ADHD and House Cleaning

adhd and house cleaning

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ADHD and House Cleaning

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I’m not typically somebody who invites people over, as I’m perpetually self-conscious about my ADHD and house cleaning. I have an entire “Nailed It” album on Facebook dedicated to Pinterest recipes that I have botched. In other words, I’m not being featured in Good Housekeeping anytime soon. This used to be a source of shame for me, and I often tried to deflect it with humor.

However, over the years I’ve gotten a little better at healing my relationship with my domestic goddessing (or lack thereof). What was key for me was forgiving myself for being imperfect in this area in my life, and reminding myself about the other areas of my life in which I excelled. That said, the work still needed to be done. I found myself needing to either to find a way to get help or create systems in place that enabled me to help myself. I ended up doing a combination of both.

Related: ADHD and Clutter | Organizing Tips for ADHD Moms


A therapist many years ago introduced me to the idea of hiring a housekeeper to routinely come in and help me gain control of my home. I go back and forth with this a lot. On one hand, I don’t like the idea of spending money on something I could do myself. On the other hand, I think of how much my time is really worth and compare it with the investment of a monthly visit from the maid. I also think about the peace of mind that it buys me. Over time, and with my husband’s encouragement (okay, insistence), I’ve let myself call in a professional housekeeper when I need help, or better yet, come in routinely so that it doesn’t get out of control.

DIY: Getting Unstuck

That’s really great, you may be thinking, but what if I can’t afford a housekeeper? Or how do I keep things in control for those weeks in-between visits? After years of struggling with this, one day I took a trip down the Google search rabbit hole and started tracking down cleaning lists on professional housekeeping sites. I thought to myself, what if I approached this as seriously as I approached my day job? So I did. I made my own customized checklist and made myself follow it as if my work would be judged by a supervisor. Once I was able to get out of my head and get out of the mental baggage that was making me paralyzed, I was able to cut through the crap and get some real results around the house. Better yet, I was racking up Fitbit points, killing two birds with one stone!

Clearing The Mental Clutter

Let’s talk about coupons and recipes. Do you know what both of those have in common? Both have caused clutter in my life caused by the best of intentions. Piles of mailers used to collect on my coffee table, hoping that one day they would be perused for coupons. Meanwhile, a virtual “book of dreams” was collecting of recipes that I was never going to make. It’s all about realistic expectations. I now keep things more realistic. Here’s how I did it:

  • I use curbside pick-up at my neighborhood grocery store on Sundays without fail. Meals are simple, and I stick to the same staples week to week. If I want to do something special during the week, I treat it like a separate thing. Otherwise I’d be spending hours overthinking future meals that may never happen.
  • I stopped trying to clip coupons. Any money I would have saved I was paying for with losing my sanity. It just wasn’t worth it.
  • If I want to try to spice things up with a new recipe, I limit myself to one new recipe a week. This helps prevent burnout.
  • If a recipe has more than 5 ingredients, I don’t even bother.

As I mentioned earlier, my cognitive behavioral therapist was instrumental in helping me change the way I think about these tasks. If you don’t already have a therapist to talk out these challenges, I highly recommend one. Online services such as BetterHelp make it really easy to do so.

How To Keep Your Living Space Organized

Going to work, school, the gym, restaurants with friends …  it’s hard to think of your home as anything other than a landing pad at times. In reality, your home is where your electronics live and those electronics have cords, mounts, and batteries.  Your accessories have accessories. The kitchen is a hodgepodge of things you might never use again but feel enough guilt not to dispose of since your loved one gave it to you. Luckily, there are ways to declutter your home that are quick and easy.

To name a few, water bottles, skillets, coffee cups, underwear, these all seem to be in piles or hiding where you can’t find them. Here are some ways to store these items where when you need them, they are easy to find, and when you don’t need them, they won’t be in your way creating a mess.

Water Bottles

Are you like me and have half a dozen water bottles, but they’re hard to find when you need them, or they’re  soaking somewhere to get rid of the mildew smell? When they’re stored in cabinets, they fall down and if one empty bottle in the cabinet falls over, they all do like dominoes. The makers of the mDesign Stackable Water Bottle Storage Rack knew what they were doing when they developed this BPA-free rack. By stacking them in groups of 2 or 4 and storing them in your cabinet or on your counter, you can find them easier and give your kitchen a more put-together appearance.


The next item that causes me unnecessary stress is the skillet. I have one of each size, and some of them are cast iron and some of them are Teflon-free. I have a white one from an infomercial, I have one from the 2000s that my dad gave me as a gift that I can never part with. They’re like Pokemon – Gotta catch ’em all! This Heavy Duty Pan Organizer is great for large cabinets that have extra space, you can set your skillets in it and still have room for your other pots and pans to lay next to them. Since most skillets advise to hand wash, this will also double as a drying rack.

Coffee Cups

Coffee or tea is a daily ritual, and it can be hard to keep up with the coffee cups. Using an organizational rack that fits in your cabinet is key. It needs to be as tall as your cabinet is, and if you have two of them you can maximize the number of cups that fit into your cabinet. The Cheesea Three Drying Stand is ideal, where you can dry your cups and store them upside down by their handle in your coffee cup cabinet.


