BEST changes you made in your home? Little things that make a big difference?

For example, I (the one with ADD) put up hampers behind each bathroom door to prevent the pile up.  Little things that make a big difference, any other suggestions?

As background, my husband is frustrated, understandably, but I feel like I have made such huge strides and don't get feedback on the things I have done around the house that (to me) make a big difference.  I'd love to implement more changes.

 

Chore lists? Shared calendars? 

(1) Put a garbage can in

(1) Put a garbage can in every room.  (My husband, who has ADHD, still tends to drop his garbage on the floor, but it helps other people.)  (2) Designate a place by the front door at which to leave car and house keys.  (3) For reminders of away-from-home chores or things you need to take with you, write them down on sticky notes and put the notes on the inside of the front door.  Little things, little notes; big things, big notes!

Also, if your community does

Here are a few more suggestions.  (4) If your community does curbside recycling pick-up, and you feel really obsessive, drop off junk mail in the recycling container while you're walking from the mailbox to your home.  That is, don't even bring the junk inside the house. (5) If you want to be able to easily locate important papers or items, put them in brightly colored or otherwise distinctive folders or containers.  A green or orange or multicolored folder screams to be noticed!

Schedule Board Saves Me

1.  I took a 2ft X 3ft whiteboard and  divided it into grids with adhesive ribbon (it's ribbon with a sticky side).  Target and Jo-Ann Fabrics have variations of this.

2. Then I took a sparkly cardstock paper and used large letter stickers to put the days of the week on the paper.  Why? I love shiny objects ;)!

3.  I cut out the days and put strong magnetic tape on the back, and put the days in order (obviously) at the top of the grid.

4.  On the left-hand column, I created an afternoon/evening schedule.

5.  I made number magnetics in the same fashion.  could probably have saved myself some time and bought a ton of those cheap number magnets for kids that go on the fridge.

6.  I made the same exact schedule board for work and asked a custodian to kindly drill it to the wall :)!  My students sometimes laugh at me (good naturedly) because they know what I'm having for dinner and make commentary. I do NOT care!  Laugh away!  It works for me.  The best part is that even when I'm away from the board, I REMEMBER MY SCHEDULE because I see it ALL THE TIME!!  I'm such a visual learner!!

7.  I almost forgot, I do put my schedule in Evernote first so I have a hard copy when my husband and I plan the week.

8.  I take a picture of my home board with my phone to take to school so that when I set it up, it is easier than reading my Evernote printout.  I take that to school as a backup, JUST IN CASE I have made a mistake...

CATEGORIES ON LEFT-HAND COLUMN

  • leaving work
  • picking up which kid
  • planning out how long the prep work for cooking dinner will take, because if I leave too late and have an involved recipe, that's a huge problem!  Or if one of my kids has a sport too early and I have an involved recipe, this is also a problem!
  • time it will take to cook
  • time we are eating (I need to see the big picture of the previous events or nothing will make sense; I have NOOOOOOOOO sense of time)
  • event for the afternoon evening:  sports, MD appts, outings, etc...  I absolutely HAVE to see it all or I have NO CLUE!!!  I grew tired of having to ask my husband what was going on because I couldn't remember.  Writing it down in a planner did NOT help me because out of sight, out of mind.  It helped me in case I got stuck, but not to remember, or plan better,

Great tools we've employed

Great tools we've employed or I want to employ:

  • A blackboard, chalk/eraser placed in a prominent, accessible spot in the kitchen.

We all go through the kitchen several times a day. Whatever we need food shopping and household items gets added to the board. So when anyone asks "What do we need from the store?" We all refer to the blackboard.  A small whiteboard by the mirror in the bathroom would be great too. It helps for all those small reminders that come to us while we're in there.

  • A month-at-a-glance calendar.

I see everything at once and can figure out when I'm overbooked one week and work around it. My ADHD dh refuses to use one, but it would be a complete lifesaver for him I think. He keeps reeling everything off in his head every day including banking and oil changes and what not and I think it's kind of tough to be channeling all that energy by reciting all that when one can keep a visual reminder right on the desk. I took a Franklin Covey class and their "Priority" lessons in time management and life has much merit.

