Just the word “spring cleaning” can put a groan in our throats, and that goes double for those who live with ADHD (or literally live with someone with ADHD.) Yet order and structure are important and a clean and de-cluttered house is good for everyone. With the spring sun shining bright, every dust bunny seems to have come out to play! Here are some tips that might help it seem more manageable. I’d love to hear your feedback, and good luck!
Begin with a plan and timer. Plan out what you want to achieve and the amount of time you are willing to stick to it. So, for example, you might make a big list first and commit to thirty minutes for each room. Decide if you’d like to go ROOM by ROOM or TASK by TASK. Would you prefer to clean the floors (and baseboards) in the whole house OR just clean the living room from top to bottom and then move on to the next room? The benefit of one task is that you could divide that up by skill level in your household so your teen could vacuum the whole house while another person cleans windows and a third person dusts. It may not be possible to get it all done in one day. What about three consecutive Saturdays instead?
Declutter and organize first. A lot of people never get to the actual cleaning part because “picking up and putting away” takes so much time. So make “organizing” its own to-do and have that done before you actually start to clean. All hands on deck! Always nice to start with a neat space. One trick to keep from being distracted is to do piles (one trash, one donate, one put away in another room) and then wait until you are done with the room to put things away or you might just move on to something else and forget what you were doing. This handy chart is a great reminder of things we need to look for to throw away. Why do we save those darn Happy Meal toys, anyway?
Add music. Because distractions are inevitable as we start cleaning, play some loud music you like or plug in your earbuds and listen to a podcast so you can stay focused on your task until your time is up.
Have your supplies handy. Save time and stress by making sure you have all the cleaning supplies you will need for that task with you so you don’t have to run all over the house looking for them. A bucket that’s easy to carry with you is a time saver.
Clean first, then fun. Use a reward system for yourself and write down on your to-do sheet what that reward is so it motivates you. When the task is complete, then you get to watch your favorite Netflix show or leave the house to go to dinner or meet friends or whatever works for you.
Happy Spring and Happy Spring Cleaning!