Cleaning is something all of us must do in our daily lives whether it is just after yourself or others as well. When you are dealing with ADHD it can seem even more difficult at times, this could be due to restlessness, attention issues, problems staying organized, or the task requires too much mental effort. All of these things can make it more difficult for someone with ADHD to keep things clean. While people with ADHD often do have trouble with cleaning, they are not the only ones who can find it overwhelming. Individuals dealing with Anxiety, Depression and Grief can also become overwhelmed by the task of cleaning. For anyone dealing with these issues it can be hard to find the motivation to get it done. Some tips that can help make cleaning seem a bit less daunting are:

  • Try to fit it into your routine: To start try picking one or two times a week to fit cleaning into your schedule
  • Set a time limit: If you dislike feeling like you’re endlessly cleaning try to set a time limit for how long you will clean. This can be anywhere from ten minutes to an hour where clean as much as you can manage for the whole time.
  • Take Breaks: Taking a break when cleaning is feeling like it’s become too much can often help to give you more energy and put the focus back on cleaning. Try not to make your break more than a few minutes long though.
  • Start Small: If you aren’t sure where to start, start small, try picking up all of the trash in the room, picking up everything blue, or everything that goes into the kitchen.
  • Make your space functional: If cleaning an entire room is too overwhelming for you, start with cleaning enough to make that space functional, and then you can work up to cleaning everything else.
  • Set Easy Goals: If you want to make a goal of cleaning everyday try set a goal of picking up 10-30 items a day to start and then add in more items as you go, this can help you to feel like you are getting something clean everyday.
  • Take Before Photos: Having a photo to look back and see the progress you’re mak
  • Upkeep: If you’re having trouble keeping things clean throughout the week try the basket method.
    • The basket method is a simple way to help those struggling with cleaning to keep things tidy throughout the week. The way the basket method works is as follows:
      • To start get a set of baskets, enough to have one for each room in your house, and label each one with the name of the room you’d like it to go in, kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom etc.
      • Make sure your baskets stay in the room where they belong in by having a designated spot for them to go
      • When cleaning throughout the week set aside a chunk of time 10-20 minutes to do this.
      • During that time pick a room in which you will do your tidying up, if you need to, try doing one room a day or even one a week.
      • For example when cleaning the living room, take the assigned living room basket and fill it with everything that does not belong in that room
      • Once the basket is filled take it to the other rooms in your home and place each item in the basket for the room they belong in, you can repeat this step if necessary, then the next time you go into a room you can take the items from that basket and put them away.

These are just a few ways that can help those with ADHD and anyone who is struggling to find the motivation to clean keep their space in order. Figuring out what works the best for you personally is key. So hopefully these tips can help you on your journey to keeping things cleaner.

Written by: Michelle Brown

Graduate Counseling Intern at Step by Step Counseling LLC