Ways I am Helping to Organize My ADHD Child & Creating Calm in Our Home
Let me guess, you have a To-do list a mile long and it seems every time you get one thing off the list two more get added. Yep. That was me too. I was constantly stressed out, frustrated, and short tempered that no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get stuff done. It became so bad that I found my self depressed. I felt I wasn't the Mother I wanted to be, the Wife I once was, the business person I needed to be, or the friend I thought I was. It was an awful time until....I realized that I was the reason I felt this way.
My expectations of what I needed to accomplish were completely unrealistic. I created that To-Do list and all it did was imposed stress on myself that NO ONE else was imposing. That stupid list made me feel bad about myself, all the time. So, I ditched it.
Instead, I realized that each day I was only going to be able to accomplish 1-3 tasks without losing my sanity. That's it. 1-3 and if I was going to be make running my household easier while homeschooling, raising a special needs child, and (at the time) running a business I was going to need to simplify my life. The interesting thing about simplifying is once you start doing it, you instantly begin to see the calming effect it has on you, your kids, and your life. To really simplify, you need to reduce and remove all the clutter from your life. That's physical stuff, mental stuff, digital stuff, and emotional stuff.
Secondly, you begin to organize what's left so it is easy to maintain and won't overwhelm you again. (That's were this gallery comes in handy.) I show you all the ways I am organizing my ADHD child and creating calming spaces in our home. By the way, it's still a work in progress. We still have more bedrooms to work on, a basement to work on, and a handful of other spaces. We routinely are clearing out old items on a monthly basis, as we grow out of them, don't need them anymore, or find that they are irreparable.
It's important that when you are organizing you think about how your space will be used by everyone in your household and how they will help maintain the space. For example, my daughter isn't the best as sorting and separating. So, we have mixed bins for loose random objects that she plays with. At first, it wasn't my favorite, but overtime I have accepted that if this is currently how she wants to take care of these items; fine. I don't have to look at them, spend time organizing them, or stepping on them. It's a win for all of us.
The last and final step is to create a streamline system that takes the guess work out of what needs to be done. It's important to get everyone on board or you will simply become a nagging monster. The best way to avoid the Mom monster is by laying out the expectations and by providing everyone a visual reference of what needs to be completed. In our home we have a master schedule of what we do each day to keep up on household chores. We also have themed dinner meals so everyone knows what we are having. After a few weeks, all the members in your household will learn what to do, when to do it, and will help maintain the system. The other benefit from creating this autopilot system is that you will reduce stress and free up emotional/mental bandwidth that you use to use on completing these tasks. It's beautiful.
Don't wait. Pick one area and simplify.
I always suggest that you start on a space that you use the most as a family, or it is a space that only use. Here's why? Those to places are typically pain points. A non-functional unorganized space that is used everyday creates a feeling of daily chaos for everyone. While, having a space all to ourselves becomes a sanity sanctuary in a sea of daily chaos. (I use to have a perfectly cleaned and decorated dinning room in our old home. Whenever, I felt overwhlemed by the other spaces in the house I would go and sit in there. I would look out the windows with my back to the rest of the house.)
My hope is that this blog and gallery will help you begin your journey to a more simplified, organized, calm life.