Do you have ADHD or ADHD tendencies? If so, then doing laundry may be a point of contention in your household as it often looks like a wrinkled pile of clothing on top of your bed or mildew-smelling towels that you forgot in the washing machine. We're in no position to judge as we've been known to get dressed straight out of the dryer ourselves. Therefore, if you can relate, today's post is if you. Today we'll share 5 of our favorite ADHD-friendly laundry tips to make housework a little easier.
The ADHD brain craves dopamine, which is often found through exercising, playing video games or marking off all the items on a checklist. Unfortunately, laundry is never ending so it rarely gives you that sense of accomplishment that the ADHD brain desires. As such, many people with ADHD prefer to wait until they've reached the bottom of the barrel so to speak before they approach the chore of doing laundry. Or, they often are okay with starting the washing machine but forget about it for days at at time.
Luckily, we've found a few ADHD-friendly laundry approaches that seem to make sense for ADHD minded individuals.
1. Capsule Wardrobes
A capsule wardrobe is one in which you have fewer pieces, but those pieces are interchangeable to create a number of functional outfits. Rather than owning 12 pairs of jeans or 20 t-shirts, you only have enough to outfit you for maybe a week at a time. What this does for the ADHD brain is simply the laundry process. With fewer pieces to wash, the chore is much easier to complete in a shorter amount of time, so you won't dread it (or avoid) nearly as much as you would with a large wardrobe.
And you don't necessarily have to have a "capsule wardrobe." You can just simplify what you do own. Try getting rid of any high-maintenance clothing that requires extra effort or is just taking up unnecessary space in your closet. And, on a similar note, be sure to go through your closet and drawers at least once a year to get rid of any clothes you aren't wearing. Whether they no longer fit or just don't suit your personality anymore, clothes that aren't being worn are taking up space that is not only cluttering your closet, but also your brain.
2. Sorting Baskets
We've suggested the concept of sorting baskets before, but it's worth discussing again as it relates to ADHD-friendly laundry tips. One way to save yourself time and get ahead of your chore list is to sort laundry as you dirty your laundry. For example, we love a 3-bin laundry sorter that we can sort as items are used: whites, darks, towels, exercise gear, etc. When it's time to throw items in the wash, the sorting step is already done for you making it that much easier to accomplish the task.
3. Multi-tasking for the Win
Laundry is not a task anyone looks forward to, especially if it's the only task you can focus on at a given time. As such, if you have ADHD, your brain may function more efficiently if it can multi-task laundry with something else more enjoyable. For example, what if watched TV, listened to your favorite podcast, or read a book while doing laundry? The giant load of laundry on your bed will be a thing of the past once you realize that you can turn on the tv while you fold, and waiting for your laundry to finish drying at the laundromat won't be such a time-suck if you know you can also read a book or study for your Econ exam.
That said, if there's one piece of ADHD-friendly laundry advice we can offer around multi-tasking, it's this: use a timer. Even though doing laundry while watching TV may make the task more enjoyable, it shouldn't take you all afternoon to fold towels. Give yourself a timeframe to accomplish the task. For example, folding laundry equals one 30-minute television show. You can either set your timer (or phone) to 30 minutes or make sure that all of the towels are folded within a 30 minute window.
4. Have FUN!
On that note, isn't any chore a little more fun if you can turn it into a game or sport? Our kids are much more willing to clean up the playroom if we tell them that they have a small amount of time to clean it all up than they are if they have an unlimited amount of time to do the same task.
You can do the same thing by turning laundry into a challenge of sorts. Maybe you want to perfect your free-throw game or you race yourself in another task (such as reading chapters in a book or doing all the laundry by a given time) against the dryer cycle time. Interestingly enough, not only does this race against the clock mentality create fun in an otherwise boring task, but it also gives the ADHD brain a surge of dopamine.
Manage Your Expectations
TikTok creator, Domestic Blisters, often suggests that chores be reframed as care tasks; and care tasks are amoral. What does this mean? It means that doing laundry has no moral standing of your character. If you have a clean house, great; but if you have a pile of laundry living in your spare bedroom, that's okay too because whether or not you have a clean house is no reflection of who you are as a person.
Consider your own expectations for laundry (among other care tasks). Why does laundry need to be done? Is it because someone in your life has told you that you're only doing your job as a homemaker if you're 100% caught up at all times? Or, is doing laundry a reflection of needing clean clothes? Once you identify the function laundry holds in your life, it's much easier to accomplish the task in such a way that makes sense for you and your family.
Maybe the laundry doesn't need to be folded? Maybe it doesn't even need to be hung up, but it should be cleaned. Start there and see where life takes you.
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