This is a guest post by Jane Sandwood.
We all know the minimalist movement emphasizes removing clutter from your life; clearing spaces of unwanted distractions that can make one feel drowned by the effects of consumerism.
However, for people with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), decluttering is not simply a choice, but a necessity. For many with the condition, it is the only way to feel secure, relaxed and safe at home.
How clutter affects people with ADHD
Imagine that you have a big exam coming up, and you have problems concentrating. You are immersed in your books, but every time you look up, you see furniture piled up, glasses and crockery on your desk, or loud colours that seem to bore into your brain; you would be tempted to leave to go to a quieter spot, wouldn’t you?
ADHD manifests itself in different ways, making children and adults with the condition more impulsive, disorganized and easily distracted. They may also have more trouble doing ‘boring’ tasks such as tidying up, which is why it is important that the areas they live in are well organized.
A room full of unnecessary furniture can lead to frustration. Only essential pieces should be present; there should always be enough space in a home to balance out any furniture items.
Specific tips for home design
Strategy and storage space are the key elements of good design for an ADHD household.
When planning a kitchen, for instance, the person preparing a meal shouldn’t have to run to another room to access items from the pantry, or have to find items they need for a meal from drawers on opposite sides of the kitchen.
Breakfast items, for instance, should be in one ‘space’ – cereal, bowls and cutlery could all be in one drawer. Additionally, all cooking utensils (chopping boards, knives, ingredients) should be more or less in the same corner of the kitchen.
All rooms should have adequate storage furniture, even bathrooms. Consider having a separate ‘space’ for each family member, somewhere they can keep their robe, rubber ducky (if they are kids), special soap, etc., which is easily accessible and most importantly, out of sight until they need it.
A minimalist ‘quiet space’ works well for both children and adults with ADHD. It might just be a small room with lovely natural light, and just a soft seating area and sound system, so they can put on their earphones and disconnect, feeling grander in the space rather than overwhelmed by the clutter that surrounds them.
Minimalism is more than a design choice
Minimalism embraces the dialogue with our inner selves but also drowns out the maddening outer ‘noise’ that exists when too many things vie for our attention.
In the case of people with ADHD, decluttering is more than a design choice; it is a life line that makes the difference between a prison and a home.
Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer with over 10 years’ experience across many fields. She has a particular interest in topics relating to health and wellbeing. When Jane isn’t writing, she is busy spending time with her family. She also enjoys music, reading and travelling whenever she can.
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