Cleaning a Car and ADD

Cleaning a Car and ADD
Much of my time last year was spent working more hours per week than I thought could be possible when I was younger. That would be 105 hours a week for ten months. Staying focused with my Attention Deficit Disorder was a challenge. Would it surprise you to know that a lot of my meal time was spent eating while driving? Envision the inside of my car, if you dare. Wrappers everywhere! One night a colleague wanted to help me load some items into my car. It was a cringe-worthy moment. To say that the car was a hot mess doesn't even begin to describe it. It was obvious to the most casual observer that I needed a plan to bring my car's interior to same semblance of order. If you or somebody that you know has this issue, here is a plan that works.

First you have to set aside time to muck the car out. Estimate how long you think that it will take and add about 50% more time. Tell yourself that is set aside for this job, and if you finish early, you can do an activity that you enjoy. Bring some trash bags and couple of boxes with you to the car. I like to use the tall kitchen bags that tie at the top. Those boxes need to be clean and cardboard works well. One box will stay in the car, while the other will go in the trunk.

As you are pulling items out of the car, you will have four piles. One is trash that needs to be thrown away. Have your big trash bin at the ready. The second is recyclables that need to go into your recycle bin. Have that recycle bin available, too. Some items will be carried into the house in a trusty trash bag. Have a time planned to sort these items out and put them up. Otherwise, your car clutter will just become your household disaster. The last category has items are things that you genuinely want in the car. After discarding the trash and recyclables and moving the house items inside, you are ready to start organizing the car.

I need to carry a lot of different clothing for one of my jobs. A sturdy banana box holds extra shoes, tops, jackets, headgear, and gloves. This box stays in my back seat where I can get to it easily. A box that is the size of a milk crate fits inside my trunk. It holds craft supplies for the crafting classes that I teach one day a week. I have a crate that I keep car supplies in. Oil, radiator coolant, jumper cables and my emergency kit reside there. During winter trips I also carry a sleeping bag, water, and simple food. A bag of kitty litter doesn't hurt, if you have room. It can provide traction for those slippery moments.

To keep the car clean, it helps to have two trash bags with you. I re-use the small plastic grocery store bags for this purpose. One of the bags will collect your trash. The other will hold items to recycle. Plan to empty them at least once a week. The day before our trash is collected works well for me. Both bags are kept on the floorboard ahead of the front passenger seat. If I have a passenger, they are easy to move to the back floorboard.

What does having a neat car have to do with Attention Deficit Disorder? In my life's journey through the maze that is ADD, I have found that the more you can keep organized, the easier it is to maintain focus. If my car is a mess, my house is a disaster, and my finances are in ruins, the stress of all of these things exacerbates the negative symptoms of ADD. When you spend a lot of time in your car, keeping it organized and cleaned out can improve the quality of your life.

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