Cleaning and organizing with ADHD is akin to trying to climb the Himalayas barefoot… while you’re in your bedroom in Boise. It can take some serious mental fortitude to get started, and often seems impossible.
All that to say – it’s hard, but is it worth it?
Mental health professionals overwhelmingly agree that cleaning with ADHD has benefits beyond a neater home. In fact, it can reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. Your space will look better, you will feel better, and it might even be easier to get the job done the second time around!
The only question is… how on earth do you begin when a failure to begin is what caused the clutter in the first place?
The house cleaning professionals at Scrub N’ Bubbles Cleaning know a thing or two about tackling a big job! We used their expertise to put together this list of eight tips for cleaning house with ADHD. You know your brain best, so stick to the tips you think will work best for you!
The sooner you start reading, the sooner you can reap the benefits of a harmonious, organized space! Our best tips for cleaning with ADHD are below.
1. Shift Your Semantics
Words matter. If thinking about “cleaning,” gives you hives, why not call it something else and see how your brain responds?
Kc Davis is an author and mental health professional who shares advice on cleaning with ADHD on TikTok. She suggests focusing on “resetting” rather than cleaning. Set a timer for fifteen minutes and “reset” one room back to the state that makes it functional.
Most people can manage to do anything for fifteen minutes. Doesn’t “a fifteen-minute reset” feet more palatable than the less specific, somewhat overwhelming phrase “cleaning your room?” Having a finite chunk of time to dedicate to the task helps many people with ADHD to power through and get the job done.
2. Ask For Help
We understand that a messy house can come with shame. It can be hard to invite people over for fear of judgment regarding the appearance of your space. Rejection sensitivity dysphoria is a common symptom of ADHD, which makes taking the risk even more difficult
If there’s at least one friend or family member you trust, don’t be afraid to reach out and admit that you need help getting started. Sometimes their arrival is all you need to trigger your brain into deep-cleaning mode. Another set of hands can keep you focused and on task.
3. Try a Rewards System
Occasionally, the best way to accomplish a task is to reward your inner child. Rewards systems work because they trigger endorphins, creating higher motivation. Something as simple as a sticker chart is sometimes enough to inspire a cleaning frenzy.
You might want to decide on the reward you’re working toward in advance. For example, cleaning for 15-minutes a day for seven days might earn you a fancy Sunday brunch.
Remember that a rewards system is not a punishment system. If you miss a day, don’t take away your stickers. They represent things you have accomplished, and nothing you do (or don’t do) can undo your hard work!
4. Bring in the Professionals
If it’s financially feasible, it’s sometimes wise to let the professionals handle it! Hiring house cleaners from Scrub N’ Bubbles cleaning in Boise is a convenient, judgment-free process. You can arrange recurring services on your own schedule—the only thing you need to do is take the first step!
We understand that some folks need a lot of help before they’re ready for standard cleaning services. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by clutter, start with a deep cleaning. That will give you the blank slate you need to feel confident about your living space again.
5. Bring It Up in Therapy
If you’re working with a mental health professional, reach out and ask for some tips. Often you can spend an entire session making a plan to tackle cleaning your room with ADHD. Your therapist might be able to help you build a daily or weekly cleaning schedule that works with your unique strengths.
6. Try Productive Multitasking
Low motivation can prevent you from tackling a simple task for weeks. You can trick your brain into cleaning by pairing your chores with an enjoyable task. For example, you might save a favorite podcast, album, or audiobook for cleaning time—if you want to listen, you have to clean!
You could also designate a “chore buddy” who you can call and chat with while you tidy up. If you want to connect and hear the latest gossip, you’ll need to slip on those rubber dishwashing gloves and get to work!
7. Fall in Love With Your Cleaning Supplies
Another great way to trick a neurodivergent brain into cleaning is to buy cleaning supplies that you love! An adorable pink vacuum cleaner cleans just as well as a clunky gray one. Choose soaps and products in scents you love, and spring for the most colorful sponges you can find!
It sounds silly, but it’s amazing what a difference it makes when your cleaning supplies bring you joy! Bedazzle that dust buster if that’s what it takes! As Marie Condo would say, choose things that spark joy!
8. Take Advantage of Tech
When there are a million things on your mind, sometimes you simply forget about tasks, even when the clutter is right in front of you. Consider setting a recurring reminder on your phone to send you a quick “ping!” when it’s time to dust the bookshelves. If you start ignoring it, mix it up to add novelty and keep things fresh.
Life Hacks for Cleaning With ADHD
Cleaning involves a lot of steps, making it one of the trickest chores for people with executive dysfunction challenges. By approaching cleaning with ADHD like any other multi-step task, you can easily “hack” your way to a clean and comfortable home! The first step is making a plan that works with your unique, neurodiverse mind!
If you’ve tried the tips above and still can’t hack it, Scrub N’ Bubbles Cleaning can help! We offer in-home house cleaning services in the Boise area. Request a quote today and you can check “cleaning” off your to-do list!