Trying to simplify, for the sake of our daughter - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-28-2012, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, all!  I recently found a book about organizing for those with ADD/ADHD.  DD, who is 6, is *very* ADHD, lol.  We received the official diagnosis from a specialist a few months ago and I have been trying to change our environment in order to help her function a bit easier. Along with some sensory issues, fine motor issues, dyslexia, and speech/language/social issues, I want to make her physical environment as conducive as possible to creating calm.


I guess what I would love to hear is how your space is simplified (though not 100-Things kind of simplified, lol).  What did you get rid of that you never thought you could survive without?  What did you simplify that surprised you?  Any tips out there as far as reorganizing, displaying, simplifying that might be helpful, especially for people with attention and sensory challenges?

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#2 of 6 Old 03-29-2012, 05:32 PM
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I would like to preface this by saying none of this comes from medical advice, just life experiance.  with the exception of the dyslexia, I grew up with all the challenges your daughter has and while I can't tell you what will work for her I can tell you what worked for me. 


For me, a moderate degree of chaos made me feel better, and I had my own system for things by my third birthday it drove my mom bonkers but I knew my brush lived on the floor by my closet door, did it make sence, in retrospect, no, but when she tried to "redo" my system it was never good.


But more in response to your questions, try to limit the number of "catagories" of things she has, I had clothes, books, papers, horses, Barbies, and a small ect catagory, even if there are a number of things in each group it does seem simpler than having dozens of different toy catagories.  and it fits better in larger bins, my mother had tried to organize all of my barbie stuff in a medium size tackle box, and from a "average" prespective it worked perfectly, a place for everything, but I had issues manipulating the clasps and getting things out of the small  sections. so within reason larger is better.


In regards to dealing with sensory issues I don't know if she has issues with textures but that was my main issue and smooth flat surfaces made things a lot easier, textured walls, bins, and furniture drove me to meltdowns.


(things I think are important)

Try to avoid secret/suprise purging

You know your daughter, if any advise you get sounds like it won't be good for her, trust your gut not the advice. 

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#3 of 6 Old 03-30-2012, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Isisandshiva!  It is helpful to hear from someone who grew up with similar challenges.  I recently redid her room with my BFF who is ADHD and we did exactly what you mentioned - we limited the categories of toys, and DD was helpful with being honest enough to tell us what things she did not play with  (i.e., Barbies, extra purses, etc.).


I will keep in mind about maintaining her own way of storing things and maintaining things within reason...I also like what you said about the larger bins - as we prepare for our move in a couple of more months, I am going to refer back to this post and implement things in our new home.



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#4 of 6 Old 04-05-2012, 05:15 AM
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I just reorganized my sons room partly due to his ADHD too. What I did was really limit the number of toys. His room is also quite small so that was a challenge. Everything has a it's own bin, and other than his quite large lego collection, there are not an over whelming amount of toys. Most of the toys are also stored on an open shelf vs toy box.


 For the rest of the house I make sure we have a defined spot for his homework, backpack, lunchbox, coat, library books, etc. It is VERY difficult to get him to actually put the stuff in the spots, we have been at it all school year and while he is improving, he often still needs reminders to get his stuff away.  

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#5 of 6 Old 04-11-2012, 06:29 PM
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Things I never thought we could learn to be comfortable without:


any TVs in the house



hair dryer :P


a LOT less toys-  I am convinced my kids don't even need toys, they keep turning cloth napkins into capes and making forts out of the sheets, using pots for drums, today they used my robe belt to tie 2 chairs together to make a train, the straight hose attachment of the vacuum is a telescope, wooden spoons are swords, they make dress up outfits out of their everyday clothes, etc. I swear the more we get rid of, the more creative and imaginative their play becomes, and it seems like they are having more fun too. I am probably going to go through and cut down on the toys even more. I'm just going to keep the things they seem to have a strong interest in. For my daughter that is some paper and crayons, scissors, and tape. And for my son I'll probably keep his beloved toy cars- but otherwise they aren't playing with much else that is an actual toy, mostly household things.


A coffee table - way more space to play now :)

cell phones with a monthly plan - we just a have a prepaid phone for emergencies now and use skype as our land line- so no house phone either

extra dishes - we went down to 1 bowl, 1 plate, etc per person and now the counters are never piled with dishes :)

extra linens - this cut way down on the laundry piles

we downsized our christmas decorations to 1 tub- so that's way less clutter in december

all other holiday decorations


Some of these don't apply to the kids directly, but I feel it affects them because the house is just so much more open and uncluttered now.

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#6 of 6 Old 04-12-2012, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to you both for your replies!


We are prepping for a move from the east coast to the midwest (movers will be here in about 8.5 week, yikes!) and I am trying to further declutter DD's room AND the house in general.  We will be losing about 1000 sq ft when we we move, and will continue homeschooling next year, so between that and making things easier to navigate for DD, purging is a *must!*  


Getting rid of cable and our land line was the best thing we ever did!  Although our kiddos do not watch much tv (except when they are sick or in extreme temps outside), they basically have Netflix now and their own movies.  We have a rule of no screen time (except if it is for school use, as with the computer) until after 3pm.  I chose 3pm since by that time their neighborhood friends are back from school and they are outside until nearly bedtime anyways, hee hee!  Anywho, I love not having the clutter of the phones in every room and tons of remote controls anymore!


WOW - I cannot fathom getting our Christmas decorations down to one tub, though every year for the past 4 or so, we do mini-purges.  We still have *ahem* more than our fair share of decorations!


I also love the linen idea!  We have one set for each bed, plus one extra set in case of accidents.  I think when we move I may even store the extra set of sheets under each mattress to have more room in the linen closet for other things.  Since we are so far from family, I need to make sure we have enough "extras" to accommodate, or else I would get rid of more blankets, pillows, and towels.  


Love to hear all the ideas and inspiration!

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