I never thought in a million years I would be that person who suggests underwear organization, but it is crucial to know what you are working with. With these units, you can put them in your drawer and see all of your underwear, socks, and what every else you keep in that top drawer, and know when to start doing laundry again. Let’s face it, we all determine when to do laundry based on how many pairs of undies we have left. Don’t make laundry day a mystery- organize your underwear today! The Creatov Collapsible Underwear Closet Organizer is the easiest, and fits in most top drawers.

USB Cables

Phones, iPads, Kindles, etc, it’s easy to have a snake farm of USB cables in your bedroom. The Bamboo Deluxe Recharger Station is a cute way to charge your phones, etc with a place to store your cables.

That one is cute, but if you want to take this seriously, you would consider this 8-Port Desktop Universal Charging Station. It has eight USB ports, and slots to lay your devices in and would look attractive on your counter while providing easy access to your devices.


I just wanted a little section to say I’ve come to terms with batteries being  a major part of my life.  Organize accordingly. This battery organizer is great for knowing exactly where they are, replacing the dead ones and  moving on! No more battery drama as I like to call it. There is also a tester in this kit, so you know which ones are bad because the battery supplies the power to use the tester. ( note: you most likely can recycle batteries at your local hardware, or camera store).

TV Remotes

Losing your remote is no joke. I understand there are phone apps out there to replace the Roku remote, and people use Google Chromecast now, but losing the control to turn up and down the volume is not good. Some people like to use something like this armrest organizer on their couch, so they always know where the remote is.

I don’t think those work very well. They always get tucked into the cushions with the remotes. I prefer to hang mine on the walls so that I can see it in plain sight with a wall-mounted remote control holder. All day. Never worry about it being sucked into the sofa as everything else does. Including me time, and time, and time again.


When it comes to organizing shoes, frustrations ensues when I see shoe racks that suggest buying just one rack will solve all shoe organizing problems. The truth is , is that we have boots, flip flops, Keds, Chucks, Sperrys, etc,  and these are not stored the same as the other. High heels on a rotating shoe rack? Forget it. Here is what I have determined:

I would recommend this shoe tree for light, flat shoes that you wear daily or to walk in. This one tips over if you have several shoes all different weights, and is only good for Keds, Chucks, Sperry’s or any other shoe that is a smaller shape and lightweight.


shoe organizer

You’ve seen these cubby hole racks. It displays high heels in such a way that makes them look like art on display, all you need is a spotlight? But do we really want to put one pair of shoes per cubby hole? You can probably lay the pair on their sides and fit in a couple of pairs per cubby hole, and place this in your closet.

This over-the-door shoe organizer
is best for flats, or flipflops. It’s really easy to grab a pair in a hurry, especially if you get one that is clear. You can put this on the inside of your closet if you aren’t keen on your flipflop collection being on display in your bedroom.

Boots need their own rack. A boot rack may seem odd at first, but storing boots is best upside down. If you have them standing up with a pool noodle in them, they still fall over. Storing them upside down makes them easier to grab when needed, and puts the weight at the top. If you’re only wearing boots  seasonally, you might want them stored like this and put them on the top shelf of your closet, away from your other shoes:


Going to websites for as many bills as possible to opt out for paper mail was the best decision I ever made. But the piles of mail still exist. Usually, I have one counter or table dedicated to mail, or just papers in general. This steel file folder has helped greatly with  making sense of my mail, magazines, to-do lists, TV manuals, guides what have you:

It’s sturdy, it won’t break or lose shape if you move, and it has neat little hooks to hang your keys. As long as you store anything paper here, and shred anything that can’t fit, then you’ll be sure to have a neatly organized living space.

Handbags and Jackets

Let’s talk about bags. I have bags for every occasion. I have a few medium sized backpacks for when I want to go spend the night at my Mom’s house, but then I also have backpacks for my laptop. There’s the camelback for my hiking or cycling adventures, the cat carrier duffle bags in blue and pink for each cat, and about 5 purses that are constantly in rotation varying by size and occasion. I have a few duffle bags on standby for the rare gym trip or small vacations via car. Each bag is in use at some point, so I don’t want to hide them away in my closet never to be seen again. I like to be tasteful, but also store my bags where I can get to them easily.

Remember the high heel cubby holes? You can also use this purse organizer for bags.

Do you have a large corner of your office or bedroom that you’re not using? This Pursenal Butlerbe a cute addition to also store your handbags or jackets that you’re using daily or weekly while your other favorites are stored in a closet.

This spiral purse tree rack is much cuter, but I can’t imagine my bags hanging on this tree without tipping it over. This might be useful if you have many designer handbags, all similar in size and weight.

If you want to keep the ones you use the most out on display and the rest in the closet as far as handbags go, this hanging purse rack would be a great way to store handbags in the closet:

This hook rail are great for hanging jackets or handbags. Remember, the concept is to display the ones that you use often and then hang the ones in your closet that you rarely use such as luggage for the airport or that leather jacket that you only pull out for special “bad to the bone” occasions.

Canvas Bags

Do you live in a city that outlawed plastic bags and you find yourself knee-deep in a pool of canvas bags? This trunk organizer is a great way to organize so that you’ll always have them when you need them.

Or keep them in a wall-mounted collapsible file organizer.


What are your favorite go-to home organization finds? Let us know in the comments below!

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