  • A "Tickler" file for bills

Again, this would be perfect for dh, as he tends to go through a wad of bills/statements and it's all mostly running in his head. My dh prefers to keep all the bills on a giant metal clip which is fine too (since I came up w the idea for him!) but he goes through every single bill for that month to see what needs paying, every single day. He does have them in chronological order tho. I used a tickler on the job and paid about 50 invoices a month. Each time you get a bill but it doesn't get paid right away, you put it in a tickler file, an accordion file numbered 1-31 for the days of one month. You slip your bills into the day you plan to pay for that month. This MUST be checked every day, so you are "tickled" to do it!

 

Some things that work for me.

I am the same way. I always am striving to do better (ADD too). My husband and I both are ADD...hes more ADHD. It is definately hard work keeping up with everything. Your right that the little things add up, because its all baby steps towards less stress. With my family everything needs to be quick and easy to keep us organized. Ive tried other people organizing systems and stressed over how we are so unorganized etc, because it didn't work for us. But I realized bottom line what works for one wont work for another. My family is too lazy for most of it :). So we have to keep it easy and fast for them to put their stuff away there can't be much thought to it.  For example a table by the front door for my keys (or they will be lost)  its an easy habit, just toss on the table and go. A basket by the front door for shoes, my carpet stays cleaner and shoes are always there when you need them. Separating clothes at the end of each season. Box up the tank tops and flip flops during winter you wont use them. Toss the box at the top of the closet, the next season you swap it out with the other seasonal stuff as soon as the box is empty. Then when I swap out my kids clothes the next season I'll go ahead and bag up what doesn't fit them then and get rid of it. Our clothes are really organized doing that. I keep pjs, socks and underwear at the bottom drawer for my kids to reach, dressier outfits at on the top drawers. Washing the clothes per family member (one load of one persons clothes) for me helps keep the clothes organized when I put them away. Trash cans in all rooms I hear helps some, for me I feel like it would be more trash cans to remember to keep up with :) so I just have them in the bathrooms and kitchen. The hampers in each room helps, and do a different persons load each day. I haven't been consistent with that :) lately but it helps. That way no one goes without clothes to wear. I have a white erase board calendar on my fridge. At the top of it I write notes for things that come up (because I can't lose the white board). When I get the chance I'll fill in my calendar which is right below. I set reminders on my phone for EVERYthing. Like take clothes out the dryer :) or make drs appt for _____. I set the alarm for when I knoW I'll have time open to do it right away. Sticky notes don't work for me. Writing things down only helps if you keep track of the paper :). Baskets on top of the toilets in the bathroom to keep some things I need at hand daily, deodorant, brush hairspray, clips, etc...so it doesn't get lost under the bathroom sink and I can get ready fast. I have an over the door organizer in my bathroom that keeps my makeup and other stuff I might need fast.  Also seeing it daily helps me keep it neat because its in view. I have a "junk basket" on my kitchen counter...to catch random stuff that accumulates then when its full I'll put the stuff where it goes. Also on the same counter (its a bar/counter) I have a basket for letters and I have a folder (hidden behind the basket) for important stuff I need to read when I have the chance. Things that need to be done right away get stuck to the fridge with a magnet (papers) So to sum it up....keeping things in sight helps me (remember out of sight out of mind) to keep up with important things. Keeping things in places I go daily no matter what, like the kitchen. Keeping it easy and "lazy" to for people to organize with like baskets...and lots of them to catch your things. For keeping up with others needs make sure you are clear how people can get ahold of you..for other important things.  Example: I never check voicemails..randomly check email so I tell them text me if you need me or I'll forget you...sorry. I think what has helped a lot too is not trying to fit a mold...and figuring out what works for me and not caring what others thing about how I run things. If it works it works. Also I read a book about being assertive, saying no when you just can't do something. Put your needs before others sometimes and don't give an answer if your not sure if you can follow through with something..tell people you will get back to them, check your calendar and if your free write them on your calendar. It has helped me tremendously. I know it is hard too....I feel the same way sometimes. Maybe its just that Non add people don't view it as a struggle to do some of the things we do...things are hard for us..and I think its just that don't know how hard it is sometimes so they don't feel the need to thank you for your "hard" work. Hang in there! I'm in the same boat today listening to my husband complain about laundry :) I have an exam coming up though! So I'm stressed, which is making me even more forgetful then usual....I just brush it off that he doesn't get it and don't let it bother you.