It’s the time of year we all look forward to most: spring cleaning with ADHD. Spring makes us think of renewal and starting over. Flowers start to bloom, the sun comes out earlier and stays out late, and warmth and brightness fill our days. As a result of this yearly renewal, we also want to revamp our interiors and shake out the dust a little. Hence, the great yearly purge in life that we call spring cleaning.
For people with ADHD, spring cleaning can come as a mixed blessing. You might want to have a clean home, but you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed by all that needs to happen. Alternatively, you might simply not know where to begin and feel stressed by the idea of trying to sort it all out.
If you find yourself in this situation or something similar, then this post is for you. In this article, we want to provide some fail proof strategies for spring cleaning with ADHD. Use these tips as a place to begin this year when you set about to refresh your home and yard.
1. Start with a List
To do spring cleaning with ADHD right you absolutely must start with a list. People with ADHD tend to lose track of what they are working on if they don’t have anything to keep them focused. Hence, the disorganization that most ADHD people struggle with regularly makes having a list for any large project a necessity.
Spring cleaning should really involve most every area of your house both inside and out. Since you have so much space to conquer, you really need to make a list of each area you need to attend to and what needs to be done. You should start your list with objectives you most want to get done. Then add other items to your list as you walk through your house.
After you have a list of rooms and chores, next transfer that list to a calendar or schedule of when you want to accomplish each item. Use your list and calendar then to provide the structure for your spring cleaning with ADHD. You need structure for any task, especially a large cleaning project. Any time you start to feel distracted or discouraged, remember your list and schedule and go back to them for structure and support.
2. Don’t Shoot for the Moon
Where many spring cleaning with ADHD plans fall apart is when we bite off way more than we can chew. People with ADHD tend not to always have the best success with goals. The bigger the goal, the more likely you might face failure if you don’t have the right support. To avoid the failure of trying projects too large to finish, you need to set your sites on reasonable objectives.
For instance, you cannot reasonably expect to re-roof your house, paint the exterior and interior, and install a new fence in one spring season. If you tried to attempt all of these projects, more likely than not, you won’t accomplish any of them. Instead of finding success, you will feel overwhelmed by the pressure and anxiety of what you have to do that you won’t even get started.
Instead of going for too high objectives, keep it simple. You should plan to accomplish at the most one large objective each season. If you have several helpers who want to take on other projects, you can add another project, but you would be better off sticking to just one big goal. Once you have the one large objective in your mind, focus on smaller maintenance projects for other areas of your home.
3. Start with The Hardest Job First
Another simple tip to make sure that you follow through on all of your spring cleaning with ADHD goals is to tackle your hardest job right at the outset. This can be your largest project, or simply the project that you least look forward to doing. You have the most energy and enthusiasm at the beginning of your cleaning project. This means that you can harness that early enthusiasm to get rid of the worst or hardest objectives without wanting to quit.
If you leave the worst or hardest jobs to last, you will run out of steam before getting finished with your goals. Even with having a list and keep your goals manageable, if you have a job that you dread doing, if you keep it until last you probably won’t finish it. Frustrations, exhaustion, and even boredom can easily lead your attention away to anything other than doing what you would most rather not do. To avoid failing right at the end, get the worst of the spring cleaning out of the way at the very start.
4. Reward Yourself
While we’re talking about running out of steam, we should go over the importance of rewarding yourself. All work with no rest or relaxation can lead anyone to get burnt out. When it comes to spring cleaning with ADHD, you have to remember to reward yourself for all the hard work you do.
This can be particularly important as many times our spring cleaning happens on the weekend, days when we normally would relax. If you work during the week and then clean and work on projects over the weekend, you won’t ever have an opportunity to rest both your mind and body. As you put together your list and schedule of chores set aside specific time for doing something you enjoy.
For instance, for each area of your home that you finish working on, you can reward yourself with a meal out or a night with friends. Alternatively, for each workday you plan, you can set a schedule of only working to a certain time. After that time, give yourself the rest of the day off and do something just to relax.
