Anyone can use these ADHD Home Organization Hacks, but individuals with ADHD face specific difficulties that can transform a seemingly easy request into one that is mind-blowingly difficult. If you are reading this because you have a kid that has ADHD then have a chat with them and suggest some of the ideas to try out.

Now, if you are like me, you struggle to concentrate when you are surrounded by chaos, but it can be difficult to gather the motivation to take action. It’s a double edged sword, I leave things out because I don’t want to forget to finish working on them but then leaving them out are visual distractions.

One thing to keep in mind is that we are all wired differently, so some of these ADHD home organization tips might work for you or your family members and some might fall flat. Use what works for you and ditch the rest! 

For some people, the Marie Kondo method works a treat. I was skeptical when she first blew up as she didn’t have kids then. My mom brain just laughed and laughed at many of the things she suggested. Such as emptying your bag (purse) and putting everything away as soon as you get home. Good luck with that when you are wrangling a tired kid and have a bag of shopping to put away. That said, there are some of her techniques I love. You don’t need to go all in with one method, mix and match to suit you, and your family’s needs.

ADHD Home Organization Hacks: a woman with a shocked expression covered in post it notes with reminders written on them

ADHD sticking points with keeping your homes organised:

  • Struggle to stay focused on a single task, leading to unfinished organizing projects. 
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the scope of the task can cause procrastination and avoidance. 
  • Impulsivity can lead to accumulating unnecessary items, contributing to clutter. 
  • Forgetting where items are stored or what tasks need to be done can disrupt organization. 
  • Establishing and maintaining consistent routines can be challenging. 
  • Easily getting distracted can result in moving from one task to another without completing any. 
  • Poor time management skills can make it hard to allocate time for organizing tasks.

All these, or even just some, can make the task of getting and staying organised hard. One way to help you stay on task is to have family member or close friend (preferably a neurotypical person) to come over for body doubling. Having someone present can help you stay on task. 

Let’s look at ways to help you set up at home:

Declutter and Simplify

By far the best tip. The less you have, the easier it is to manage. It also saves you a truckload of time. Less time looking for misplaces items, less time spent tidying up before you can clean, less stuff to actually organize. Having too much stuff is a modern problem and getting rid of unnecessary clutter might feel like too much effort, but in the long run it will pay off.

Start with one room, break it into smaller steps. If you are motivated by rewards, then set a reward for completing each task. Start with two boxes, one of things to keep (things that need a specific home or putting away) and one for things to get out of the house. (Donate/throw out). Set a timer and sort the clutter. It’s basically stay or go. I know the usual advice is to have a donate box/recycle and that is all good and well, but I find that causes decision paralysis. Fewer decisions, the better. Stay or Go.

Once you have the clutter sorted, the stuff to go needs to leave the houses ASAP. If you can, get rid of it as soon as you are done or at the very least put it in the car. If you followed the stay/go advice you might have stuff that might need sorting further. That’s ok, now you have one box and the new straightforward decision is donate or bin. Set some time limits when you do this. It will force you to decide quicker.

The box of clutter to keep – this is where it can unravel. As I always bang on about with the Clear The Clutter members, everything in your home needs a home. Just shoving something in a random box in a random cupboard isn’t going to cut it. If you want a ADHD-friendly home, then you need to set it up as such. 

When trying to decide where to keep something (it’s permanent home) think about where you use it the most. It makes no sense to keep the saucepans in the laundry room! If your child has ADHD, ask them where they think their logical place would be – ADHD brains are wired differently, and you might be surprised by their suggestion. Equally, you need to talk about your partner so you are on the same page on where everything lives. 

More often than not we don’t actually stop and think where everything lives. Taking the time to do this and create a home for everything in your home makes a big difference.

