If you haven’t explored the world of parenting and neurodivergence on TikTok yet, you absolutely should. If you’re like me, it might just make your life a whole lot easier. Not only is the ND (neurodivergent) community on TikTok sharing tips to help previously diagnosed people manage life with divergence, but it’s also helping several generations come to terms with the fact that they might just need to go get a neurodivergent diagnosis. Meanwhile, many moms of kids with ADHD are posting the systems in their homes that work for their neurodivergent kids and even sharing the journey of realizing why those same systems work for the parents, too. One mom’s recent TikTok of keeping her home “ADHD friendly” hit pretty close to home for me, and I think it’s worth sharing.
First, storytime. A decade ago, I was nearing 30 and still living in a space that looked like a teenager’s bedroom. Clothes were everywhere — it all required the “sniff test.” It bothered me. I wanted a clean house. But the “effort” to fix it bothered me more. I often worked on-camera, regularly met with celebrities, and followed bands around the country, yet I had the hardest time even brushing my teeth. I felt lazy and gross, but I still couldn’t motivate myself to do it. One day I stopped folding my clothes. Suddenly it was easier to get them “put away” by simply removing a step. Clothes don’t sit in baskets anymore. They haven’t for almost five years now. I didn’t know why the system worked, but I do now.
TikTok made me realize that not everyone’s system is the right system for you, and that’s especially true for people with ADHD. While I’ve never been officially tested, I’ve begun to think it’s something I need to do. The more neurodivergent people I watch on TikTok — and the more “hacks” I try from people with ADHD — the more I realize that maybe there's a bigger issue. That wall keeping me from putting away my laundry, remembering to brush my teeth, or even doing the dishes isn’t my laziness but something I literally cannot control on my own. I think I have ADHD.
Enter Kc Davis (@domesticblisters). A mom and the author of How To Keep House While Drowning, she posts real, relatable, and sometimes funny videos of what life is like living in a house full of family members with ADHD. Most importantly, she knows how to find the step blocking someone from doing a task and figure out ways to eliminate it. Her most recent video features a bunch of truly easy “hacks” that she uses to keep her home “ADHD friendly.”
Her Hacks & Why They Might Work
While I don’t know exactly why each of these systems works for her family, I can try to explain why some of these same systems work for me.
1. Dirty Dish Station
There’s nothing that will stop me from doing dishes faster than seeing a gigantic pile of them in the sink. When the chore seems very big, very hard, or very gross it’s often harder to start. Keeping the sink empty makes it easier to wash the most important things first. (Though, many people find that once they start, they end up finishing the task.) It also keeps the dirty dishes looking more orderly and less overwhelming.
2. Laundry Baskets in Every Room
Because it’s amazing where people will shed clothes. At least the basket keeps them together.
3. Shoe Baskets By the Door
I don’t know. I hate touching shoes. I imagine this falls under “ordered chaos” as well.
4. Family Closet/No-Fold System
Not folding works because it takes away the longest step and the step that requires the most perfection. It simplifies putting away laundry. I do this for my toddler. (Bottoms, tops, and PJs each have their own bins.) I also do this for myself. I hang up very important pieces. Then have drawers for underwear, tank tops, shirts/sweaters, and bottoms. (I do tend to loosely fold my pants.) We don’t have a family closet. However, we have room for one and my guy’s clothes are always a disaster. I’m thinking that hiding the clothing chaos in another room would really simplify life.
5. Shower Chair & Speaker
Lots of people find showering to be boring. Adding music and another option for sitting/standing lets you “change it up.”
6. Standing Desk
This aligns with teachers who stick Pop-Its to their students’ desks or who have those cool wobble chairs in their classrooms. It basically just offers you another outlet for movement instead of just sitting all the time. It’s also actually really good for your back/posture/health.
7. Visual Timers
Many of us have no concept of timing. Twenty minutes and five minutes feel the same. Seeing that wedge of time disappear helps us stay focused.
8. Treadmill Shoes
On the way to finding everything I would need for the treadmill, I’d find several new distractions. It’s also harder to motivate yourself to do something if you have to wander around the house collecting the shoes/bra, versus having them right there next to the treadmill when you see it and want to use it.
9. Full-Sized Trashcans in Every Room
This is the same concept as the laundry bins. Even when you have the best intentions to throw that candy wrapper away during the next commercial, you often lose it before then.
10. Hygiene Kit By the Door
Moms and kids do a LOT of rushing around. If brushing your teeth and rolling on the deodorant is something often forgotten until you’re halfway to school or work, that visual reminder before you leave the house can be a lifesaver. (Also try: Toothbrush in the shower!)
11. Earplugs & Air Pods
Sometimes three TVs are going and the furnace is running and I find myself snapping at everyone and don’t know why. Earplugs help. Other times, I find myself “drumming” songs with my teeth and clenched jaw, which leads to a migraine. Airpods put noise in my head when there isn’t enough.
12. Condiment Drawers and Produce Doors
In essence, you’re switching the locations. Why? Because you will *search* for the ketchup. But we all know fruit in a drawer becomes out of sight, out of mind. Putting it on the door puts it right in front of your face when you’re looking for a snack.
13. Visual Lists
I forget everything. Just like the produce, having them in front of my face helps me stay organized.
Finally, here’s a gentle reminder: Everyone is different. Even if the same system works for several people with ADHD, it doesn’t mean it works for the same reason. If these systems don’t seem to work for you, do a little more digging to see what clever hacks other neurodivergent families out there have found to make life a little easier.