Friday, October 24, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2008 BGS, Community Member, asks

Q: Do all Adults with ADD have messy/cluttered homes?

I have read alot of information about Adults with ADD whose homes are basically a 'disgrace' because of all the clutter, and mess. I on the other hand cannot stand clutter, etc. in my home. In fact I get very anxious, even extremely irritated if there's a lot of 'things' left out and not put away!

For a little bit of my background, at the age of 51 I was diagnosed with ADD which in a lot of ways was great to finally have an answer to "what is wrong with me?" however, on the other hand, I always wish I would've known this years ago since it would've saved me from so many work, and relationship related issues!



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Answers (4)
Terry Matlen, ACSW, Health Guide
4/28/08 1:07pm

 Hi BGS and welcome to!


One of my favorite ADHD experts, Dr. Ned Hallowell, who co-wrote "Driven to Distraction" and authored a lot of other ADHD related books, points out something that might be helpful to you. He said that if one has ADHD, then the best co-morbidity to have is anxiety, because the anxious ADHD adult is more likely to have some control over the clutter and chaos. Now, that's just a paraphrase and he surely didn't say that this makes life any easier, but what he IS saying is that anxiety often helps people with ADHD keep the clutter chaos under control.


I know of many adults with ADHD whose homes are not at all cluttered or disorganized. What I DO tend to see, though, is that they take heroic measures to keep their homes neat because it does not come easy to them. They may spend way more time and energy keeping their homes up. Or they stress over it, possibly as you're describing it, because of the challenges they face in trying to keep the order while struggling hard to do it.


Most with ADHD have problems with disorganization, time management and simply figuring out systems and strategies for making their homes and offices clutter-free. Then there's the whole issue of procrastination and fear of boredom. It's very hard to keep up a house when we often procrastinate on taking care of, say, the laundry, dishes, bed-making, and putting clothes away.

So again, to answer your Not all people with ADHD have cluttered homes. Like you, they find it visually distracting and stress inducing. They may have anxiety or OCD tendencies that force them to take care of the problem. But in most cases, though their houses are tidy, they more than likely work doubly hard at keeping it that way because it's so difficult to manage when ADHD is part of the mix.


Hope this answers your question.





Eileen Bailey, Health Guide
4/28/08 10:20pm



Thanks for your question. One of the features we have started here at HealthCentral is "The Many Faces of ADHD"  Profiles of people with ADHD are posted on the Share Posts. At some point, we will have a listing of the different ones in one place. Anyway, the reason I mention this is because just as no two people are alike, no two people with ADHD are alike. Disorganization is certainly a trait of ADHD, but it does not mean that everyone with ADHD is disorganized.


For some people, clearing the clutter helps them to feel their mind is less cluttered and helps them to focus on other things. For others, clutter is a part of life, something that will be dealt with on a daily basis. Others yet have found a way to manage the clutter in their lives.


Again, no two people with ADHD are alike.


Here is a list of some of the Many Faces of ADHD:


The Many Faces of ADHD - Dr. Ned Hallowell


The Many Faces of ADHD - Blake Taylor


The Many Faces of ADHD - Dr. Nick Schwartz


Steven's Profile


Dr. Amen


Brooke's Profile


Stardust's Profile


Eileen's Story


Newly Diagnosed: One Man's Story


Mystery Solved: Stumbling Upon My Own Diagnosis (Terry's story)


The Many Faces of ADHD - ADHD at 85: Betty's Profile


I hope you enjoy these stories and see that each person has their very own version of ADHD.





xodec20, Community Member
5/ 8/08 9:31am

NO. To be sure, my house is highly organized. I find, having an organized house helps me cope with ADHD much better.


Gabyta07, Community Member
5/27/10 12:32pm

I have adhd, and Im messy, when things are in order, I get anxious, bc I cant see where my things are, while when everything is around I can see everything and dont feel anxious.Smile

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By BGS, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/04/10, First Published: 04/28/08