A messy adult bedroom with clutter on the floor and bed

Organizing A Bedroom: My ADHD-Friendly Routine

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Why do so many of us put organizing our own bedrooms so low on the task list? Maybe it’s because it can be an overwhelming task, and if we don’t finish we’re stuck with an even worse mess. That’s why I use a step-by-step approach to organize my room.

One thing you should know: I have ADHD. Sometimes it takes me just an hour to organize my room, other times it’s an afternoon. Or a week. The steps below ensure I always have a comfortable spot to sleep and read, and know exactly where to pick up again.

Step 1: Gather trash.

Grab a trash bag and collect all the visible trash from the floor, dressers, nightstands and under the bed. Don’t go into drawers or cabinets for now, this is just about making the space less overwhelming.

Step 2: What does not belong.

Next, use a box or basket for items that don’t belong in your room, like dishes or coats. Set that box down but don’t put it away, we’ll need it in the next step.

Step 3: The sorting spot.

Now, I choose a zone from below to start sorting and create a space to work. I use spread a sheet on the bed but you may be young enough to get up and down from the floor. The important thing is that having enough space to make separate piles of stuff.

Step 4: Dump and divide.

Work one surface or drawer at a time. First, the trash, then items that belong elsewhere. Finally, put the things you don’t want in a donation box.


Organizing pros say to touch things and decide right away what to do: discard, donate, put away. But with my ADHD? Nope. I’d find a book and wind up reading. But “look for all trash” or “look for what doesn’t belong”? I can do that.

Step 5: Make things make sense.

Decide if the remaining items are in the best spot. If not, put them where you’d naturally look for them because that’s where your brain will send you time and again. If you haven’t tided that area yet, it’s okay to just chuck them there for now.

Who cares if it’s not where an organizing pro says it should be? It’s your home, not theirs to should all over. Put things where they make sense to you and are convenient for you.

Step 5: In the zone.

Repeat steps 3 and 4 throughout your room. In my room, I noticed there are different areas which serve different purposes. So my brain associates the purpose of the zones with the things that belong there. Here’s what I mean:

  • Nightstand: Just stuff I use getting into, out of, or in bed.
  • Dresser: A different type of clothing in each drawer (t-shirts, underwear, socks, etc.). On top are just things I need while getting dressed or undressed, like my watch charger and different pairs of glasses.
  • Desk: Things I use while studying, journaling, etc.
  • Reading nook: My current read plus a few others in line, a throw blanket, a lumbar pillow.
  • Bed: My dog and cat.

Step 6: Finish up.

Dispose of the trash, put away items that belong in other areas, and take donation boxes to your car next outing.

Want to keep your room organized now that put in all that effort? Head over to my weekly bedroom cleaning routine for a printable checklist.

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  1. Want to be organized in the new apt im moving to

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Now’s a good time to start then. Enjoy your new place!

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