Is your life full, or do you shove things aside because of ADD? Does your house need to be perfectly presented to have friends over, or does it just need to be inviting? Attention Deficit Disorder strikes in strange ways. Some people with ADD have absolutely perfect houses. They are able to hyper-focus on straightening, arranging, and cleaning. The house is always spotless and inviting. Their focus might not be so hotsy in other ways, but the house is lovely.
For other people, and I confess that one of them is me, if I donít need a bulldozer to get in, then the house is okay. Not great, just okay. If the dust bunnies arenít growing fangs and attacking my ankles, I wonít hurt them with the vacuum. Really. You get the idea. With ADD, I canít keep everything organized at once. Most of the year, the house needs to take care of itself. I have too many other things to try to organize and focus on. However, the beginning of November brings cravings for a beautiful, orderly homeójust in time for the winter holidays.
How can I put order into my house before the winter holidays? I have to make plan that guides me through the maze of housecleaning. Then, I have to plan how to work my plan. After that, I must make a timeline that allows me to work my plan. Seriously, it does take time and planning to bring order to my home!
Step one, finds me going from room to room making lists detailing what needs to be done and how long it will take. This is a blitz list, also called the ďdown and dirtyĒ list. Iím not talking about major, deep housecleaning. No closets, and unless they are too gross to leave hanging, please donít wash the drapes or blinds. Leave the window glass alone, too. These are things that are best left for Spring Cleaning. My motto: Clean What Can Be Seen.
After you have your list, you need to decide what approach works best for you. Itís a bit like paying debt down. Some people pay off the smallest debt. Others pay off the one with the highest interest. What is the best way for you to put order into your house?
Should you do one room at a time? If starting and finishing a job on the same day makes you feel good, then this is the strategy for you. Focus all of your attention on this room. Don't be distracted by other chores that are calling to you. After the room is finished, put it on a regular rotation for straightening and cleaning. That way, it won't fall into the pit again before the holidays.
Will doing similar chores, no matter what room they are in, work best for you?
A good plan to make this strategy work is to gather specific cleaning supplies that you will need. You need them to do the same type of cleaning in different rooms. This also means that you can't get distracted by other chores in those rooms. Do what you came to do, then move on to the next room and do the chosen chore there. You will need to make several passes over these rooms before they are clean. Cleaning using this method works well for people who don't like transitioning from chore to chore, but don't mind moving from room to room.
Will you clean when you can, or will you have defined cleaning times? If cleaning when you can is an effective strategy for you, then you probably wouldn't be reading this article! Find a time to clean, and schedule it in. If you miss your cleaning time, make it up later. When you are getting your house in order, your priority needs to be cleaning.
Can you enlist others, or is it strictly a do-it-yourself kind of thing? You need to decide! If you enlist help, make sure that they won't distract you. Also, judgmental people need not apply to be your helpers. They are there to help you clean. You do not need lectures about house cleaning. Upbeat, helpful people are great assistants.
There is only one "absolutely must-do" that I am going to urge you to put into your plan. Find those tiny chores that take less than 15 minutes to do. Make a to-do list of those, and when you have those itsy-bitsy pieces of free time, work that list. Then, mark those completed chores off the to-do list. Look at all of those marked off chores, and feel the pride that accomplishment brings!
I have ADD. My house and life will never be perfect, but I donít know anybody with a perfect life. I will take life on my own terms. Attention Deficit Disorder doesnít define me. It is just a part of who I am.
Sidetracked Home Executives gives a step-by-step method for going from a screaming mess to an orderly household.
Sidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to Paradise