Over the past few years I learned a lot about myself, about the effect of my ADHD and how to make little things a little easier when it comes to everyday tasks. Like how I always put music on when I go for a shower, or use color coding during my work, I also came up with some things to be a little bit of a better housewife (which I should never ever try to be).
I used to struggle a lot with opening and closing the curtains every day, I just did not get the point of doing this and in the first house I lived in the curtains actually remained close most of the time. Just when people would visit that did not know me that well I opened them. The annoying thing was that everyday I felt a little frustrated about this, another thing I was not able to do. And then I got an idea: What if I buy some plants? Plants need light to survive, so if I just put a plant behind each curtain I have to open the curtain in order to not kill the plant. And it worked! From the day I bought my plants, my curtains open and close every day. I must note that replacing the plants by flowers is not a good idea since they die pretty quickly and I always forget to trow them when they did although I do stop opening the curtains at this point, this trick works best with low maintenance plants.
This one might sound a bit cliché, at least I think I am not the person that came up with this idea but I can say that it really worked. I used to have a lot of clothes, I was able to not do my laundry for at least a month, and if I would finally be out of clothes and did not feel like doing laundry yet I went to buy new clothes. You can imagine what my house looked like, I had two rooms, filled with dirty clothes, all over the floor. Then I moved to a new, smaller house in a different city and I did not have a car to help me move, which made me have to move all my stuff by train. This is the point in my life that I really had to clean, read: throw away all the shit I had not touched for months, some even years. When I moved into my new house with about 10 percent of what I had owned, I started seeing a difference in myself, my house was much cleaner. This is when I decided to only have 7 sets of favorite clothing each season. This means, every week I have to do laundry if I don’t want to walk around in clothes I don’t like or be too cold or too warm because the clothes are from a different season, and almost every week I get my laundry done.
Cleaning the house
Even though I have ADHD and I’m in general a messy person, I do feel ashamed when someone walks into my house and the floor is covered with clothes, the kitchen counter full of dishes and half empty plates from more then a week ago and in my case, rabbit shit, everywhere. I started using this shame in a good way and invite at least 2 times a week someone over to my house. This way I have to clean if I don’t want to feel like a dirty person living in her own trash. I try to plan it in a way that the visits are kind of spread in the week, with never more then 3 to 4 days in between. In this way the amount of stuff I have to clean is never too big, and I can do it quickly. And my house always feels organized. Although I’m still struggling with the part that is really called cleaning, this only happens at the start of each season.
I have never been good at getting groceries and cook, especially since it needs to happen every day and becomes boring. Not more then a year ago I did not eat at all or ordered food most of the time, I cooked about once a week. I started analyzing why I was not able to cook, part had to do with the dishes that are for some reason always dirty, besides I was never able to figure out what to eat and instead of doing groceries I could think of so many other things I would prefer to do. I decided to start doing groceries, for a whole week, all at once, on Monday immediately after work, at least I would have enough food in the fridge to always be able to cook something and I eliminated 2 of the main obstacles of cooking for myself. I think the first two to four weeks I ate a home cooked meal every day but slowly it started becoming harder again, long days at work, late nights at the gym, this was not the solution yet. So I started meal prepping. On Sunday I take about two hours, I do groceries and prepare all the food for the coming week. Off course it takes some effort to start this each Sunday, there are a million other things I would like to do, but at least I just have this struggle once every week. The whole week I can just look in the fridge and find tupperware with breakfast, lunch and dinner, and it’s even faster than ordering food. And now for the last 6 months I have been eating home cooked food every day, besides Saturday, that’s special food day when I either get food delivered or cook something big.
It is common knowledge that people with ADHD loose things, and since we need our keys everyday it is definitely a thing we can not hide from the people that know us. My solution to my missing keys problem has two parts. The first one is to make them big, never give me one key because I will for sure loose it, even if it stays in my pocket. My own keys are bundled, together with bracelets, an elephant, a dolphin and an old lock. They don’t fit in any of my pockets but they are now big enough for me to notice them, they make sounds, they have a weight and they’re clearly visible if I leave them on a weird place in a room. This huge bunch of keys helps me mostly to keep track of them when I’m outside the house, in the office or with friends, because sometimes it seems like they are just able jump out of the pocket I have reserved for them in my back, and they end up in chairs, on tables and even in closets. This brings me to the the second part of my solution: find a place for them. A by this I mean, a logical place. I have tried for many years to put the keys on a dresser I had in the hallway, but I never succeeded in doing this, it just did not make sense, the place to put the key was 1. too big, the place was not specific enough, and 2. it did not make sense, why should I put the keys on this dresser and not on the one in the living room, or on the table, or in the kitchen? I think the action was too vague for me to listen to it and that’s why it never worked out. I now thought myself to lock the door, when I leave and when I get in, and then leave the keys there, and this makes sense, I have to use the keys on this location either way, so if I leave them there, they will always be there when I need them. This trick does needs some reconsidering if I will ever live together with someone else, but maybe then I can make a fake keyhole for a fake key, just as a keyholder, right next to the door.