Organizing Spaces for the ADHD Mind: How to Optimize Your Wellness

Spring is time where I utilize the surge of energy that typically comes about during this time of year where the signs of Winter have begun to dissipate. It’s also the time where I tend to purge and tackle the corners and baskets of things I have acquired over the months, which can be significant as a busy career woman who just so happens to be diagnosed with adult ADHD.

Home organization is a skill that can be learned by anyone at any time, however it took years for me to understand its purpose in my life outside the of the obvious benefits of a well organized home. Sure, its great to know where to find things, and lets not forget the aesthetics of it all where people have capitalized on it like The Gals of Home Edit who had a YouTube Series thanks to Reese Witherspoon.

Check Out Other Series: 9 Shows That Will Help You Be More Organized

And while these are popular I often feel like its easier said than done if you don’t have an ADD/ADHD mind. You see ADHD is a spectrum disorder that manifests through the eight executive processes of the brain:

  1. flexible thinking
  2. working memory
  3. self-monitoring
  4. task initiation
  5. planning
  6. organization
  7. impulse control
  8. and emotional control.

Basically, the executive functions of the brain help you plan, organize, and complete tasks.

If you have ADHD, and are trying to organize your home, it’s likely that you are struggling with one (or more) of these executive functions, which makes home organization especially challenging. Challenging, but not impossible. These processes at any point in my day are activated, and consequently working to grab hold of the the reigns, often switching direction. at the drop of a hat

So not only is it important that I nurture good habits such as scheduling my days; often down to minute detail in order to stay productive and on top of things, I also need the order visually to get it all done. But there are only so many hours in the day, and lets not forget we need to allow time to live and have a good time. This was mentioned in Attitude Magazine-Inside the ADHD MIND, where JUDITH KOLBERG suggests to Ditch perfectionism when organizing one’s home.

Judith states “I have not researched the link between perfectionism and ADHD, but I have seen it many times. Perfectionism appears to exacerbate executive function deficits. If I have two clients with the same ADHD symptoms, and one is a perfectionist, it is harder for the perfectionist to get organized. Start a project with the understanding that perfection is not the goal, progress is.”

While I am guilty of getting fairly hyper-focused on a task at hand, the fruits of those tasks can help to decrease the anxiety that comes along with feeling flustered or chaotic in my brain. This is not true for all as everyone is different, and perhaps do better with an entirely different strategy to mitigate the spiraling that can occur in our busy minds.

For myself mornings are particularly important as I need to physically and mentally set the tone for the course of my crazy day in the world of Child Protection Social Work. At any point in my day, it can take a drastic turn, whether I have a pile of new assignments, an emergency apprehension, court appearance, or stuck in a snow bank on the side of rural road with no cell service. So if at 7am my blood pressure soars through the roof because I can’t find that one pair of pants that goes with the boots that I’ve already decided upon were going to make me the Boss Ass Bitch I need to be that day. It could be, and has been my unravelling all before I’ve even managed to eat my Cheerios.

This weekend I planned on Working Out, Cooking a Good Meal, Going to Home Depot, Fencing in My Garden Beds, Taking the Dog for a Walk, Maybe See a Friend, and Planting my Herb Garden. Oh…and Write a Blog. What I actually did was a mish mash of a few of these things, some half done, as new shinier options presented themselves. Who knew all it would take was the need to make more space under my sink for my dollar store haul. And if wasn’t for the repeated explosion of make up sponges, costco size q-tips, and every self tanning bronzer known to man under there falling out, I’d think it was time for a purge.

So as I added more stuff to my hidden stock pile lair, it was a reminder that if I can’t see it, I think I need it, and often forget I already have it most likely by the dozen. Let me remind you that the ADHD mind is forgetful as all hell, so its no wonder I forgot the treasures that were unearthed. It felt like Christmas again, in fact much of my Christmas stocking stuffers were still in there unopened and neglected. As I mentioned before, having things in front of me in a way that corresponds with the sequences in my mind makes things more streamlined.

Lets start with a couple spaces I tackled today, and see if you can relate!

