, we just might find we want to continue cleaning.

If you’re feeling energized and ready to tackle more tidying, that’s awesome, but remember to set another timer for yourself and stick to another small space.

Progressively working your way through tidying your home one small section at a time is the best way for someone with ADHD to stay on task and avoid scatter cleaning.

If you want more information one the best practices for cleaning and organizing your home with ADHD, be sure to grab the ADHD Declutter Guide.

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If you struggle to declutter with ADHD, this super simple 5 step system will allow you to tidy your house quickly and easily!

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