Spring Cleaning With Undiagnosed ADHD

Happy first day of spring queens!

It’s March 21st so spring has officially arrived. This is my favorite time of year because the sun starts to come out, its gardening season, and it feels like we’re getting a fresh start to the year. Fall and winter are both such heavy seasons with all of the holiday chaos and natural urge to stockpile, things can get a little cluttered. If you’re like me you’ve learned as an adult that you might have some ADHD tendencies (because you haven’t made time to get actually diagnosed) so spring cleaning is a dreadful task, but if teaching taught me nothing else it taught me how to cope with ADHD so I thought I’d share a few tips that help me complete my spring cleaning without feeling overwhelmed. 

To start take out a piece of paper and a pen and physically write down all of the things that you want to clean. Physically writing things down helps to commit them to memory and gives you something visual to come back to if and when you forget what’s next. With everything listed out give yourself a time frame to complete the list. You can get as detailed as to how long you want to spend on each task or as vague as giving yourself two weeks complete the entire list. As long as you have a deadline to work towards everything will work out fine. To finish off your to-do list write down a reward that you’ll gift yourself once all the tasks are complete. 

Gerdacreates Journal 

 Now that we have a list of what needs to get done pick a few things from the list to work on each day and highlight them. I work from home so I pick out what I will do each morning based on my levels of energy. On high-energy days I give myself more to do like an entire section of the house. On low energy days, I’ll assign myself one small task at a time, like cleaning out the fridge, so that I’m overwhelming myself and can still be accomplishing goals. Once the task is complete I cross it off the list so that I can see my list getting smaller. 

Do you find that you often get hung up on the details while cleaning? (I know I do lol) When I clean I tend to start rummaging through junk drawers or reorganizing bookshelves and it eats away at time like you wouldn’t believe. I deal with this in a few ways, first, if I’m about to clean a large room I might break it up into sections so that I can mark off that section one is complete. The most effective for me is to set a timer for 10 minutes and work for 10 minutes at a time with 5-minute breaks in between. This gives me a time frame to focus and a mental break to have planned distractions. Another thing that helps me is to call a friend/turn on the tv something about the background noise helps me to work on boring tasks for a longer period of time. 

The last tip I’ll give you is to bring a few trash bags with you to every spot you clean. Make one for actual trash and another for things to donate. Decluttering will also help you feel accomplished when you’re finished cleaning and can look around and actually see less stuff. Now the most important part is to take all of the bags with you when you leave the room. Put the trash in the garage until trash day if you don’t have the big outdoor bins and put the donation bags in the car. Set a reminder on your phone for when you leave your current location to drop off the donation bags so that the next time you leave the house you can actually get a notification reminder to drop them off while you’re out and about. 

Bonus tip lol once you finish cleaning a room open some windows and sage the room. Spiritually this gets rid of all the energies the room may have been holding on to, and follow it up with some palo santo to welcome positive energy. If you don’t believe in that you should still do it because scientifically sage helps to kill bacteria in the air, repel insects, and improve your mood by reducing stress. 

Hopefully, these tips were helpful to you and relieves some of the anxiety of spring cleaning. Don’t forget that you don't have to do it all in one day and to give yourself that reward when you’re finished. It may seem silly but people are paid to clean so you should reward yourself for not just hiring someone to do it for you. Have a wonderful week! XOXO Ivy Reina


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