Are you moving and feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead? Are you living with ADHD and in need of some special tips to help you pack up your home efficiently? If so, this blog post is for you! We’ll provide helpful advice on how to make packing for a move easier when living with ADHD.
1. Start Decluttering
The first step to packing for a move with ADHD is to start decluttering. As soon as you know you are moving, it’s important to go through each room and eliminate everything that you no longer want or need. This can feel overwhelming, especially when you have many areas to organize or clear out. The best thing you can do if you’re feeling overwhelmed is to start small and set a timer. Begin by removing all of the contents of one shelf of the bookshelf and place them on the floor or a ‘sorting table’. You’ll find that a single drawer is enough to begin with — you don’t have to declutter the whole house in one session or a single shelf.
2. Use Color-Coded Sticky Notes
To make your packing process easier, it’s a great idea to use color-coded sticky notes. By using multiple colors, you can easily distinguish between the items you need to pack, the items that need to be unpacked immediately, and the items that can wait for later. Assign a color to mean “immediate attention” and another color for items that need to be packed. This way, you can easily see which boxes need to be unpacked and which can wait. For added efficiency, you can add visual reminders to your color-coded notes such as highlighting important dates or labeling files. With this approach, packing for a move with ADHD doesn’t have to be so daunting.
3. Give Up on Perfectionism
3. Give Up on Perfectionism
It’s important for those with ADHD to understand that perfectionism can be maladaptive and should not be the goal when it comes to packing for a move. Research has shown that perfectionism can be linked to depression, anxiety, addiction and even life paralysis that could lead to missed opportunities. It’s better to consciously lower the bar and focus on what is essential in order to stay productive and organized during a move. If chores bore you, consider thinking up other more enjoyable activities you can do at the same time so that chore time becomes more fulfilling.
4. Utilize Empty Shoeboxes
In addition to using color-coded sticky notes and giving up on perfectionism, it is also important to utilize empty shoeboxes when packing for a move with ADHD. Shoeboxes are the perfect size to store small items like jewelry, stationery, and other miscellaneous items. You can purchase basic cardboard shoe boxes in multi-packs or use small plastic bins. Tie sneakers together by the laces and pack both shoe boxes and shoes that are just wrapped in packing paper vertically as this helps minimize space. Additionally, avoid bringing unnecessary items with you as this will only add more stress to the move. Think about what you really need and use your shoeboxes to store only those items.
5. Use a Bandaid Trick
Another trick a number of my ADHD coaching clients use is to keep a couple of extra pills stashed in their pockets for quick relief. But, this is not the only trick you can use. For those with ADHD, using a bandaid trick can be an effective way to make sure tasks are completed on time. All you need to do is apply gentle pressure with a sterile gauze pad or clean cloth for 5–10 minutes. If the bleeding continues beyond 10 minutes, move on to the next task and come back later. This principle works for anything with added barriers to access, by the way, so also take the lids off your storage bins or boxes.
6. Create a Packing List
After planning outfits by the day and making a list of what’s in each box, as well as its size, how it needs to be packed, and when you need it, it’s important to create a comprehensive packing list. This list should document all the items that need to be packed, their locations, and any additional information necessary. It can also help keep track of items that have already been packed. An app like SHINES can be particularly helpful for those with ADHD, as it makes it easier to select items and add them to the list.
7. Place a Trash Bag in Each Room
When packing up each room, it’s important to have a designated place for all your trash. Place a large trash bag in each room of the house and fill it up as you go. This will not only help you stay organized but will also make the move-out process much smoother. If you have any items that can be donated to charity or recycled, consider doing so instead of throwing them away. Once your trash bags are full, simply take them out to the curb on moving day.
8. Use Contractor Bags for Linen and Bedding
Once you have started decluttering and using color-coded sticky notes, it’s time to focus on packing your linen and bedding. To help make the process easier, use contractor bags – they are great for keeping all your linens and bedding safe and secure during the move. Plus, these bags are easy to store in a closet or under the bed once you arrive at your new home. Any extra bedding or soft goods should be packed in contractor bags, too, so they don’t get mixed up with other items.
9. Get Large Plastic Packing Boxes
For a successful move, it’s important to acquire the right kind of plastic packing boxes. Get large, plastic packing boxes and put your kitchen items in them. Go to a shipping place and get a big stack of tissue paper to wrap each item in. Throw it all in bins for each room. Plastic bins are your friend and they store easily. If you’re taking your curtain rods, or you have rakes, brooms, and long-handled dusters, these should be bundled together with tape and plastic wrap. Be sure to place a layer of packing paper or an old towel in the bottom of the bin to prevent items from shifting during transit. With a bit of planning and organization, you can make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible.
10. Utilize Travel Packing Tips
Utilizing travel packing tips can be a great way to make sure your move is more organized and easier to manage. Packing a suitcase with enough clothes to get through one week, along with any meds, can help you stay on top of your move. Planning outfits by the day with a timer can help keep you from getting overwhelmed with the task. Additionally, making lists of what’s in each box, when you need it, the size, and how it needs to be handled can help you keep track of everything. As well, don’t forget to place a large trash bag in each room of your home or apartment before packing anything. Keeping your suitcase somewhere accessible and never giving it away to anyone else helps ensure that all your belongings stay safe and sound during the move.