Children with ADHD tend to struggle with organization – losing track of time, inability to complete assigned tasks, routinely losing items, and frequently appearing to be forgetful. But kids with ADHD can develop good organizational habits with some help and some coaching. Providing structure and support is key. Here are 10 tips for keeping ADHD kids organized:
(1) Routine is key.
Children thrive on routine. Building morning, afternoon, and evening routines is the ticket to having a successful day and remembering everything that has to be done. Help your child build and stick to a routine. If they stick with it long enough, it will become habit.
(2) Use checklists, calendars, or schedules.
It can get tricky as kids get older to find the balance between helping them learn how to manage time on their own, and managing their time for them. Using tools like calendars, schedules, and checklists is a very effective way to remind your child of their routines, commitments, and tasks. Check out this checklist that one of our team member’s uses with her children: Morning_Afternoon Checklist for Kids.
(3) Keep the visual theme going.
Don’t stop at checklists and calendars/schedules for keeping ADHD kids organized! Use labels and signs to help kids organize their lives. Write their name on their cubbies, coat hook, bathroom drawer, drinking cup, seat at the table, and so forth. Use labels to help them know where each item can be found and returned. Labels/signs can be pictures or words to help children know where each item can be found and returned. Labels/signs will also help to direct your child through their routine. For example, if they see that they have “do homework” as a task on their checklist, put a nice “Homework” sign at their homework station to help solidify their routine. We cannot stress the effectiveness of visual aid strongly enough. You will love the results!
(4) Have a system or process and a home for everything.
We mean this…literally a system or process and a home for everything. This will take some time to develop, and everyone in the house will need to be on board with it, but the end result will be so helpful to your child. When everything has a home, nothing can get lost: shoes go here, iPads charge there, glasses go in this drawer, and so on and so forth.
(5) Launch pads work wonders!
A launch pad is a simple and efficient space that helps maintain and contain all that comes in or goes out of your home. Whether for extracurricular school activities such as sports equipment, or just for getting out the door for an evening walk, a launch pad is the key to helping your child get in the habit of leaving home without forgetting anything.
(6) Less is always more.
When kids have fewer things to play with, they actually play better! Does this seem counterintuitive? Research shows that the more decisions you have to make, the less energy you have for doing other things. So, make decluttering an adventure and a celebrated event in your home! Here are some tips for decluttering with your kids. Simplifying choices and reducing distractions allows children to play with what they have for longer periods of time with more focus and creativity. As an added bonus, putting things away becomes less of a hassle, so clean-up time doesn’t have to be a battle.
(7) Keeping the cleanup process consistent.
Ultimately, we want our kids to be able to clean up their playroom on their own. With this in mind, it is important to keep things simple when organizing a playroom—fewer categories, easy to use containers, and labels are key. You want to think in terms of what your kids are able to maintain and do on their own so that they can put all their toys away. Here are some of our favorite organizing products for kids.
(8) Allow for extra time.
As much as you can, try to keep the atmosphere calm when you have time limitations, scheduled events, or to do’s that must be completed. One way of doing this is by allowing for extra time. For example, factor in extra time into your child’s morning routine so that there is not a great rush to get to school. You will be surprised at how much children may be able to accomplish in the morning if they do not feel stressed for time. Extra time will allow them buffer time if they get distracted from their checklist. This calm atmosphere will also set the rest of their day up for success by allowing them to enter their classroom with plenty of time to spare.
(9) Establish a homework station.
Here are some tips to establish a homework station for your child with some recommendations from our very own team members. Establishing a homework station does not have to be anything major, but it needs to take into consideration your child’s personality and the environment in which he or she works best. Some children work best at the dining room table while others will work better laying down on the couch.
(10) We love fidget toys!
Here are some great fidget toys you can check out. If your child needs to fidget, let her fidget! There are some really fun fidget toys out there that will help kids to stay focused. Try playing with one the next time you need to sit, stay focused, and pay attention. They are the best thing ever!
Do you have a tip to share with our community about keeping ADHD kids organized? Head over to our Abundance Declutter Group on Facebook for more.