Depending on your personality, you might sometimes feel like ADHD and house cleaning consume your life. Everywhere you look, you have organization and clutter issues due to how your ADHD brain works. Then whenever you try to complete a cleaning task, you just get overwhelmed and give up.
We understand and identify with your pain. The ADHD mind works in such a way to make organization very difficult. Unfortunately for everyone who may want to have an organized house, cleaning just doesn’t always seem to work out for those with ADHD.
Furthermore, we all live busy lives, and for most of us, we have very little extra money to go around. This means that we rarely have the time and energy to clean our house ourselves. Additionally, we can’t afford to pay someone else to do it. For many with ADHD especially, this problem seems never ending. How do you clean the house without the energy, time, or motivation?
While we can never make ADHD and house cleaning easy, we believe that almost anyone can get better at completing small house cleaning tasks. With the right tools and strategies, you can turn house cleaning from an impossible task into a regular routine.
In this article, we want to provide you a boost to your confidence in your ability to manage ADHD and house cleaning. You see, house cleaning doesn’t fail because it is impossible. Rather, you most often struggle to get house cleaning completed because of the symptoms of ADHD and because you simply don’t have all the tools you need to succeed. Use the tools and tips below to start reversing that trend and start getting your house in order.
#1. Regularly Practice Decluttering
When it comes to ADHD and house cleaning it seems like most of the time you continually fight against clutter. Many people with ADHD have difficulty with organization. How the ADHD mind works with moving from one idea to another, it makes it difficult to keep track of things and to make sure you always put things back to where they belong. As a result, whether or not they intend to, many people with ADHD end up with a lot of clutter.
Clutter follows them to their home, to their car, and even to their workplace. They know clutter can be a problem, but they face a double edged sword of having trouble with organization and being too overwhelmed by the mess to know even where to start. If you find yourself in this constant battle, you should start practicing decluttering on a regular basis.
Decluttering doesn’t mean that you clean your whole house top to bottom at one time. While whole house cleaning can be beneficial, this won’t solve your issue of the clutter coming back again. Instead, you need to daily practice decluttering one area of your house.
In the morning before you go to work, spend 10 minutes picking up clutter in one room. When you come home also dedicate 10 minutes to the same area. This way you can pick up a little bit each day without becoming overwhelmed by the task and without getting lost in your clutter.
Each day you can rotate the areas that you pick up so that you declutter each area a bit at a time. Over time then you will have built this practice into your routine so that you don’t even have to think about cleaning regularly, you just do it.
#2. Use Bins for Organization
To help you with your decluttering efforts and with ADHD and house cleaning, you should also consider using bins for organization. Clutter happens because we don’t put things where they really belong. Over time then, we just collect piles of stuff without a place for it to go.
To fight clutter before it begins, get some clear plastic bins and put them in a closet or storage area in your house. Label the bins with general categories. Categories could include “mail” or “things from work” or “books.” If you can’t think of general categories, look through your own clutter and make a list of what things collect around your home. Those things that end up in piles everywhere should be the categories for your bins.
After you have the bins and categories, start putting your current cluttered items in the correct bins. Once you fill up a particular bin, you then need to empty it. Clean a full bin out by going through it and throwing out what you don’t need and finding a permanent storage spot for what you want to keep. You can continue with this process over and over as you go through your clutter and as you bring more things home.
Whenever you bring something else home that you don’t already have a spot for, make sure it goes in a bin. The bins then can act as a holding spot until you can find something to do with the extra stuff. This way you don’t create more clutter and you don’t stress yourself out always having to clean and find spots for everything. The whole idea should be to make organization simple enough that you can do it without thinking about it.
#3. Set a Cleaning Schedule
Another great thing to remember when it comes to ADHD and house cleaning is that if you don’t plan to clean, you won’t ever do it. We all lead busy lives, and we all have tons of excuses for why we can’t get something done. When it comes to house cleaning, for most all of us, we always have something else we’d rather do. If we don’t schedule time for house cleaning then, we will almost always do something else instead.
In order to create a cleaning schedule, you should think along the lines of what you need to clean daily, weekly, and monthly. You don’t need to clean everything in your house everyday or every week even. For some things, like a hall closet you rarely use, you don’t even need to clean it once a month.
For your cleaning schedule then, you should sit down and list out the cleaning tasks that you normally need to complete into whether they are daily, weekly, or monthly tasks. After you have your categories and your tasks assigned, then put them on an actual calendar that you can see every day.
