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3 Decorating Tips If You Struggle With ADHD and Object Permanence

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If you were to walk in my house, you’d learn that my “mess” isn’t exactly “mess.” Rather, it’s an organized disorganized chaotic attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) system that only I understand. Other people would just call it a mess, but I know better.

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A large reason that my place can get a little disorganized is that I need to see all the things I love or else I will forget about them. If I don’t see my favorite book, I will forget I own it. If my camera isn’t right in front of my face, guess what? I forget about it for months on end.

That being said, I can’t have everything out in the open non-stop, because then my place will never actually have any semblance of order. I’ve tried lists and systems, and it simply didn’t work. I looked on online blogs for home organization and decor tips, and simply nothing would have worked for my ADHD brain.

Luckily due to my penchant for HGTV, too many trips to IKEA, and Zoom meetings spent secretly scrolling through Amazon (for legal reasons, that was a joke), I think I’ve figured out some ways to have a pretty home that’s also ADHD friendly.

1. Acrylic display cases.

Really, any see-through display case works, but these work for so many things.

You can use acrylic organizers for your bathroom, or one with shelves to put little hobbies in. Personally, I want one that I can hang on the wall so I can put my camera lenses inside.

The reason these work so damn well is because they keep everything contained while keeping everything in your direct line of eyesight. 

You: 1

Object Permanence: 0

2. Cute clutter boxes.

Have you ever been to Michael’s and you see those really pretty boxes and you think “What would those boxes even be for?”

OK, you have? Good. 

Now I imagine you have a shelf, drawer, or box of some sort where you have a bunch of random things in our home that didn’t have a home and you didn’t know where to put them?

ADHD clutter boxes are a gift from <insert deity here>. Go to Michael’s and get a pretty box, and let that be your clutter box. At the end of the day, you’re still putting things away that you may inevitably lose, yes, but it looks a lot better in the home. It doesn’t have to be a pretty feminine box. You can go to HomeGoods and get a different style. Either way, it’s a good way to keep your clutter looking pretty, without having to look at it at all. 

3. Oddly specific, but furniture like this table from IKEA.

Look, I’m going to be honest.

If y’all sell out this table, I’m gonna be pissed. I’ve been planning to get it for eons as it’s actually perfect for my ADHD brain. So if I go to finally order it and it’s gone, I’m gonna be upset.


This specific table from IKEA is perfect. It’s a storage coffee table with a glass top so you can see the storage inside. It’s a tad more expensive (for me anyway) as it’s $300, but furniture like this is so ideal because it doesn’t take up any extra space, and it plays to an ADHD strength.

Off the top of my head, I don’t know any other furniture like this, but I do think when shopping for furniture, looking for see-through components that don’t take away from the space is super important. 

The goal is at all times to play to your strengths. For me, object permanence is a biggie, so these tips are geared towards that. Think about how your ADHD impacts your home life, and when looking for decor or organizational tools, play to those strengths. In my eyes, don’t seek to counteract your ADHD traits. Lean into them. Feed them. Allow your brain to be what your brain is and create a system around that. It may not look like your typical home in “Better Homes & Gardens.” In fact, it could look even better.

Getty image by fizkes

Originally published: June 13, 2022
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