As a parent of a child with ADHD, tools and systems are essential to keeping your home and life organized. With these 8 ADHD organization hacks, you can set your child up for success by providing them with the resources they need to make their daily lives easier. From closet organization to helpful reminders and visual cues, we’ll go over how you can create an ADHD-friendly home and life.
Why Do People With ADHD Struggle With Organization?
Children with ADHD typically deal with many developmental challenges, such as inattention, impulsivity, distractibility, emotional dysregulation, and executive function issues. These symptoms often make it difficult to stay organized, on top of recurring tasks, or efficient. As a result, children with ADHD may struggle to keep their room clean, misplace essential items, or not partake in their chores.
Creating an ADHD-Friendly Home
To create an ADHD-friendly home, follow these organizational hacks to help you establish specific ways to target your child’s ability to regulate attention, impulse control, and other symptoms.
Break Down Tasks Into Smaller Chunks
Asking your child with ADHD to complete large, abstract tasks like cleaning and organizing their room can quickly become overwhelming and overstimulating—where are they even supposed to start? By breaking these down into smaller, more manageable tasks, your child can build momentum as they work. For example, they can start by simply clearing off their nightstand, then go from there. This makes cleaning and organization a much less stressful process.
Establish Routines and Stick With Them
Children with ADHD thrive in structured environments. Consistent routines create a sense of predictability, helping your child know what to do and when to do it. Your child’s daily routine should include waking up, bedtime, meals, school, and play. However, you can also incorporate clean-up tasks to help avoid overwhelming messes and chaos. For example, you can encourage your child to make their bed right after they get up or put their clothes in the hamper after they shower. These simple routines contribute to a more organized household and help your child regulate attention.
Use Time to Your Advantage
One of the best ADHD organization hacks is carving out small chunks of time for cleaning, decluttering, and organizing. When it’s time to begin, set a timer for 10-30 minutes. Have your child focus on a single task, like cleaning their desk. When the timer goes off, have them take a short break. Working in increments and incorporating scheduled breaks helps your child focus on one task at a time and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Centralize Important Tasks
Many people with ADHD are visual learners, so it’s helpful to see the tasks they need to complete. You can support your child by getting them a planner or putting a whiteboard on your fridge. Then, fill out important tasks and scheduling items such as chores or homework. As they complete their tasks, they can cross them off and see their progress.
Set Clear Ground Rules and Expectations
Another great way to build an ADHD-friendly home is to establish clear ground rules and expectations. Tell your child you expect them to make their bed every morning. Alternatively, ask them to clear their plate after meals and load it in the dishwasher. Make sure you discuss these cleaning and organizational expectations with your child—unspoken, unmet expectations can lead to resentment, frustration, or overwhelming situations.
To encourage your child to stay organized and stick to the routine, reward positive behavior. Rewards can be as simple as extra screen time or a sweet treat.
Sometimes, clutter and disorganization result from your child being unable to start a task. Check out our blog to learn more about the relationship between ADHD and procrastination.
ADHD Home Organization Hacks
Now that we’ve covered some general ADHD organization hacks, let’s dive into the specifics. Here are a few key strategies to improve organization on a day-to-day basis.
Make Items Visible and Accessible
Many people with ADHD struggle with their working memory. This makes it challenging to keep track of things and may cause your child to lose important items like their shoes or backpack. To combat this, try installing shelves or hooks, hanging up shoe organizers, or purchasing clear plastic bins. This gives everything a place to go and ensures that they’re visible and accessible even when put away.
Establish Designated Spaces for Items
On that note, another key ADHD organization hack is to designate certain spaces for important items. Try using trays or baskets for commonly misplaced items like keys, wallets, or phones. If your child is in the habit of putting things away in their designated spaces, they’ll always know where to find them. Can’t find your shoes? They’re in the organizer next to the back door, where they should be.
ADHD Closet Organization
Your child’s closet is filled with important things like their clothing and personal items. However, these spaces can quickly become dumping grounds for dirty laundry, trash, or toys that should have been put away properly. Here are a few ADHD organization hacks that can help your child keep their closet neat:
- Sift through clothes: Every so often, take the time to go through your child’s wardrobe with them and get rid of anything too small, threadbare, or unworn. This reduces clutter within the closet and makes it easier to stay organized. You can hand these clothes down or donate them to charity.
- Keep similar items together: When everything in the closet gets mixed together, it can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with. Try putting hanging clothes, winter clothes, dirty laundry, and personal items in different areas of the closet.
- Don’t pull everything out at once: Sometimes, you may be tempted to remove everything from the closet to organize it with a fresh start. This creates a mess throughout the rest of the room. Instead, work in sections, organizing one area of the closet at a time.
Find the Best Organizational Tools for ADHD With Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic
At Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic, we’re committed to helping your child navigate the challenges of ADHD by using medication-free treatment options. We understand the challenges of staying organized, so we strive to give your child the organizational tools they need to succeed in school and life. If your child is struggling to keep things in order, schedule a free discovery call and see how we can help.