Monday, June 1, 2015

My ADHD Life and Cleaning... I Think

Something I learned while watching a PBS program, "ADD and Loving It," is that people with ADD/ADHD clean differently than "normal" people. We are easily distracted, for one thing. It is so easy for us to start with one activity and find ourselves doing another. I know I am not alone with this, because I have done some research on the subject. 

I bought a book, "ADD Lost My Car Keys," by Rick Green and Umesh Jain. This book was a revelation to me, and I wish I had found out about sooner. However, it was not written until 2011, so it would have been impossible to have read it when I was young. I found out that my difficulties with keeping a tidy home is normal... for me. ADHDers are very good at piling as an organizational method. I did not know that previously. 

We have all heard about people going into a room and not remembering why they did so. This is normal for the person with ADD. Worse yet is when you are cleaning one room and go to put something away in another room. 

Here is an example from my real life. I was tidying the living room and see the sweater I took off when I came in the door resting on the top of the sofa. I go to the bedroom to put the sweater away and see that I forgot to make the bed. I make the bed and see something that needs throwing away in the kitchen trash can, so I go into the kitchen. In the kitchen, I put some dirty dishes into the dishwasher, then make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I go sit down to eat the sandwich in front of the television in the living room. When I sit down, I see some stuff that still needs tidying. 

And so it goes. 

In yesterday's post, I provided a Comprehensive Housekeeping List I had created with instructions to choose what works for individual households. Of course, my cleaning is different now that I live alone; it is not quite so involved as the list, but I can use the list to create a list that works for me. 

It is so easy for me to interrupt my writing to do something else. It requires a lot of discipline to stay in front of the computer. My mind is going in a lot of directions right now:
  1. The dishwasher finished, so I could put my cleaned dishes away
  2. I am hungry, and it is past dinnertime, so I should eat
  3. I need something to drink
  4. I need to sort through the papers and other items that are on a tray (as a corral method.) They have been sitting there for several days.
  5. I could add more pages to my June #listersgottalist list. Oh, I need to write a blog post about that, too.
I found another book, Organizing from the Right Side of the Brain: A Creative Approach to Getting Organized (Lee Silber) which helps those of us with ADHD understand how to get organized. Now, if I can only find it in my pile of books.


- Amelia