Organize the ADHD Child’s Bedroom: Help the ADD Child Simplify and Maintain Her Things

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Summer schedules can include bedroom reorganization for the child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Reducing the number of items to keep organized and having a system for maintaining the organization can help the child with ADHD feel less overwhelmed.

Simplify the Number of Items

It is true that the greater number of things someone has to take care of, the longer it will take to do it. This is true even for the most organized person. If the person is a child with ADHD the task of organization most often is overwhelming.

The child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is easily distracted. Putting an object in its place seems simple, but if there are many things to look at or do, it is likely that the item will be left anywhere between point A and point B.

With only the basics (clothing, shoes, self-care items, study tools, and toys/games) the process of keeping a room organized is easier. Although the items listed seem like the basics, each of the categories can quickly get over-run with the extra, unneeded item. Consider shoes. Perhaps the child has flip flops, tennis shoes, sandals, and dress shoes for summer. Winter boots and school shoes should be stored elsewhere until the calendar changes.

Label and Arrange Possessions

Pictures or cards can be placed in drawers to help the child keep the stored items orderly. Small sticker dots can be used to show where dresser top items should be. The place that items will be stored should be closest to the area where they will be used. School items should be kept near the desk. Brush, comb, hair accessories should be kept near a mirror.

Maintain the Organization

Keeping up with the plan is as important as cleaning and organizing. Working with the child to establish a regular schedule to “clean” the room by putting items back in place is critical. It is most important, however, to get in the habit of putting those things away as soon as they are used.

Some children with ADHD benefit from a type of thinking out loud. In other words, the child is holding a wet towel. The parent can think out loud for the child. A wet towel can hurt my carpet. It needs to go in the bathroom (laundry basket, bathroom). If the think-aloud is repeated often, it will more likely become automatic thinking for the child.

It goes without saying that setting a good example helps. Resisting the urge to put something down for just a minute can help the parent demonstrate organization skills. It is always more effective to implement the practice of showing the organization than just talking about it.