ADHD Home Organization Hacks putting anything you don7t need into one box, a woman carrying a box of items to be thrown out

Create Functional Storage Areas

If you ever watch any professional organizer videos, you will see that they love clear storage bins. I have a love/hate relationship with them. I do love using clear containers inside cupboards and drawers, but not on open shelves. In my mind, they look messy on an open shelf. But in a cupboard it makes it easy to open and see what you are looking for quickly. It also helps to keep things at front of mind. It is so easy to stick something in a box, close the cupboard door and then complete forget about its existence. 

The other thing with storage containers is that they help to keep the cupboard organised. When you have loose items, it quickly gets into a mess. A container helps to keep everything in its correct home.

Another of my favourite home organization solutions is having a label maker, it doesn’t need to be fancy. I actually use masking tape (I use color coding, of course) and a marker pen. This helps not only me, but the rest of the family to remember what lives where. If you have non-readers in the house, you can start with picture labels. There is a set you can print in the resource library.

For some people with ADHD, cupboards and closets don’t work at all, if that it is you, time to redefine your storage system. It might be that a shelves with open boxes that make good use of vertical space work may be better for you than dresser drawers. Before going gung-ho and ripping out all your current furniture, try setting up a temporary experiment and see how it goes.

If color is your thing then color coding your home might help with organization or other visual cues, there are different ways to do this. Each person in the house can be assigned a color or you can label important tasks with red. 

This is one to play with to see if it works for you. 

ADHD Home Organization Hacks: using clear boxes to store things in. A shelf with lots of boxes and clear jars holding food

Limit Clutter Magnets

Clutter magnets are ares that are prone to having things dumped on them. 

In our house, it is the top of the shoe cupboard, the end of the kitchen counter and the dining table bench. I KNOW these are the places where we all dump stuff and so I make an effort to keep them clear. 

It’s usually a collection of small items and important information/papers, etc. To keep it all under control, I have simple routines in place. 

In this case Monday and Friday, I have a tidy and put away and dust and vacuum. If it is an item that hasn’t made it back to its designated place, I put it away. If it is another family member that has left something, then they have a box where I dump it. It is then up to them to deal with it.

Play to your super-powers

Keeping on top of the house can be hard work, but more manageable tasks done on a day-to-day basis can help. If you know you have a short attention span, then make it your superpower and instead of creating a to-do list of big jobs, break it down and put lots of mini tasks on there instead. 

Rather than “declutter kitchen” try “clean out spice rack“. And because it takes very little time to do, you are more likely to start and finish it. Try making it a daily or weekly habit to tackle a little (but significant) job. This is actually how I managed to declutter the whole house and how the Clear The Clutter program is set up. Every second day there is a task to complete. As it is a small task – clean the bedside table or sort out your sock drawer, it is more achievable. Having a reminder land in your inbox on a regular basis help to keep you on track too.

Another trick is to assign certain jobs to a particular day. I am never in the mood for cleaning, so I assigned jobs for different days and now it’s habit, vacuum and dust on Mondays, change bedding Tuesdays, etc. 

ADHD Home Organization Hacks: using open shelves with boxes to keep things tidy

Implement Visual/Audible Reminders

Part of the ADHD struggle can be keeping to a schedule and not losing track of time. This depends on you. Audible reminders do nothing for me. I can very easily ignore them! But what does work is visual reminders. If we need rice for bento’s my husband will leave the rice cooker dish on the counter knowing I will remember to cook rice later but if he tells me or even texts me a reminder… guess who won’t be eating rice the next day!

I know some people use sticky notes or set up their smartphone app to use as reminders for different tasks. Think about what works best for you and lean into that. You might need to have a chat with the family so you can help each other. 

Wrap up for ADHD home organization hacks

I think the biggest thing is acceptance that what works for one person might not work for another. Look at it all like a fun life experiment. Try out different systems but instead of just disregarding something because “it doesn’t work” dig into the reason why. Setting up reminders on your phone fails flat? Why? What can you try differently? If visual cues work for you, lean into that and so more of it.

Break every big task down into bite-sized chunks, that way they don’t feel as overwhelming and you are more likely to complete the task. Decluttering one shelf is far more attainable than decluttering the whole living room.


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