The following list of tips was compiled with the help of several teenagers with ADHD. These are some ideas they have used to help them stay organized. I am sure some of the ideas can work for younger children or adults with ADHD as well. I hope you find some that work for you.
1. Use a clear over the door shoe holder in your room. Hang it behind your door and use it to collect the little clutter that usually ends up on the floor, behind dressers or under the bed. You will be able to see immediately what is in the organizer and it will make keeping your room neater much easier.
2. Use and organizer, date book or PDA to keep track of your responsibilities and what you need to accomplish.
3. Write a things to do list each night for what needs to be accomplished the following day.
4. Take a few moments to organize your schoolwork after your homework is completed. Make this a part of your homework.
5. If you are a “keeper” and tend to keep all papers and leave them in piles around your room, use a cardboard box (small enough to fit under your bed) to keep all of them. This way you have them available if you need them, but out of the way.
6. Evaluate your day and determine if there are certain items that you are always looking for. Are you always losing your keys? Pens? Find a spot to put them in each day and force yourself to do so until it becomes a habit. Use a laundry basket that stays by your door. Place everything you need for school the following day into it. In the morning you can grab everything in it without having to think about what you might need.
7. Have one set area in your room for personal items such as cologne, perfume, make up, deodorant, etc. Keeping them in one area will make it easier each day to find them and get ready on time.
8. Plan ahead. Decide what courses you will need in order to complete your high school education and make a list of them. Keep this list and tape it to the back of your door. Use it so that you have a set goal and can continue to work toward it, staying focused instead of picking courses haphazardly.
9. Have a place for everything. One teenager used several small laundry baskets lined up in his room. He used one for work, one for school, one for personal. Each day he threw whatever he needed, work clothes or school books into the appropriate basket. Although he never worried about keeping everything neat, he ended up with his items in a place he could easily retrieve them.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.