Podcast Episode #4: Tidying Up

I thought I hated Marie Kondo’s Netflix show, Tidying Up, but I’ve changed my mind. Find out which of Marie’s tricks we ADHDers can use as we attempt to declutter our homes. If you’ve got piles everywhere, this episode is for you. The clutter is a constant struggle, isn’t it? It is for me!

[00:00:00] Welcome to the I Have ADHD Podcast where it’s all about education, encouragement, and coaching for adults with ADHD. I’m your host, Kristen Carder and I have ADHD.

Let’s chat about the frustrations, humor, and challenges of adulting, relationships, working, and achieving with this neurodevelopmental disorder. I’ll help you understand your unique brain, unlock your potential and move from “point a to point b.”

Hello! You are listening to episode number four of the I Have ADHD Podcast. I’m your host, Kristen Carder and I am absolutely freezing today. It is a cold and rainy day here in Pennsylvania. I just put on another sweater. Um, that would make two sweaters that I’m wearing right now. I have a candle [00:01:00] burning a cup of coffee sitting next to me that I can’t drink while I’m I’m recording this, but it makes me feel good to have it.

It makes me feel warmer just to look at the cup of coffee, knowing that it is warm today, we are going to do. All about the show, tidying up. Have you seen it? It apparently is all the rage right now. It’s on Netflix. Um, it is Marie Kondo, who is an organizational expert and she goes into people’s homes that are.

D they’re very cluttered and she helps them to go through their stuff. And declutter, now, listen, this podcast episode was going to be about how I did not like the show and how I just think it’s ridiculous. And her methods are ridiculous. Um, she has some. Uh, things that she does, that I tried watching the show and I was like, woman, I do not understand what is happening.

Um, she’s [00:02:00] very sweet and kind and gentle. The show moves very slowly. There are subtitles, which means you can’t be looking at your phone or on social media while you’re watching. So you actually have to pay attention. It might not be the best fit for ADHD. However, I decided to Google the show and do some reading about it before working on this podcast episode.

And do you know what I learned? The reason why Marie Kondo tells people to talk to their stuff and say, thank you to their things is likely because of the Japanese Shinto mindset. At least that’s what Havington post. Margaret Dillaway wrote in her recent article. Now here’s what Margaret Dillaway says.

She says it’s cultural to imbue objects with a sort of dignity, Japanese culture, like any is not monolithic, but the expectation to respect where you live and work and. Other people [00:03:00] is ingrained into many Japanese households that practice Shinto traditions, treasuring what you have treating the objects you own as not disposable, but valuable, no matter their actual monetary worth and creating displays so that you can value each individual object are all essentially Shinto ways of living.

Even if you don’t have this space for shelves of books or can’t afford a dresser with. Drawers make what you have work for you instead of being unhappy that you don’t have more. Now, hello? Why didn’t they just tell us this information at the beginning of the show? Why isn’t this woven throughout the entire show now?

Um, truthfully, I only watched one episode because honestly it’s all that I could handle. But knowing that it’s about being thankful and valuing what you have [00:04:00] rather than treating it as John. That makes the entire show so much more valuable to me because it is classically ADHD to have a lot of clutter.

We have a hard time organizing, which means that our lives are often in disarray. We have a hard time prioritizing, which means we’re not really sure what needs to be kept and what needs to be tracked. And we have a hard time doing things that we don’t like to do for a lot of us. This will include cleaning or going through closets every time the seasons change or organizing.

So many of us ADHD is, do live with a lot of clutter, a lot of piles, a lot of overflowing drawers and closets, a lot of doors to cabinets that we can’t close. And for most of us, this just adds to our distracted and scattered lifestyle. It does make it hard for us to truly [00:05:00] rest. And it surely makes it hard to find things like your keys.

Now, one thing that Marie does really, really well is she teaches families to think intentionally about their stuff. Now, as people with ADHD, we’re not good at thinking intentionally. Anything are we, that is a practice that we really need to ingrain into our lives to be intentional. So what if you walked around your home and you asked yourself these questions, why do I have each object in this home?

Why is my counter covered in piles? Why do I have a closet full of clothes that I don’t wear? Or why do my kids have closets full of clothes that they don’t wear? Why do I have a basement full of stuff that I’m probably never going to use? And why don’t I have a place [00:06:00] or a home for each item that I own.

I want to invite you to start asking these questions as you move about your home and then Allah Marie Kondo, each time you touch an object, ask yourself, does this spark joy? Now she asked that question a lot. And if you’re a dude, I’m really sorry. It’s probably going to sound a little feminine, but honestly do all of the tools that you have really bring you joy, do all of the different flashlights or shoes or magazines that you have really make you happy when you see them or do they bring you anxiety because they’re just cluttering up your space.

