If you're a mom with ADHD and have trouble staying organized, you aren't alone (that’s for dang sure). Research shows that individuals with ADHD may struggle with organizational tasks due to common traits of ADHD, like habitual forgetfulness. However, now that you’re a mom, you can’t really afford to be dropping the ball, especially when it comes to remembering to pick the kids up or keeping up with all your family’s obligations. It’s no easy feat, mama. If you’re looking to get yourself and your family more organized, I have your back.
This week on the blog, I have a guest writer, Leslie Campos, a fellow ADHD mom and creator of wellparents.com share her tips for keeping her family organized and staying on top of things.
Start with a clean and tidy space
It’ll be wayyyy easier to keep your family organized if you have a clutter-free space. CHADD offers tips for ADHD adults who want to get organized, like focusing on one room at a time and scheduling a set timeframe to organize. Use this opportunity to get rid of objects you no longer need. Going forward, only purchase items you need and make sure you have enough space for anything new. Think before you buy, which will help you stay organized.
Choose one organizational tool for your whole family
Keeping track of your family's various obligations can be tough. You have to keep track of everything from parent-teacher conferences to kids' extracurricular events — plus practicalities like doctor's appointments. Make it easier by recording everything in one central space that your entire family can access. If you have a partner, make sure you get ‘em on board and have them add appointments to the same tool as well. Digital scheduling tools like Google Calendar, Trello, Evernote, and Cozi are ideal because you can access them anytime, anywhere, via your phone.
Set yourself reminders using digital tools
One of the advantages of using digital tools like Google Calendar is that you can set reminders for yourself. To try to make your reminders more noteworthy and memorable, make them visual. For example, Psych Central suggests ADHD persons use color-coded reminders. You might pick one color to represent one type of activity, for example. Another idea is to pick one color for each child and mark their activities accordingly.
Consolidate all of your documents in PDFs
Make it easier to stay on top of your family's paperwork by digitizing it. You can scan documents using a free mobile scanner app and then consolidate the PDFs using a PDF merging tool like GoodNotes. PDFs are often preferable compared to other formats like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, because they can be secured with passwords. With a PDF converter, you can convert other formats by dragging and dropping them and then redownloading them.
Get other family members involved in organizing
As your kids get older, they can play a more active role in organizing the family. For example, you can grant them access to your digital shared calendar and allow them to input their own events. You can also encourage kids to manage their own chores by creating a chore chart. There are free printable templates you can download online. Even little kids can do basic tasks like picking up their own toys. Although it’s not guaranteed to motivate all kids, you may want to consider giving them rewards for their work.
In college, my housemates and I took turns tidying up one “common area” in the house. One week I’d be in charge of the kitchen, the next I’d have the living room, etc. That way it was fair for everyone and no one got sick of doing the same chores each week.
Seek support from coaches and community
Managing your ADHD while you're also managing a family presents unique challenges. Don't hesitate to seek support. Share your struggles with mom friends. Seek 1:1 coaching if your budget allows it. For a more budget-friendly option, you can also join a group coaching program specifically for ADHD.
Ana Urban (creator of this blog!) will be launching her own group coaching program for ADHD moms in late spring 2023. You can hop on the waitlist here!
Leslie Campos created Wellparents.com to offer help and resources to busy parents who want to stay healthy and active. She loves to practice yoga, CrossFit and watch The Great British Baking show when not working or running her children to various after-school activities.
Ana Urban is a content creator and educator with a Masters in Education. She has ADHD (diagnosed at 19) and with it comes a deep desire to help other mamas thrive with ADHD. She firmly believes you can have a WILD and successful life — despite all the challenges that come with neurodiversity — by capitalizing on its strengths.