Rewards help you keep moving towards your overall objective. They help remind you of why you want to finish the projects in the first place. Finally, they also help remind you to maintain a healthy balance in all you do. While work is important so is rest and play. Be sure that you plan for each in your ADHD daily routine.
5. Spread the Cleaning Out
The next simple but effective tip for spring cleaning with ADHD is simply to spread the cleaning out. At the beginning of a project, we have all the energy in the world and want to accomplish everything all at once. Once spring hits and the weather changes for the better, we feel like we can conquer anything and in no amount of time.
The issue we run into, though, is that we actually don’t have the energy and time to do everything all at once. No matter how much you may want to get your spring cleaning all accomplished in a weekend or two, you shouldn’t try it. Instead of finding success, you more than likely will run into discouragement. Most of us simply can’t finish all of our spring cleaning in a short amount of time. Again, if you try, you might introduce unnecessary stress into your project, which complicates your ADHD symptoms.
Instead you need to look at spring cleaning as a longer process over a month or two. You can even take a few weeks or weekends off. After all, your home is always going to be there to follow up with and do more cleaning later.
When you first sit down to make your list for spring cleaning, also make a calendar over at least a month. Assign each item and area of your house for a separate day or weekend. This way, you can spread out the chores and still build in time to take a break each weekend or weekday.
6. Get a Partner and Share the Load
You can improve almost anything you work on by working on it with a friend. When it comes to spring cleaning with ADHD, a friend can really help out in taking out your biggest projects. Furthermore, sharing your burden of cleaning with friends or family can help hold you accountable to accomplishing your goals.
However you look at it, in most any circumstance, you increase your likelihood of success by sharing your workload and having someone check in on your progress. People with ADHD get distracted easily. If no one follows up with you to see how you’re progressing, your distractions will easily get the best of you. To keep this from happening, make sure you involve someone else in the process from the planning stage through to the execution.
The best people to help share the load would be people living in your home like your spouse or kids or roommates. Outside of that, though, you can also recruit friends or neighbors to help out. In thinking about working with friends, you might offer to help them with some home improvement projects in exchange for helping with your spring cleaning. This way, everyone can benefit, and everyone feels invested in seeing the projects succeed.
7. Consider Hiring Someone for the Larger Projects
As a final tip for success with spring cleaning with ADHD, we offer a concession. While we all like to think of ourselves as home improvement pros, the reality is usually far from our idealized version of ourselves. For some large projects, it really is best to throw in the towel and call in a professional to do the job.
This doesn’t mean that you get out of spring cleaning altogether. Instead, this should mean that you dedicate your time, resources, and energy to projects you know you can complete and get professional input on projects that simply are too large for your skill set.
Again, this advice goes back to the idea of biting off much more than you can chew. When we give ourselves tasks that we can’t accomplish ourselves or don’t know where to begin, we get frustrated. Frustration then leads to feelings of being overwhelmed, which ultimately ends in us giving up.
Instead of launching into that cycle, you need to really assess what projects you can effectively tackle. Anything outside your skill set, you need to consult with a professional to get the job done. In the end, you can accomplish more of what you want with spreading the work around as much as possible.
Tackling Spring Cleaning with ADHD No Matter the Distractions
Most of us want to clean and update our house. Every spring season, we feel the urge to launch out on large grandiose projects. Every spring season, though, we find ourselves in the familiar place of starting off with large ambitions to only quickly fizzle out and accomplish almost nothing.
Living with ADHD symptoms can be challenging. One common challenge for most people with ADHD is that they simply can’t follow through on getting their goals accomplished. You start to feel overwhelmed, or you quickly get distracted by easier tasks. Boredom and fatigue also pose problems. If you feel that you fail because of many of these things, then you shouldn’t lose hope.
Instead of approaching spring cleaning this year without any direction, you need to start with a plan. You need to build this plan around the seven simple strategies that we just went over. While many of these tips seem pretty straightforward, even small adjustments to how you approach your goals can make a substantial difference. Use these tips and strategies to find success with your spring cleaning goals this year. Start off right, follow through in the middle, and finish well with all of your cleaning objectives.