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ADHD friendly organization strategies don’t work without ADHD friendly storage options. There, I said it. It’s true. Generally, the more efficient the storage option, the more likely it is to work for those of us with ADHD. They may not be the most aesthetically pleasing ways to store and organize, though you can make them look nice, but they are the options with the best likelihood of success.
Here are my 13 favorite ADHD friendly organization tools to help you get organized and stay that way.
I use these everywhere— the bathroom door, bedroom door, closet door, laundry room door. Basically, anywhere that clothing accumulates on the floor or furniture is a great place to have these hooks. Here’s what they look like in case you aren’t sure what I mean by over-the-door hooks. You can also use command strips if you prefer.
2. Extra Sets of Cleaning Supplies
I recommend having a full set of cleaning supplies for each bathroom and the kitchen rather than sharing between rooms. If cleaning supplies are handy, it makes it much easier to a quick wipe down of the sink or toilet. If you have to go track down the right supplies spread out over the house, you’re less likely to do it consistently.
Wipes are especially handy as using them to clean the sink means you only have to find and grab the wipes rather than the spray bottle AND a clean cloth. So I recommend wipes, shower spray, toilet cleaner, and a toilet brush for each bathroom.
This is a great way to store paperwork that you need for ongoing projects or other purposes. Use as many stack-able trays as you need to house your paperwork. Then take a folder or a divider, label it, and put it on the bottom of each tray. The divider/folder acts like a label to help your paperwork stay organized and the stackable trays are particularly easy to use, which is why I love this little system in my office.
These are helpful to keep wherever shoes tend to accumulate. For many people, that’s near the front door. This makes it easy to kick shoes off into the shoe bench instead of all over the floor. This is especially handy if you wear the same shoes most days.
It’s important that it’s not a cabinet style shoe bench, because opening the door adds that extra step to use it that makes it less likely that it will be used consistently.
I recommend one mailbox for each person in the house who typically gets mail. I set them up as part of my “mail station” just inside the front door. I can sort the mail, drop each piece in its corresponding mail box, toss the trash (because I keep a can right there, too), and be done.
6. Chalk Labels and Label Holders
I’m a huge fan of dry erase and liquid chalkboard labels because they are reusable and awesome. Labels are really important for those of us with ADHD because it helps make storage more visual. That helps us with several executive function issues that home organization pokes at. With labels, we don’t have to try to remember what goes where, we don’t have to open a bunch of drawers or containers to figure out what goes where, and we are less likely to avoid all of that and just turn all the drawers into junk drawers.
There is a huge difference in the drawers and bins that I have labeled and the ones I don’t. The labeled ones are still maintaining their organization. The non-labeled ones… are junk drawers.
I like to keep extra baskets in the house to help keep dirty clothes from piling up on the floor and furniture. I also use them in my cleaning routine to hold things that I need to transfer to another room. They are handy like that. As far as laundry baskets go, the important thing is to get the baskets without lids (because lids add extra steps that make us less likely to use them consistently) and to have them placed right where clothing tends to get thrown. I like to keep a laundry basket in my closet (when I have a walk in), in my bathroom (when it’s big enough), and 1-2 in my bedroom where I usually change clothes. I find that this combination helps me collect the vast majority of the clothing that would otherwise end up on the floor.
You can get really pretty ones if you want to make them look a little nicer. Personally, I think these are adorable.
8. No Lid Trashcans
Full sized trashcans without a lid should be placed anywhere in your home that trash tends to be a problem. I have a small house so right now, I only use 2 full size trashcans and 4 small ones. Small cans can be used in places where trash doesn’t pile up as quickly. I used them in my office, my bedroom, and my bathroom. The full sized trashcans should be placed where you have the biggest problem with trash. For my house that’s the kitchen and the living room. They should be placed out in the open, right where the trash piles up, without a lid.
9. Recycling Bins
I usually recommend at least 2. One goes in the office, the other with the mail station. These take longer to fill up, which means if you struggle with whether to throw paperwork away for fear you’ll need it again, putting it in the recycling bin means it gives you time to find out if you actually need it before it’s gone. It’s helpful if these are NOT the same color as your trashcan to help prevent getting them mixed up.
10. Cork Boards
These are handy places to store important papers you don’t want to forget about or even written reminders you want to make sure you see and don’t forget. They can be helpful to showcase your to do list so you don’t forget where it is while also reminding you to work on your to do list. I use them for the office and my mail station, especially. Though, I also have one in my kitchen that I don’t use as much as the others.
11. Dry Erase Boards
These are also helpful places to write reminders to yourself, especially if the board is in an obvious place that you frequently pass by and written in bright colors. They can also be helpful for lists. I have several of these throughout my house and it’s helped me cut down on the amount of paper I use. It’s also harder to lose a dry erase board than it is a piece of paper, so yay! I primarily use these to write notes to myself, reminders, lists, and for thinking/planning.
12. Open-Faced Storage Bins OR Fabric Bins with Labels
Open faced bins reduce the number of steps it takes to store something while keeping storage visual. If you can’t find these or already have fabric bins, those can work but I’ve found that adding dry erase labels really helps keeping your organization more visual (which is important for ADHD).
I LOVE cube organizers. In fact, I have 7 of them I use in my small house. Why? because they are awesome—multipurpose and especially easy to use.
I use them as:
- TV Console Table
- Office Supply Storage
- My craft/hobby storage
- Nightstands by the bed
- and I even use one in place of a traditional bureau for my clothing.
The fabric bins are easier to pull out and put back than drawers or cabinet doors which can stick or get off track and hard to use. You can also put the chalk labels on the bins and make your storage more visual which has been a life saver for me. I especially like these because when I’m putting things away, I like to take the bins out and put them side by side in the floor and just drop contents in them. Then I can easily slide them back in the cube organizer when I’m done. Trying to do this with a standard drawer would be awful.