Cosmetics

  1. Dump it all out & Clean Them– Not only will they look better once you put them back, but think about the oils, bacteria, and just overall grime that build up on items that get tossed in your purse often. I know my lids get the gucked up mess on them, random hair, sand, and lord knows what else caked at the base of the lids. Don’t be that person that grows a knew mutant strain of mouth herpes on their lip gloss.
  2. Clean Your Brushes– I know we shouldn’t be having this discussion by now but besides bacteria, brushes also accumulate dead skin cells and oil, which can clog your pores and lead to dull or broken out skin. Clean brushes apply makeup better. Even the best makeup can become streaky and patchy when applied with a dirty brushClean bristles will assure a smoother application.
  3. Proper Cosmetic Storage/Organizers– While you are on a disinfecting streak by now don’t forget to Clean Your Storage/Acrylic Cases too, and perhaps you need more if you find your stuff overflowing. I like to not only organize my cosmetics by type but also by size as to ensure I can fully see all that I have available to me. This is important again for the ADHD mind like mine as I forget often what I have unless it is directly in front of me. Some may say, why have to many options then, and I say MInd Your Business.
  4. Get Rid of What You Don’t Use– This goes for samples, palettes with obnoxious colors that may work for a YouTuber or Make-Up Artist. But if you are like myself, I stick to a pretty basic look, and stay in my lane when it comes to being adventurous with make up and my limited talents. That’s not to say others won’t love some of those impulse buys (another ADHD trait). I’m an Ipsy Subsrciber who has somehow not been able to figure out how to cancel my subscription for two years. Which has left me with an abundance of small make up bags that I like to fill with the make up I don’t use, or didn’t like. Once cleaned/disinfected they make great little gifts for the teens I work with, or alternatively cool donations for Women’s Shelters, Trans-gendered Programming, or Outreach Centers.
Final Product

Closet SPace

  1. Switch Out Seasonal Items– I personally do not have a Kardashian Sized Closet Space, however my shopping habits would suggest otherwise. Which is why its even more important to make room and space in my closet to reacquaint myself with the Spring/Summer Clothing I have before I decide to go buy more. It also helps me get rid of stuff too that perhaps is on its last days, or has seen brighter days. I may have been too distracted to notice a stain on it when it went into hibernation or a hole that needed mending. So when one is reacqainted again we can assess its current status as in Keep, Donate, or Toss.
  2. Assess What Basics You Are Missing -These are the core element of almost every outfit, and because they get worn a lot, prepare your wardrobe with your fave go to’s like my personal favorite, the Alix NYC Essex Bodysuit in a few essential colors. You can stack an outfit on top of these staple items whereby I’m often using my busy mind as I shower to organize the next step of my morning.
  3. Color Wheel Your Clothing/Accessories– Maybe its from all the years of working in retail, but there is an element of pleasure attached with the synchronization of colors. Much how we respond fondly to a rainbow when we see it in the sky, I get the same Dopamine response to rainbow in my closet. Not only that, but when I need a black shirt, my visual orientation isn’t pulled in 20 different directions. My ability to make a decision is made much more simpler when I can see what it is I’m looking for in that moment before it may be pulled in another direction that could very well turn into a pile of clothes on the middle of my floor and a layer of stress sweat forming under my boobs.

Hopefully you found this helpful, or at least relatable- You are not alone in that crazy head of yours. If you liked this post make sure you like, comment and share!

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PLANNING OUTFITS IN ADVANCE WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE: 8 Benefits that Will Make the Difference

☁️ Spoiled Princess ☁️ | Spoiled quotes, Quotes, Queen quotes

Let me begin with saying that this Chica misses getting dressed for the office as I have been a part of the millions who are now working from home for the most part. While my job still requires me to leave my home, it often doesn’t make much sense to carry out the full routine for only a short period of the day. Getting dressed up now is often coupled with comments from my boyfriend suggesting I either have a hot date or I’m meeting the girls for happy hour.

This is a comical considering neither have happened in far too long. *Ahem*

I am long over the initial online shopping frenzy of the early pandemic days when I had imagined coming out of the pandemic lockdown and sporting a new #ootd every day of the week in celebration of re-entering society. Those dreams are long gone, washed away along with the 28 inch waistline I intended to have by the end of the summer. As I sit here eating Nutella from a spoon wearing my boyfriends oversized Alabama Crimson Tide Sweater, paired with Monday’s Yoga Pants my sadness deepens. And not because my waistline isn’t 28 inches but rather 34 inches, but because the outfit does not reflect my creativity and personal style when it comes to expressing myself through fashion. I wish I could be as forgiving as the stretch in my Yoga Pants on the matter, but I simply cannot take this laying down any further.

Literally I cannot…I have bruised ribs from a Snowboarding Fall. Laying down hurts. And so does breathing.

