Does getting organized seem hopeless to you? Most adults with Attention Deficit spend lots of energy worrying about disorganization. That’s why I want to share an easy idea to help you start clearing the clutter today. It’s the small step approach to getting organized with Adult ADHD.

If I’d paid more attention in school I could give you a pithy analogy from mythology class about the guy who could never stop pushing a rock up a hill. (Let’s get real. I have ADHD, so even if I had paid attention, I still wouldn’t remember the guy’s name.) The short form is he never made progress pushing that rock. He kept pushing it on and on.

If you struggle with Adult ADHD, getting organized makes you feel just like that guy in the myth with the rock. No matter how hard you try, you don’t make much progress. Even if you clean stuff up, the clutter reappears in a day or two.

Getting organized doesn’t have to be so hard, even if you have Attention Deficit. You’ve just got to know how to do it smarter.

Here’s a place to start. Do one small task to make your office or house look tidier.

I’m not talking about a big organizing job. Pick one tiny action that will help you feel more organized and do it every day.

Your action has to be easy and it has to be small. If it’s too big it will become a huge chore and you won’t do it.

Here are some suggestions for taking small steps to get organized with Adult ADHD:

  • Pop your toothbrush and tooth paste back in the drawer after you use it.
  • Squeeze out the sponge and put it at the edge of the kitchen sink.
  • Hang up your bath towel when you get out of the shower instead of dropping it on the floor.
  • Put those pens and pencils littering your desk in a pencil cup.
  • Close cupboards and drawers instead of leaving them gaping open.
  • Line up all those shoes piled by the front door.

I can hear you laughing now. If you have ADHD you know how hard it is to do something consistently. Believe me. I totally understand your challenge.

But what’s your choice? Do nothing and you will continue to live at the disorganized, impulsive whim of your Adult ADHD.

Pick one small organizing step and focus on doing it each day. After a few days when your small step feels like a habit, add another tiny task.

Imagine the difference when eventually, every day, you’re taking five small, meaningful steps to make your home and office look and feel more organized.

Sure there’s lots more you’ll need to do to get organized. You’ve gotta start somewhere, and taking small steps to get organized with Adult ADHD is as good a place as any.

About Dana Rayburn

Dana Rayburn, author of the Organized for Life ebook, is an IAAC Senior Certified ADHD Coach dedicated to helping adults with ADD / ADHD get organized and live more successful and satisfying lives. Read free articles and useful tips for living more easily with Attention Deficit at


  1. Dana,

    LOVE the practical, simple and easy tips. Setting ultra-realistic goals is crucial. I even like to set “opposite” goals by flipping your goals on their head. For example, instead of saying, “I’m only going to watch TV three nights a week.” You can say “I’ll cut out TV at least once a week.”

    Also, the simplest things can go so far. I have a problem with hanging up clothes…especially pants. I noticed that stores never hang pants. They use the racks. So I got a rack for my closet, and now I can just fold up my jeans and put them on the rack.

    Seems petty but my room is a lot cleaner, and this makes a big difference when, for example, trying to convince myself to vacuum!