Having an organized environment helps adults with ADHD feel calm, focused and able to function at their peak. However, having ADHD also means achieving and maintaining an organized environment is really hard. One of the biggest challenges is the accumulation of clutter. In my book, Untapped Brilliance, I have a chapter about achieving a clean, tidy and organized environment and I am always interested to learn more about this subject so I can in turn pass the information on to my clients. It was with fascination that I read organization guru Julie Morgenstern’s book SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck.
Julie makes the connection between hoarding your belongings and staying stuck in life. It is really hard to move forward in life when you have the physical and mental reminds of the past. She gives a powerful personal example of how her old belongings were preventing her from moving forward.
Her childhood passion for theatre led her to be a theatre director. Then when her circumstances changed and she was a single mum, she started her own business as a professional organizer. Her business was going well, however she noticed it had reached a plateau. Due to lack of storage, she had six boxes of theatre production books (her old life) housed under her dining room table. By getting rid of those boxes, she witnessed a remarkable growth in her business (her current life).
Because getting rid of things is so hard for people with ADHD, I really liked Julie’s philosophy as it gives a deeper meaning to getting rid of your clutter. She suggests picking a theme for the next chapter of your life. This theme acts as a mental guide to help you get rid of your belongings that reflect your old life’s chapters.
So are you ready to create a beautiful living environment for yourself? One that helps you move forward in the direction of your dreams? Here are the five steps:
- Pick a theme for your next life chapter. Are you a singleton, empty nester, freshly graduated or about to embrace a new healthy lifestyle? Identify yours and then use a few positive words to describe your theme.
- Write list of every area you want to declutter. You probably know where your clutter is lurking in your house. There might be a little in every room, or you might have one room that is “off limits.” Writing it down gets it clear in your mind and acts as a great reminder of what you have done, once you start putting checkmarks beside areas that you have decluttered.
- Grab your kitchen timer and work for fifteen minutes a day on the Decluttering process. If you are inspired to do more than fifteen minutes, go for it, but don’t burn yourself out in one day. Then you won’t be able to face Decluttering again for months.
- If you are unsure if you should part with something, remember your theme. Does this item fit in with where you are going in life?
- Reward yourself along the way. The benefits of decluttering are huge; however, they aren’t always obvious in the beginning. Give yourself treats and rewards every time you do your Decluttering.