Conquering Clutter

Clutter is a universal problem for adults with ADD/ADHD. When there’s trouble dealing with the boring need to clean up little things, piles begin to build up.

Paperwork is often a big issue, as well as impulsively buying something that seemed great at the time, and now is just filling up more space.

And then clutter can get overwhelming…

It can lead to embarassment, and it can contribute to social problems – you don’t want people to come over because of how embarasing your clutter is. And then you may feel bad about your kids not having their friends over because of it.

And this can lead to guilt and shame.

On this post – I interview ADD Coach Lynne Edris (From Coaching ADDvantages) about how to clear clutter.

(watch the video until the end – you’ll not only hear me mess up (and have a good laugh over it), you’ll learn how you can get specific strategies and skills to conquer your clutter)

Join Us For the ADD Coaching Class: Conquer Your Clutter
On Monday October 24th at 9:15 pm Eastern Time

By joining the ‘Attention Difference Disorder Insiders Membership Site’
>>Click Here To Find Out More<<


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  1. I’m sooooooo glad you touched on this subject! I have searched all over the internet for help with conquering my clutter, and found this great site that breaks it down by baby steps like Lynn suggested. Each day you add something new to your schedule…it’s a very slow process, but it keeps me from being overwhelmed. I used to suffer from CHAOS…(can’t have anyone over syndrome).
    I discovered the meaning of CHAOS from This site has really helped me gain control of my clutter, AND daily schedule. It has been a blessing, and I just felt as though I should share it with you. I’m in a position where I can’t afford to have an ADD coach, so this website has truly been a God send.

    I love your website, Doc, and look forward to your emails.

  2. It seems that part of the cluttering features of an ADHD person, is highly linked to a potential hoarding feature. How many hoarders have a ADHD diagnosis?.

      • I am also so glad you touched on this subject Kenny! Its just one of my many adult ADD issues…on the top 3 list.

        I have piles & piles lying all over my house..paperwork, receipts, bills, purchases with price tags still in bags, clothing/shoes/purse piles in my walk-in closet that I need to figure out how to organize, the dry clean only clothes thats been lying on the spare bedroom floor for a year, beauty products in the bathroom that were on shelves/cabinents and now overflowed onto the floor, jewelry pile on my bedroom shelf even though I have a jewelry box/earring tree thats empty, clothing in the basement that need to be washed that I sorted by colors 2 weeks ago, tote bags full of random “stuff”, piles in my car I’ve hidden in the trunk, the donate to goodwill pile in garage, cards for friends/family that are now late, home decorations such as curtains/pictures that need to be hung, last years christmas pile that never made it to the attick, self-help books for time management/removing clutter/adult ADD/marriage/ etc., that I haven’t even read and wont fit on the bookshelf, and so on and so on and so on. I haven’t even mentioned the basement..ugh..its so bad I had to make a pathway for the monthly electrician to read the meters and for me to get to the washer/dryer without tripping over things.

        This one problem has negatively affected my life as well as my husbands. The piles have been building up over the past few years and I’ve felt completely overwhelmed, didnt know where to begin, yet I continue to add to the piles/make new ones, neglected to go through them, and hide them. My husband feels upset that we cannot have company over or open the door to the visitor drop bys as Lynn also addressed, and when we do make plans for company, I wait til the last minute and have to run around the house like a mad women to clean & hide the piles. So when our company arrives, Im exhausted, have to lye down and rest for a moment, spend time taking a shower/getting ready while my husband has to entertain them. Piles for me are extremely overwhelming and easy to ignore by leaving the house or hiding them..out of sight our of mind type thing.

        However, the past 2weeks I faced the fact that its out of control and negatively affecting my life and my husbands. As Lynn mentioned in the video, it starts with baby steps. I took the first baby step and addressed the kitchen countertop and sorted that pile into smaller piles…it took a lot of time but my counter is finally clean! Now Im moving on to the next pile..the receipts/bills/checkbook/paperwork… now that will be a very difficult yet important task. I realized I have to prioritize the piles and just start with one untill its gone instead of thinking about ALL of them which makes my mind shut down, leave the house and avoid having visitors. I am now focusing on the positive outcomes by addressing this major money, have company over, improve my marriage, and arrive at outings/events on time for once because I spend too much time rummaging through the piles looking for things.

        I’ve been trying my best lately to address this problem. It’ll take time, but I know it will decrease the overwhelming thoughts, make our home a happier place to be, and decrease my husbands frustrations and stress. Ive also been working on not adding to these piles..for example if I go to the Drs office I no longer take home a pile of informational brochures that I will never read, I avoid going to my favorite stores, I leave my check card at home to prevent unnessasary purchases, I take my husband to the grocery store because he helps me make quick decisions, decreases my impulsivity, and prevents purchases we don’t need or already have. This positive move for me has already made us feel better and save money.

        As far as the topic of Hoarding that Zen mentioned, I do think for some people the problem with clutter and hoarding goes hand in hande. I have watched the TV show Hoarers, buried alive.. and my life and home is luckily not that bad, and I don’t want it to get to that point. I also think for some people the Hoarding is a negtive coping mechanism for them. But do they have a ADD/ADHD or is their Hoarding a result of other underlying issues? Good question and something to look into.

        So for all our clutter friends, my advise from experience is to focus on one small task at a time, continue to address the piles on a daily basis and make it a part of your daily routine (even just 15 mins a day), think of the happiness and decreased stress/chaos the less piles will reward not only you but your family & friends, and ask for help from the ones close to you, blogs/websites like this one, self-help books, and checklists, and figure out what organization system you need for the piles (totes, file folders, shelving, etc). There are many books with great visual strtegies for organization suggestions such as, What’s a Disorganized Person To Do by Stacey Platt among many others. And also remember its a process that will take time, focus, determination, and support.

        Peace and Happiness to All!

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