With your calendar, you can then refer to it every day or once a week to see what needs to happen. You then can make sure you tackle the appropriate cleaning task by setting aside time during the week to get it done. If you have kids or a spouse, you can assign each person a task each day to complete.
By breaking up tasks and assigning them set aside space in your regular schedule, you can learn to make a priority of house cleaning. Over time, ADHD and house cleaning won’t be so much of a problem because you are used to doing a little bit each day.
#4. Have a Cleaning Chart
Another reason we run into issues with ADHD and house cleaning is because we lose track of what we have done and what we have yet to do. The ADHD brain quickly moves from one thing to the next with little time to focus or reflect. This quick processing means we can lose track of where we are with our tasks.
To keep yourself from losing track, you should have a cleaning chart. This chart should work alongside your cleaning schedule that you already have developed. With the schedule, your goal was to list out all the cleaning tasks that you need to get done. With the chart, you can take those same tasks and mark off whether or not they were completed as scheduled.
You can design a weekly breakdown for your chart. You can create a chart with a dry erase board. This way you can clean and update the board each week without having to throw it away and start all over.
With the chart, at the beginning of the week, you can write in the tasks that you plan to get done. As you complete the tasks, you can mark them off one by one. Each person helping with the tasks then can see what has been completed and what is still left to go.
This way, you won’t have to guess whether or not someone vacuumed the living room. You can always just refer back to the chart. The cleaning chart should help to take away some of the headache of tracking your house cleaning progress. In the end, with the chart in place you should have one less thing to worry about at home.
#5. Have a Daily Cleaning Regimen
In addition to having a cleaning chart, you next need to have a daily cleaning regimen. You can put in place a schedule and a chart, but even with those things, you might still not get anywhere with ADHD and house cleaning. You might still remain where you are because you never budget the right amount of time to check off the tasks on your list. Instead of cleaning, you just start a cycle of having tasks to complete but never completing them.
To break out of this cycle, you need to build in specific time for house cleaning each day. You don’t have to budget a lot of time for cleaning. After all, if you make it a part of your regular ADHD daily routine, overtime you will make it so less has to be cleaned at one time.
Put on your calendar 15 to 30 minutes a day for household chores. You can even split this up if you want to and do half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening. Whatever works best for your routine or personality, you can fit cleaning into your own schedule.
We should all be able to find a minimum of 15 minutes a day to budget exclusively to cleaning. If you don’t feel like you can find that much time, you need to sit down and reevaluate some things you do. Start trimming time that you dedicate to unimportant tasks and move some of that time to cleaning.
After all, whether we like it or not, we need to make house cleaning a priority. If we always have house cleaning as just something we will get to eventually, we’ll never get to it. Change up how you approach house cleaning by building in a daily regimen.
#6. Start Small
A final piece of advice for ADHD and house cleaning is simply to start small. ADHD and stress go hand in hand for a number of reasons. One of the reasons that stress causes such a problem for people with ADHD is because they have too many things going on at the same time. They feel overwhelmed by the tasks they have and their stress levels rise as a result.
To save yourself the stress and headache of house cleaning, don’t worry about tackling everything at once. Instead of deep cleaning everything, start small and do small cleaning tasks one at a time. While this seems like it may slow down your progress, in reality, it helps you act more efficiently. You can clean more efficiently because you focus on smaller easier tasks and can check them off one at a time.
Get Your Home in Order with Proper Management of ADHD and House Cleaning
Both ADHD and house cleaning can sometimes be hard to manage. The secret, though, to keeping both in line involves careful planning and then sticking to and following through on a plan. Sometimes we don’t get started on a task because we don’t know where to begin. With either ADHD or house cleaning, this shouldn’t be the case, though. With both of them, you can start small and you can start anywhere.
The unfortunate thing about house cleaning is that it never ends. As long as you have a house you will always have a house that you need to clean. Hopefully, this article helps to show you, though, that even if organization isn’t your strong suit, you can nevertheless get ADHD and house cleaning under control.
Just remember, if you start to feel overwhelmed by house cleaning, stop what you’re doing and go back to these tips. You don’t need to feel overwhelmed or stressed. You just need the right tools and the right frame of mind. Start simple, start small, and go in with a plan. Having these strategies at the ready will help make house cleaning a breeze.