How I use minimalism to help with my ADHD

My main principle is when I own/have only a few things, then I have less to worry about regarding cleaning and maintenance.

Identify your clutter:

Clutter isn’t always physical. There are many different types of clutter in our lives to consider.

  • Digital Clutter, on our phones and computers or any digital device and it’s many parts
  • Financial/Debt/Payment Tax Clutter – paperwork, in apps, automatic payments, different accounts, separate services for multiple things
  • Task clutter – piled on with amount of things in our day
  • Abandoned project clutter – Stuff we hoard whether mentally or physically for hyper fixations of the past
  • Responsibility/Obligation clutter – doing more than your share or capabilities
  • Junk/Recycle clutter – actually discarding what needs to be let go
  • Essential clutter – too much is actually enough, buy stuff as you need it instead of squirreling
  • Clothing – one of the largest amount of clutter people can have for no reason
  • Food – food you don’t eat or use often
  • Electronics – hoarding parts and bits for things that you never use but hope to pass on or sell or similar one day
  • Paper – this includes books, magazines and keepsakes too
  • Stuff & Things – also known as dust collectors

Then I think, what is distracting me from achieving things in my physical and mental environment. Can I action or discard this? Is it taking a lot of commitment that is conflicting with my ADHD.

Environment/External accountability & thought processes can get cluttered with stuff too. All these items whatever form they are take up space needed to make decisions on what to do next which is at the core of life with ADHD.

Another way to discard is to write it down or to tell someone. Therapy helps too!

Overall Minimalism is also good practice for learning how to let go. There is a weight to everything, whether its burden of responsibility, financial/time tax. It all adds up, it helps to curb impulsivity if you are more fixated on the experience than displaying it. ADHDers are very good at living in the moment because of impulse, try applying rules of value to each process and see if it helps you make better decisions. What value does this add? Will I need to clean it? Display it? Does it have a place? Is there something else I actually _need_ that will also satisfy this urge to “buy” or “consume” etc right now?

Great ways to get started is to start putting things in the bin, clearing is a first good step. Get rid of what you know you can. What is the easiest thing to action right now?

Then a deep clean helps. I use this as an opportunity to discard more – often rearranging things helps me think freshly in my environment and finds better permanent homes for items which is turn helps my externally accommodate my ADHD better.

Is there a task I have the hardest time with? Laundry? Dishes? Is it the amount of literal clothes I own, how many dishes I have? Would halving those amounts help me get chores done in a way that is faster? Is there a step in each process that is making it hard to do?
Too many steps? Don’t have the right set up or tools? Focus on fixing these points and keeping the task simple is a good way that minimalism can help ease the burden of monotonous every day tasks.

ADHD and Minimalism isn’t about going without, it’s about simplifying our lives. Placing value on what we need versus having an excess of wants which can be more tasking on our ADHD. What might take up executive function which in turn tasks up time in other parts of our life, it can help us make some much stuff we find hard, easier to start or finish.


Published by Jenn has ADHD

Jenn Parker, New Zealand. ADHD Advocate and Peer.

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