How to Create an ADHD friendly Closet

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Mornings can be a difficult time of day when you are living with ADHD.  Waking up is frequently a struggle, which means that once you are up, getting ready and out of the door on time is a rush. Deciding what to wear and putting an outfit together that is clean, color co-ordinated and is suitable for the day’s events can also be challenging.  However, one thing that helps these early morning demands is to have an organized closet.

A closet is designed to house your clothes so they are clean, wrinkle free and easy to find when you need them. When you have ADHD, closets can take on more functions than that. For example, if you have people visiting, you might throw stray belongings into the closet so your bedroom looks tidy. Then, you might forget to  take those items out later. Closets can also house other random items that you were not sure what to with, such as  plastic bags, tax returns or dirty clothes.  Hunting through these extra belongings can add precious minutes to your morning routine.

Here are 7 Steps to having an organized closet.

1) Pick a time when you have physical and mental energy. Organizing and decluttering involves a lot of decision making which is fatiguing when you have ADHD. 

2) Take everything out of the closet. This is a suggestion Marie Kondo makes in her book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.’ It is easy get rid of things, and only put back the things you love if you use this technique.

3) Clean the empty space by vacuuming or damp dusting.

4) Get 3 bags or boxes. 

*1 for clothes you are donating;

*1 for items to thrown out (anything that is beyond repair);

*1 for items to be resigned to another part of your home.

5) Start to organize your clothes. This is the challenging part!  For each item, ask yourself the following questions:

*Have I worn it in the last year?

If you haven’t worn something for 4 seasons, it is an indication that you don’t love wearing it any more.

 *Does it fit?

If you have gained or lost weight and an item doesn’t fit, it is ok to donate it. 

*Does it reflect my lifestyle?  Our lives, jobs and hobbies change,  and our clothes often reflect those shifts.  Let go of clothes that no longer match your current lifestyle. 

6) People with ADHD buy clothes for other reasons than non-ADHD people do. 

For example, you might shop impulsively, rather than making planned purchases, and have lots of items but few complete outfits. 

You might go shopping because you can’t find a certain piece of clothing and you have a wedding or interview tomorrow.

You might jump from one hobby to the next every 6 months or so and buy outfits for each new hobby. Tennis, golf and swimsuits could fill your closet, even if you haven’t done these activities for years.

Don’t keep items out of guilt! Whatever your reasons for buying an item, if you don’t wear it put it in the donate pile.

  However, you could use this closet organization as a prompt to address the underlying reasons for your shopping style. 

7) As you are returning items to your closet, there will be much more space available, and it will be easier to find items when you are in a hurry.

Great job!

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