Organization Ideas for Those with ADHD

Optimize your productivity and organization with these ideas designed for those with ADHD.

Shiva Prabhakaran

Shiva Prabhakaran

Marketing Expert at Routine
Published on


Getting organized and cleaning up your act is doable even with ADHD. The trick is to find a ideas or systems that works for you, and in this post, we will explore just that.

So let's jump in.

Drop the sentiment of perfectionism

Most of us don't get started with the organization process because of the feeling that we might not be able to do it perfectly and get it right the first time.

But that is not a helpful line of thought. The goal should be to get started somewhere so you can build towards organizing your life and surroundings and then optimized.

Seeking perfection will only make you procrastinate on simple steps you can take right now to improve your life.

Commitment in & commitment out

Those of us with ADHD find it incredibly easy to put our names in many hats, which doesn't help us make our lives any better.

So be very mindful of what you commit to and only do it if it adds significant value.

You can also drop a commitment every time you pick up a new one; this way, you can keep a check on the number of things that demand your attention.

You can quickly use a free ADHD planner to get the ball rolling without a lot of procrastination.

Set up an organization schedule

If we have learned anything about getting organized, it is that setting up a regular time slot would help immensely in keeping up the habit.

So pick a tool like Routine and block some time twice every week or so to get your physical and digital spaces organized.

Blocking time on Routine is super simple, so you need to pick the task and drop it into your calendar, and then you are good to go!

If you haven't signed up for Routine, do so here.

Color code your items

This is a hack that I learned while playing football during my teenage years. While black or white football studs were easy to miss and distinguish, yellow ones stand out and are easy to spot.

So get items in distinct colors so that even if you misplace them, they are odd enough for others to identify or recall their last seen location.

I also do this with my digital workspace, creating odd-colored folders for specific information types for easy recall.

Have a cadence reinforcer

If you feel overwhelmed looking through or reviewing information regularly, consider buddying up with someone who can do it along with you and provide you with that much-needed cadence and accountability.

For example, if you dread organizing your finances, ask your accountant or tax advisor if they can guide you for 10 minutes every month on the cadence process for the month.

Having an expert to take you through the process before starting on it will eliminate the anxiety of messing it up and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Create sections for related items

When you need to find salt, the last thing you'll do is look for it behind your television. That is because salt and items related to cooking are usually in the kitchen.

So why not extend that logic to other items in your house. For example, the default place for all your clothing items could be the drawer right below your wardrobe and nowhere else, and your keys must always be close to the door and nowhere else.

So when you have a default section, it is easy to find what you are looking for, and you are less likely to place it anywhere else.

Digitize all possible items

Physical clutter causes a lot of hindrances, and organizing them is more challenging because of the space constraints, which are expensive to expand.

So digitize as many things as possible and organize them on knowledge management tools like Notion, Evernote, or Routine. You can use an app like Adobe Scan to create PDF copies of documents, physical photos, receipts, etc.

Track progress and find motivation

It is easy to assume that you are not making progress while organizing but knowing how far you've come will push you to keep going.

One of the easiest ways to do that is to take a picture of an unorganized spot and compare it after cleaning up.

This will also show you that cleaning up and organizing is not as complicated and overwhelming as you imagined and that there is a significant upside to your small effort.

Trash every night

A lot of time, what causes the feeling of being organized is garbage looks like something of value.

So it would help for you to reassess the value of things on your desk or surroundings and see if it is essential. And if it is not, trash it.

You can create a task for it on the Routine Planner.

Build this habit, and soon, you'll find your room with things you need and gain value from nothing else.

Follow the 2-minute rule

If something needs to be done and it will take you 2-minutes or less to do it, then jump on it and get it done.

The 2-minute rule will help you get more done and remove the anxiety of unnecessarily holding task items in your mind.

All the remaining tasks are put through a simple prioritization matrix like the Eisenhower matrix, and then organize your life through it.

Final thoughts

So those were ten hacks/systems you can use to organize your life and work better despite ADHD. What are your thoughts on these hacks? Did we miss anything? Let us know on Twitter at @RoutineHQ.

Thanks for reading.

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