The internet is full of organization methods and ways to make your home look neat and pretty. They say everything should have a place and be tucked away until you need it. But for ADHD brains, the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is extra true. ADHD affects object permanence, which the American Psychological Association defines as “knowledge of the continued existence of objects even when they are not directly perceived.” So, if you put something in a solid-colored bin in your closet with the door closed, you’ll probably forget it exists… at least until you’re rummaging through that bin for something else and stumble upon it. This is where your mess saves the day.
A desk like this is not the enemy! Look at all those visual reminders!
You’re able to see your things! When you see them, you remember to use them. You also remember what to use them for. Maybe you see a notebook sitting out on your desk. Perfect! Now that notebook won’t sit untouched for months. But maybe seeing the notebook also reminds you to make a grocery list. Now you’ve accomplished a task, too!
Things can have a place and still be visible. You can use things like clear bins, open shelves, or even labeled drawers. You can put your notebook on your desk, but leave it open so you can see your work. You can use a planner without a cover. You can do whatever you want.
Trying to force your brain to organize the way someone else is telling you to is never going to work perfectly. No two brains are the same. The key is to find a method that is easy and efficient for you.
Maybe that means having three junk drawers. Maybe it means leaving your planner on the kitchen counter. Whatever your system is, it’s okay! The only thing you shouldn’t do is beat yourself up for not following someone else’s pretty, seemingly perfect system. All that does is create shame. And you don’t deserve that!