Another question that I would love to add is does this serve a purpose? When I touch an item in my home, I want to make sure that it’s purposeful. Now this question it’s important. It’s not will this thing maybe serve a [00:07:00] purpose someday and it’s not, could it possibly serve a purpose? Down the road. No, no, no.

The question is, does it serve a purpose today on a daily basis or on a weekly basis, or even if you want to go pretty far, have you even used it in the last month now? I truly believe that you do not have to be a person of privilege in order to have things around you, that I’m doing air quotes, you can’t see them spark joy.

It’s not about having expensive things. It’s about having meaningful and purposeful things. I think that we, ADHD years usually live with a hefty amount of anxiety and what we don’t realize, or at least I didn’t realize until recently is how much angst our stuff brings us. And Maria is right. We should be grateful for what we have.

We should have things that are purposeful and not just [00:08:00] piles of junk. Uh, Hey, I wanted to pop in here just for a second to let you know that this episode is brought to you by my brand new website, I have adhd.com. I designed this site for adults, with ADHD who feel a little lost and are looking for some direction.

On it, you’ll find free resources, a link to my Facebook community and a roadmap to help you move from point a to point B. Remember I’m not a doctor, a psychologist or a psychiatrist. I’m just a person with ADHD who has figured out how to achieve my goals and live successfully with this disorder. And I’m convinced that you can too, so make sure to check out I have adhd.com.

Okay. So I admit it. I have totally changed my tune about the show tidying up. I think it’s really valuable. I think Marie Kondo has some wonderful ideas and I [00:09:00] love the tradition of the Shinto mindset. I love it. I think it’s so amazing. To consider everything in your home and make sure that it has value and purpose and that it brings you joy.

However, if you, my friends listening truly have ADHD, I don’t think you’re going to have the patience for the show. I just don’t, it’s not a very fast moving show. Like I said, there are subtitles, which are great. If you are totally. But for me, by the time that I get to watch TV at nine o’clock at night, I want to half look at my phone and go on social media.

And I want to half watch a show and I went to half talk to my husband and I want to drink a half a glass of wine. Those are my only priorities. That’s all I want out of life at the end of the day. And so if I’m having to give my full focus to a show, that’s moving very, very slowly not going to happen.

Okay. Let’s take some of Marie Kondo’s principles and apply them to decluttering our life. [00:10:00] Here we go. Number one, we have to realize that we have too much stuff. So how do you know if you have too much stuff, if you can’t find a specific place for everything that you have. Then you have too much stuff.

Now I live in a small house. We have under 1800 square feet for five people. So I know what it’s like to feel like you’re busting at the seams in your own home. I know what it’s like to have drawers that overflow or clauses that won’t close. I get that, but if my stuff does not fit in my home, Then I need less stuff.

Okay. So I acknowledge that and I am, I actually love to throw things out and I love to declutter. So that’s not too hard for me. Usually it’s just the time and effort that it takes to get it done. So once we realize that we have too much stuff, once, once we acknowledge it, we have to ask ourselves, why, why do I have all of this stuff?[00:11:00]

If we don’t figure out why we keep buying things and cluttering up our home, we’ll just going to continue to fill it up over and over again. So it doesn’t matter how many times we declutter. We’re just going to bring more stuff in. Right. So let’s deal with the why behind it a little bit first. Now some of us buy things to make ourselves feel better about life.

So sure you can declutter, but if your habit is to purchase stuff, when you’re sad, then the next time you’re saying. You’re just going to buy more stuff. Okay. So that’s kind of like a heart issue that needs to be worked on a little bit. May I suggest a counselor, a therapist? I think it’s lovely to talk to a friend about, okay.

When I’m sad, I buy things. I need to realize that and I need to stop. Maybe you’re just not intentional. And you never really thought about all of the things that you have. That makes total sense because. Thinking intentionally does not come naturally for an ADHD ear. So if you [00:12:00] are all the sudden looking around your house and saying, oh my word, I never realized how much stuff I have.

I never realized that I have four ice cream. Scoopers I never realized that I have 27 towels that we actually don’t use, but they’re taking up all of the space in my linen closet and making my life crazy because I can’t fit anything else into my linen closet because of these stupid towels. Use that’s a problem.

Right. But that’s totally understandable because we suck at being intentional and thinking intentional about our lives. It just is what it is. And it’s not too late to start. Okay. So we can just start to. Maybe another reason why you have too much stuff is because you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Now I hate the Joneses. Like it is so annoying, especially if you live in America to have this culture of comparison, we all struggle with this, but I want to invite you [00:13:00] to enjoy the things that you have. And be happy for other people about the things that they have. There’s really no need to compete.

That is an internal battle that you can just totally lay down your sword and stop fighting. You do not need to compete with anyone. Your happiness is your own prerogative. The things that you choose to be excited about are on you. You do not need to compare or compete with anyone. It’s a terrible reason to clutter up your home.

