Everyday ADHD household hacks #2 – The ones that really don’t make things better but I can not stop doing

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. I discovered some useful methods when it comes to my housewife qualities but unfortunately I also developed some habits that seem to make things a little better but actually show I’m completely not capable of taking care of my house.

Never finish anything

I have a big problem with throwing trash, even when I was young my mom always got angry with me because I left empty packages in the fridge, empty shampoo bottles in the shower and the worst was the candy wrappings that I would just leave everywhere in the house. My ADHD creates a blind spot for trash, I don’t see it until it has taken over my whole house. Now the funny thing. Since I live on my own I really try to have an organized and clean house, but I can’t seem to get control over this trash problem. Over the past few years I created a method to never have to throw it, the magic is : never finish anything! This way things never become trash, they just remain things, that might be useful someday. In my shower I have over 10 different shampoos, all with just a little bottom left, the same goes for tea, pasta, rice, perfume, body lotion, candles, almond milk, spices, mustard, and so much more. When someone asks me about this I just say I love to have options, which I don’t, but it’s much better than leaving trash all around the house.

Dishes

In my previous house I used to have a lot of glasses, cups, plates and pans, but a lot of stuff means a lot of dishes, and this is one of the main things I’m not good at so most of the time my kitchen would be covered with piles of dirty dishes. In this house I decided to do things differently and I threw most of the dishes away until I had just one set, one glass, one plate, one bowl and one cup. I do have a “secret” cupboard that contains 4 more of everything for when I have people coming over, but I told myself I’m not able to use these when I’m alone, and I follow this rule. To be honest, the kitchen looks much better these days, no pile of dirty dishes anymore, it looks kind of clean. But did I start doing my dishes? Off course not, or least not regularly. The very few things I own, or allow myself to use, I use for days or weeks in a row. Yes my house looks much better but I’m eating from the same plate for weeks, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes I even taste the food from the day before and the breakfast from that morning, and still I won’t clean the plate. In a way this is more disgusting, but for the outside, for my visitors, it looks like I kind of have things under control.

The cupboard surface ratio

I used to have a lot of tables, a lot of open surface area, most of the time completely covered with things. Everything I would use each day would be on my tables, but also the things I did not know where to put where there. My tables where the place for everything and this made my house look super messy. I slowly started increasing the amount of cupboards but still I would prefer the tables, leaving most of the cupboards completely empty. At this point I decided the best thing to do was to get rid of all my tables. I know have a little bar where I can eat my food if I remove the plant and the candles that I usually put there to make sure there is no space to put anything else. Besides, I don’t own a coffee table, and all the other open surfaces are covered with plants and books, in such a way they don’t seem messy but also don’t give me enough space to put my things. This was needed to finally start putting things in my cupboards, to make my house look organized. But even though it does seem organized, it is far from that, my mess is just hidden behind all the doors, and still, whenever my boyfriend opens one of these doors I feel ashamed, because inside it’s a mess, and for a lot of them I don’t have a clue what’s inside.

The organization spots

This brings me to the way I try to organize the stuff inside my cupboards. For some of them I did figure out a system, for a few I do know what’s inside. I have one for food and tools, one for spices, one for glasses, cups, tea, pasta and rice, one for cleaning stuff and two for shoes (the shoes that don’t fit are under the bed, in the hallway or spread around the living room). But this are 6, and I have 21 cupboards in my living room and kitchen, which means there are 15 that I don’t have a function for yet, 15 doors I can open and be surprised about what is on the inside, but the funny things is, I do have a system for this. Whenever I come back from a trip, buy new things or clean the house and find a lot of things, I first put them on my “organization spots”. I have two, one next to the oven, one on my bed. Whenever I have a thing in my hand that I don’t know where to put, it goes to the organization spot, the one on the bed is for hygiene things, the one next to the oven is for all the other things. Whenever one of the spots is full I know it’s time to start organizing, to give the things a place in one of my cupboards. But there is no logic in most of my cupboards, so what happens? I open all of them, see what is the main thing inside and put the things from my organization spot in the cupboard that’s filled with things that are kind of similar to the thing I need to find a place for. This is what I do on the good days, on the bad days I just look for the one with the least things inside and put whatever is on the organization spot inside this one. It is funny that I try so hard, that I created a system to organize things but the result is far from structured. I just opened one of these magical cupboards, and it contains batteries, sunglasses, screwdrivers, candles, chewing gum, dvd’s, lipstick, shoelaces, lighters and a camera lens. If I would have really been able to organize, these things would not be together in one cupboard, the screwdriver would be with the tools, the lens with the camera, the lipstick with the make-up, everything would be somewhere else. I think I need some more years to master my organization skills.

Never do your hair near the sink

One of the things I absolutely find disgusting in my house are hairs in the sink. Since I started using my methylphenidate I loose a lot of hair, every time I touch it they seems to get loose and fall on whatever is closest. Whenever I would comb my hair even once, in front of the bathroom mirror my sink would be filled with hair, and only if I would even just do it once it would look like I hadn’t cleaned the sink for months. The best solution here would off course be to clean the sink after every time I comb my hair, but for my ADHD brain, this is impossible. So I developed a different method. About 2 years ago I bought a second mirror and put this one in the hallway, I use this mirror now whenever I need to do my hair. There are no white things surrounding the mirror, there is just the floor, a dark brown wooden floor. Perfect, because I can comb my hair for days or even weeks without noticing the hairs I have lost. Off course this is definitely not a solution, I mean, my hallway is full of hair, but I, and a casual visitor that will only pass through the hallway very quickly, will not notice the hair because of the color of the floor, and my sink will always look clean. Still every morning I laugh when I get my comb and walk to the mirror, I know it’s just a trick, I know I am in no way becoming a better housewife by doing this, but I keep doing it, just because it makes the house look a little nicer, and it makes me feel like I’m a little bit more in control.

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