Organize aka How to Manage ALL.THE.THINGS.
We are a busy family – no doubt about it. With everything we have on the go, our ADHD family requires systems to organize us and structure to succeed.
Leading the charge for five people who struggle with attention and time management is a major cause of me becoming overwhelmed.
I try to stay on top of things. As the parent whose responsibilities include managing the family’s activities, social calendar, homework, strategies, nutrition, appointments…[breathe]…it never stops!
I need ways to help me feel like I can organize and manage ALL.THE.THINGS.
“[W]hen I am stressed,
the clutter becomes a physical reality of my inability to keep it all under control”
In our home, each family member has responsibilities around the house. We have a MASSIVE chalkboard, numerous whiteboards, and oodles of systems to organize us keep us motivated. I have my phone that links to the computer, notebooks, calendars found here, there, and everywhere…
However, like many families struggling to manage neurodiversity, our tools to organize us work for a while and then we lose interest. Or perhaps we just lack the staying power when we get too busy.
Either way, it was time to mix it up a little.
Plan: Planners and Calendars
My daughter and I both both needed a new system for the shiny new year. Now that she is in middle school, it is really up to her to organize herself and stay on top of her school work.
Plan: We are both very visual so making our daily organization more colourful and fun will help our challenges with working memory and better organize us.
She and I both received Happy Planners for Christmas as our ‘Something you Need’ gift. Added in was a huge pack of coloured pens and oodles of the fun stickers and accessories available for our Happy Planners.
I can’t wait to see what these new creative calendars will look like! We are hoping these planners are ‘Just Right!’
Then: Creating better work spaces.
Redesigning her armoire type desk in her room turned out to be quite a project.
We emptied the entire unit, decluttering and cleaning. Then we gave the up-cycled piece fresh paint and decorated using fabric with fun tween friendly patterns. Next, we determined some storage solutions, including fun containers for supplies. Finally, we mounted interior lights and a dry erase board at eye level for time management.
My office reorg is still currently under review – it needs a serious declutter (See below).
Next steps: Check back later to see what we’ve come up with chore charts and incentives to keep things around the house more manageable.
Living in a clean, show home ready house is nowhere near the top of the priority list for us. Some days it is enough to just make it through the day getting everyone where they need to be with what they need to have.
But sometimes, especially when I am stressed, the clutter becomes a physical reality of my inability to keep it all under control. I feel so much better when the daily clutter is somewhat in check.
Like somehow I can manage better, you know?
To organize us, I plan to attack the clutter in our home bit by bit. Looking around, the huge undertaking can be totally overwhelming if your middle name isn’t Martha.
Sort and Succeed!
While it’s true that there are gazillion ways to organize – and as many books with systems to show you how to do it – not all are great for the ADD-er who can become overwhelmed easily.
I was recently excited to have met Darla, a professional organizer with HeartWork Organizing, whose book Sort and Succeed! Organizing Anything in Five Simple Steps is coming out this spring. She understands that some people can’t focus for long periods of time – especially on such a daunting and tedious job as a declutter overhaul! Even her book will be short and sweet, designed to be read in an hour or so with a simple system that takes you from start to finish. This image lays out the basics of her approach. By clicking on it, you can find out a bit more and find a printable download.
I can’t wait for the book to be published. Until then, get started by joining her Clutter-Free Facebook group.
The Organization Challenge
Home Storage Solutions 101‘s year long Declutter 365 Challenge is also well suited to an ADHD brain that easily becomes overwhelmed when the project seems too big. I really like how attacking such a big job as decluttering is broken down into doable tasks.
Each day, you are provided with a 15 minute task to help you tackle your entire home over a year’s time. Plus, since decluttering and organizing kind of go hand in hand, everyone who subscribes to their newsletter joins the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge
Click image to sign up and find additional FREE resources like a Calendar with printed tasks, printable checklists, and more to help you slowly tackle the entire home over a year’s time.
And if you are like me and many other ADHD adults who need all the additional reminders available – Hello, Distraction! – you can sign up for Weekly emails or even Daily reminders through their Facebook Group.
And, hey, something’s working…just look what message I left myself in my planner today.
Next Up: Plan: Back to Basics Mission Five (To be Published Soon)
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I want to hear your ideas! What are you trying improve? What is working?
I love trying out new products that have potential to make our family’s challenges – and yours! – a little easier to manage. This post may include a sponsor who offered compensation in some form to share my honest opinion.
As always, the authentic views expressed are my own. #allmaddhere