#ADHD: When Cleaning Causes Messes

Sometimes cleaning appears, at least temporarily, to makes things worse. This means one of two things – you just haven’t gotten far enough through the process to see to the other side yet, or you are cleaning a deep, deep pile that requires many stages of cleaning and defraying and restoration. Or both.

In both cases, the first thing I do, when I realize things look worse, is FREAK THE FUCK OUT.

Then I remind myself that “getting worse before getting better” is like, a THING that happens sometimes when you clean.

This is when I either come up with a crafty excuse for walking away from the task “temporarily” or remember to do something else that involves walking away from the task or…or…I become obsessed with finishing the task at hand because OMG the piles, I can’t walk about them forever. I’m a little obsessed right now. See, sometimes it’s possible to be obsessed with the right thing, if it drives ya crazy enough!

A few weeks ago, I got a great idea – I was going to clean both of my sewing rooms, and I was also going to attack the several feet high pile of filing, that was stuffed into one of those sewing rooms. I also decided that I would salvage some picture frames at the local thrift store and finally hang up a bunch of stuff that needed to be hung up…in order to “make space” to put more things away.

These were all GREAT ideas. These great ideas are still in progress. Because when I started cleaning, I realized there were other places that needed cleaning, like our two boys’ bedrooms. Like, OMG. They needed to go through all of their toys, winnow the herd. We had to pull everything out, basically, in order to get everything back in.

Did I mention that we are also in the process of renovating our daughter’s room? Complete with a new paint job?

I’m sure you can imagine what our house looks like right now: A total clutter bomb. Except the dining room. And the CLEAN kitchen (the only room I feel I have any control over right now).

I made a classic ADHD blunder, of course…starting too many projects at once. And not only that, but I started them without boxes on hand. I need the boxes so that we can actually box up the clutter and GET RID OF IT. You see, if you don’t have boxes, that shit just piles up.

I have a Master’s Degree in Library Science. A whole degree in organizing things: And I forgot boxes. I guess it would have helped if I actually started any of this with a PLAN. A plan would have been nice. If I’d planned I would have had whole spreadsheets on how to make it happen, and who and when, and color coding, and…

Tonight, I go pick up boxes. One of the batches of boxes, appropriately enough, is coming from another friend with ADHD. Ha!

I cannot wait to throw that stuff into boxes, stick it all in my car, then avoid dropping it all off anywhere until I realize one day that I have to stick the kids in the car to go somewhere. Ahhhhh, that will be grand.

Look…the end result is a de-cluttered house. I can flog myself over the “how” if I really want to, but I’m not going to. Next time I’ll try to remember to get the boxes first. And maybe have a plan. But tonight I will have boxes and will put them in my car and will get to enjoy many, many cleared square feet of space in my home.

Oh, the joy 🙂


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