Okay. So we’ve acknowledged that we have too much stuff and hopefully we’ve dug a little deeper and tried to get to the bottom of why we have so much stuff. So now it’s time to tidy the F up. So we’re going to start small. We’re going to go to one location of the home. Maybe it’s just one pile or one drawer or one basket.

And we’re going to take two trash bags with us. One trash bag is [00:14:00] going to be for trash and another trash bag is going to be four items that we’re going to give away, like donate to a homeless shelter or donate to Goodwill. So we’re going to go through the pile or basket or drawer. And the first thing we’re going to do, this is the easiest step.

Get rid of the trash, any trash in there. Get rid of it. That is the easiest, easiest, and best place to start. Okay, so we’ve gotten rid of the trash, but now we need to figure out what are we going to keep? Now, this is really hard, and I really want you to consider that your key pile should probably be your smallest pile.

If you are someone who has a lot of stuff in your home, your keep pile. When you’re cleaning out a drawer or a closet or a basket should probably be the smallest pile. So we’ve gotten rid of trash. Now we need to figure out. To keep. Alright, so I want you to pick up every item and ask yourself, do I use this [00:15:00] when’s the last time that I used it?

If you can’t remember the last time you used it, chances are you do not need it. If you haven’t used it in the last month, I beg you to get rid of it. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of what if I need it someday? What if I can use it someday? The thing is for most of us, That someday never comes. And we end up keeping things that we really don’t need and never ever use.

So if someday does come, you can probably buy a new one, honestly. Okay. But if you haven’t used it in the last month, I really want to encourage you to get rid of it. The other question that you’re going to ask yourself when you pick up each item is Marie’s question of, does this spark joy? Does this make me happy?

Not only do I use it, but does it make me happy? Is it something [00:16:00] that I like? Is it something that I. Seeing in my home. Now, obviously there are things in our home that we need to keep whether or not it makes us happy. Right? I mean, that just is what it is, but maybe we don’t need to keep 40 spatulas. Maybe we only need to keep two.

Maybe we don’t need to keep 75 pair of shoes. Maybe we just need. 20. So think about it in the context of how much of this item, how many of this item do I actually need to keep, let me choose my favorites and keep those that’s a great way to cut down on the volume of stuff in your home. So if an item doesn’t have a purpose, it doesn’t have a home in your home and it doesn’t bring you joy.

Get rid of it, just get rid of it. If it’s trash, put it in the trash, if it has value and it’s nice donate. Now side note here, homeless shelters and [00:17:00] Goodwill. They do not want your trash. If you have an item that is trash, just put it in the trash. Okay. Don’t make Goodwill, put it in the trash for you so that you can feel better about not throwing stuff out.

We need to get comfortable with throwing things away. If it doesn’t have a purpose, if it really is junky and gross, throw it away. If you need permission, here it is. I’m giving it to you. My hand is outstretched for you. You have permission to throw items in your home away that do not serve a purpose that are kind of junky and old and gross, and that don’t bring you joy.

Okay. So those are the best ways to declutter our home, to go through piles and drawers and closets, pick up one item at a time and say, Does this serve a purpose in my home? Have I used it in the last month? And do I like it? [00:18:00] Does it bring me joy? If the answer to those questions are no, it does not serve a purpose.

I have not used it and it doesn’t bring me joy. I beg you to get rid of it. This is the only way that we are going to get rid of all this stuff in our home. I’m actually a huge. Fan of Marie Kondo’s method. It is absolutely beautiful to look around your home and value every single item that you have to know that each item serves a purpose and each item maybe is meaningful, or each item brings you joy in a way that it’s just beautiful and it adds to your home.

Aesthetic. It’s really important that we begin to change our mindset about our stuff. Why do we think it’s okay to have piles and clutter and junk all around? Maybe we need to start valuing ourselves a little bit more and making sure that we’re living in an environment that’s [00:19:00] relaxing and inviting and allows us to really truly feel at home.

And at rest, I invite you friend to start looking around your home and asking yourself what. Can you get rid of what can you donate and what do you really, truly treasure and want to keep it’ll change your life? I know that it’s changed my life. That’s it for today. Thank you so much. I cannot wait to talk to you again next week.

Hey, it’s Kristin. If you’re enjoying this podcast, would you do me a huge favor and leave a review? The best way to get the word out about the podcast is to leave a review so that the algorithm of iTunes or Google play or Stitcher sees that it’s valuable content and shows. Other people it’s estimated that roughly 5% of American adults have been diagnosed with ADHD.

That means that there are over 16 million of us. ADHD [00:20:00] is out there in need of support and guidance. And I would love for some of those people to find this podcast. So please, if I’ve offered you any value at all, would you leave a review for me? No matter what your listening preference is, either iTunes or Stitcher or Google play, leave a review.

So much.

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