This cracks me up and I'm thinking I will wear comfy clothes 24/7 now. Lol

I had intended on photographing more of my #ootd and I think we can call agree Yoga Pants will not cut it. I continue to watch and admire Instagram Feeds and admire the flow of beautiful content being produced and wonder how are you all staying so motivated? It often makes me feel like I’m living in parallel universe and I’m on the side of the fence where everything is going to shit. I’m not travelling anywhere in which would provide opportunities for exotic photo ops, and frolicking down a cute cobble stone road whimsically holding a basket of fresh flowers. There are no glamorous nights out capturing me in all my glory popping the Champagne; my perfectly outlined Chanel Red Lips beaming with Dom kissed elation. It’s Winter here in Calgary where I’d typically be sporting some beautiful knee high boots with rich sweater dresses and holiday sparkled ensembles. But things just aren’t happening in my world that would even warrant the kind of effort I typically have applied in the past to a Wine Wednesday evening out. In addition we as a Province just entered a State of Health Emergency so I’m really not going anywhere.

But I still managed on Sunday to get back into the habit of planning my outfits for my work week. This is something I used to do habitually which I feel has often made my life so much easier. There are so many benefits to laying out your outfits ahead of time.

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No description available.
  1. You get to sleep longer since you don’t have to mess about trying to find or put together an outfit. Who doesn’t love an extra 15-20 minutes of beauty sleep. Pre-planning outfits means you don’t have to think about what to wear after the alarm rings.
  2. You avoid Outfit Blunder Frustration that creates “Morning Stress”- Ever start your day upset because you cant find something to wear, cutting into your ability to stop at Starbucks drive thru. It just spirals down-hill from here. Why do another task in the morning when there is already so much to do? It can be a mad scramble getting you and your family out the door as it is. Don’t spend precious moments reconsidering what goes together, what is appropriate for the day’s activities and what is clean. Why empty your closet as you toss things about, trying to find where you put that nude-for-you camisole, or those shoes you thought you put in the bin under your bed? Alternatively, if you gather all the parts of your outfit the night before, you reduce that morning craziness.
  3. You Get Noticed-When you are well put together people appreciate the efforts you take. Confidence can be contagious. When you can put what you are wearing at the back of your mind, you feel happier about your clothes. If you are not irritated by the clothes you yanked on at the last minute, unhappy with the forced, early morning decisions you had to make, you will be more content with the clothing you already own. Stylish people look put-together. It’s easier to look put-together when you’ve spent some time and thought putting an outfit together. If increasing your stylishness is your goal, outfit planning is a sure-fire way to get there.
  4. You are more likely to wear things in your closet that have been tucked away gathering dust. Generally, we have a tendency to wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. This seems like a bit of a waste of clothes, dollars and closet space. Make a plan to figure out how to wear those items that you never seem to wear. Put your closet to work for you. You are less likely to feel like you have nothing to wear if you spend a few extra minutes building an outfit around some of the clothing items you haven’t been wearing.
  5. When you have a visual reminder of what you have you are far less likely to shop for things you already have, and saving your money!
  6. Finding new ways to wear things in your wardrobe can be so fun and provide you hours of music fueled entertainment during a time that we are spending much more time at home.
  7. Advertising your gift of style in your personal life as well as via social media could lead to side jobs like being a personal shopper, stylist, or closet consultant.
  8. Going through your closet allows you to get rid of stuff that is ready for donation and no longer serves purpose taking up space in your closet. As Marie Kondo would say “By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order.”

Above I have what I’d call a Casual Friday Outfit that’s ready for the Happy Hour Girls that keep it going long after Happy Hour is done. I like that you can either strip the blouse and wear the body suit with some high waisted booty hugging jeans, or strip the body suit and wear a sexy black bra under the floral blouse for an equally seductive look.

Above I can mix and match jackets, tops, pants and shoes. I’m in love with a Chanel inspired look that again can shed layers interchangeably.

Tips on How to Make It Happen

  • When you are putting together an outfit, think about using a completer piece. Pick out the completer piece first and build the outfit around it.
  • Some will pick out their shoes first and build the outfit around them. Shoes do a great job of setting the tone for what you will wear. Also, shoes are one closet item that bring a lot of people closet joy.
  • If you plan your outfit ahead, you are more likely to wear accessories. Accessories go a long way to looking stylishly put-together. Accessories are like the icing on the cake. It’s hard to ice a cake when you’re eating bites of breakfast in between blowdrying and demands to sign permission forms.

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