Advice for helping my husband and son get organized

Hi everyone,

I would like to try to help my husband and son get organized. I think that with some more structure in our lives and home, they would function better. My husband struggles with setting up structure because he never feels it is good enough, but he said he would be willing to use a structure that I set up for him in the absence of something perfect! 

Here are some of the issues I have noticed. If you have found ways to manage them in your lives, I would sure love to hear about it! Any tips or advice would be welcome. So much of this comes naturally to me that I have trouble putting myself in their place but I really want to help.

  • Losing keys and daily use items like wallet, cards, coats, etc.
  • Dealing with paperwork. I do the bills but there are other papers he hangs on to.
  • An order for getting ready and out the door. I think that would help eliminate forgetting things.
  • Paying bills on time.
  • Returning phone calls and emails.
  • Keeping desk and assignments organized at school. It has been hard since I am not actually there.

Thanks, everyone!


What will be will be

Your challenge is not WHAT to do FOR them.  It is how to accept that they are the way they are and not to entangle yourself with the consequence of their disorganization.  All the years I tried to do various help for them to organize was short term and wasting of MY time and adding to my own resentment/nervousness/disappointment that my contributions did nothing to change any situation.  The more I helped, the less they did.  The more I ignored, the more they did for themselves.  The hardest part is accepting that your standards are different and watching what you might view as "disaster - danger ahead" they are OK with and have ways of coping, dismissing, denying, laughing about, doing without, rationalizing, working around.  The other challenge is that they are on their own planet and it is lonely for us to be on a planet by ourselves when we thought we would have a partner working with us on shared goals (now OUR singular goals), shared experiences, shared feelings.  DH seems content to "get by, fly under the radar, get away with" while I am constantly reviewing and honing my values/goals/guidelines/schedules/budget/growth in life.  The more I did, the less he did.  The less he did, the more I did.  My nervous energy made him slow down.  His lack of responsibility made me nervous and run around taking care of things.  It is a sad realization that we are not "two are now one flesh".  With ADD, it seems that the ego must be reserved as one and alone...."Don't mess with who or how I am" they seem to be saying.  It seems that above all the ADDer's ego wants to be separate, individual and unique. And I get that many of them feel superior personality-wise.  It makes me wonder why DH got married....he so much values his separateness and his humor above all else.  Sorry I digressed. My point is, Take care of your own business and don't try to change them to be more how you would like them to "be better" by your standards. They will make their "mistakes" as you see them.  They will be how they will be unless they want to change.  If they would want to change, they would be on this site, not you.