ADD – Combating The Dreaded Clutter Monster

When you woke up this morning and went to your home office, did you see the same stack of newspapers on the floor that’s been there since 1992? Or, what about your desk? Do you remember if it’s mahogany or metal? If you’re asking these questions, you may have ADD, and are suffering the dreaded clutter monster. It’s not uncommon for people with ADD to have clutter in their lives. Though we really prefer things to be nice and neat, we don’t have the wherewithal to keep things that way. We hate to be bored, and so we procrastinate, sometimes for years. And we may be comfortable with our messes, but the people who have to live with us may not be so easy going. They let us know when it’s time to fix the mess. So, how does a person with ADD get started? Here’s an idea for you that is totally ADD-friendly: Get a big box and dump everything into it. Just gather it up and toss it into the box. Not too boring or time consuming, right? Just be sure to keep bills aside or anything that needs attention. You may want to get a basket and keep it somewhere that’s easy to get to when the mail comes. You can just toss bills in there as they come in, and then, pick a day each month when you’ll pay them. Pick a day to go through the box you’ve just filled with mess, too, and be sure it’s a day when you won’t be distracted and need to leave the house. This will be an all-day, job, but a painless one. So, get a timer and two banker’s boxes with lids from the office supply store, and a trash can. Then, set the timer for five minutes and start going through the stuff in the big box. Put trash in the trash, important papers into one banker’s box, and not-so-important-but-I-don’t-want-to-throw-away papers into another one. At the end of the five minutes, stop. Reset the timer for 55 minutes, and go and do whatever you want to do for that time. When the timer buzzes, then set it for 5 minutes again, and go back to the big box and start sorting. Unless the big box is the size of a small elephant, you should be done by the end of that day. After finishing, write a date on the not-so-important banker’s box and store it. If you don’t look inside after six months, then, throw it away. Keep the other banker’s box with important papers, like insurance policies or product warranties, in a cool, dry place where you can reach it easily. It’s not important that the papers inside are organized. They just have to be available for you to find them, if needed. Nothing in the world will stop your ADD from making clutter again. So, make this a monthly ritual. Pick up everything, and take a day to sort it. If you can do this, you’ll be happier, but imagine how happy your non-ADD family will be. You can do anything for 5 minutes at a time. Try it and see if this clutter-slaying process isn’t right for you.