The clothes were everywhere.

Despite my best efforts — which included, interchangably, nagging, reminding, insisting, or just cleaning them up myself — my husband managed to keep several surfaces in our bedroom covered with clothes. The top of his dresser was the worst: always concealed under a heap of shirts, jeans, and hoodies.

“But I’m going to wear them again,” he said when I pressed him to put them into the hamper or his drawers.

Sound familiar?

Many ADHD households struggle with clutter, and it’s not always the result of too much stuff. Sometimes the stuff is stored in a way that makes someone uncomfortable.

baskets

Our clothing mess was my first window into the world of visual thinkers: if something was on active duty, my husband felt considerable resistance to putting it away where he couldn’t see it.

So how did we tackle that resistance, here and in other hot spots in our home?

Baskets.

You can find attractive baskets just about anywhere: Target, craft stores, and IKEA, to name a few. Some are pricey, but the most affordable — usually plastic or metal, not wicker — can often be found in that little $1-$3 area just inside Target’s front door.

If stuff keeps collecting in the same spot, there’s a reason — and that reason isn’t likely to disappear. While legitimizing it with a pretty container may feel like letting the terrorists win, it’s not. It’s effective problem-solving, and it’s going to remove an unsightly clutter pile from your home forever.

Take a look at your home’s most junky surfaces: are your husband’s shaving supplies constantly strewn all over the bathroom counter? Clothes on the bedroom floor? Mail taking over the dining room table? Find a way to collect these items in a more visually appealing way — without moving them completely out of sight. For your visually-oriented spouse, out of sight may truly mean out of mind.

We now have a nice basket to store wear-again clothing in our bedroom, a toiletry bin on the back of the toilet (not in the medicine cabinet), and several more strategically placed baskets throughout the house.

Just one word of caution: make sure your baskets are single-purpose only, and police them regularly to make sure no stray items are sneaking in. Once the basket becomes a repository for junk, it’ll be all to easy to toss things in there rather than take a few seconds to figure out what to do with them.

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