Optimizing Your Home Organization as a Neurodivergent Person
Home organization, or ‘nesting,’ is something that we all do whether we realize it or not. It is a subconscious means of making a space your own and building familiarity with it. Similarly, it is a way to become comfortable in the area you’re living in and make a lasting connection there. Home is not truly home until it has been nested.
For many of us, nesting takes the form of putting our things in the right cabinets and other useful places. It means hanging up photos and decorating a space with our own style. Nesting means finding that perfect item that really completes a space or makes your home that much more inviting.
But that isn’t always how it works for everyone.
Many neurodivergent individuals need different strategies for organizing their homes in useful and productive ways. Simply putting things in drawers where they can’t be seen can be a huge stressor.
Finding ways to optimize living space and home organization can be a challenge, but that doesn’t mean it is unachievable. If you identify as neurodivergent, follow some tips and tricks outlined below to optimize your home organization in a way that works for you.
What Does It Mean To Be Neurodivergent?
The term neurodivergent isn’t one that all of us are very familiar with. To be a neurodivergent person is to have a brain that is wired differently than the typical brain. Though there is no one correct way for the brain to function, neurodivergence covers conditions such as ADHD, executive dysfunction, dyslexia, autism, and so on. You can also experience neurodivergent traits without a comorbid diagnosis.
Oftentimes, people that are neurodivergent experience the world in a slightly different way. This can lead them to act, talk, speak, or behave in different ways that are often misunderstood by the general public. Ultimately, this may lead to further challenges in work and school as well as other social situations, such as building and maintaining relationships.
For many, building a semblance of normalcy can be a huge factor in overcoming some of the other challenges presented by being neurodivergent. Fortunately, there are thousands of small tips and tricks that can help — and you can actually harness your neurodivergent traits to boost your organization. Optimizing home organization and building routines that help limit home stressors is one of these tips, and it can be a game changer.
Building in Organization
Many neurodivergent individuals feel easily overwhelmed by the idea of trying to organize their homes or nest in a space. Taken all at once, it can seem like a monumental task that will never be accomplished. One of the most important steps is to break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks rather than attempting to take it all on at once.
The first step of organization is getting rid of the garbage, literally. Take a garbage bag and pick up all of the trash around the house. Put the objects that can be recycled in another bag and get them taken out. From there, pick two or three small tasks to complete every day.
The goal isn’t perfection, it is moving forward and making small achievements every day. Maybe one day you will organize your sports gear in the garage, and the next you will fold a basket of laundry and put it away. Just keep taking small steps forward.
Organization is not a gift, it is a skill that must be learned. And it is a good one to learn because an organized space can boost mental health in a powerful way. For instance, research shows that being organized can help lower stress levels and improve your quality of sleep. Knowing the facts behind what you’re doing and how it will benefit you, directly, can help motivate you to take the steps necessary.
Developing a Routine
For other neurodivergent people or those with neurodivergent children, the key to home organization and happiness might be more tightly linked to routine. Often, building a solid home routine for neurodivergent people can help accomplish goals. Much like a nightly routine, knowing what is coming and what you are going to achieve can help the body reduce stress levels and allow you to move beyond the day-to-day more effectively.
A routine can help with time management when organizing your home, as well. Maybe there is a need to tackle school or work in the morning, but there is time before lunch for 30 minutes of the organization. This can be the time when one of the small tasks on the list is accomplished. Maybe it is unloading the dishwasher or restocking the toilet paper and hand soap in the bathroom. It doesn’t have to be anything monumental, but it is still something to be proud of.
Developing a plan to organize and clean in zones may also be a great strategy to optimize home organization. This can also build itself into a routine. For example, maybe on Mondays, the kitchen is decluttered and on Tuesdays, the toilets get cleaned. Whatever routine you can stick to in a natural way is the right one for you.
Staying Organized Moving Forward
Organization is a huge factor in de-stressing the lives of neurodivergent people. It isn’t always easy, but taking small steps toward organization every day is a powerful way to start. Building a routine of organization time can also be a great way to help achieve these goals.