Do I have ADHD or am I just disorganised?

Do I have ADHD? Butterfly brain

Have you ever wondered ‘do I have ADHD?’ Might it explain why you can never find your keys or complete a task? What’s the connection between ADHD and disorganisation and is everyone ‘a bit ADHD’?

Let’s answer that last one first. You might recognise the symptoms of ADHD below as common to most people, but to be actually diagnosed by a professional, your symptoms need to:

  • be present throughout life and across multiple settings eg. home, school, work.
  • be a big problem. In Ari Tuckman’s comprehensive book More Attention, Less Deficit, he suggests symptoms should ’cause significant impairment’.

So taking 10 minutes to find your keys is one thing, but losing your keys most days and arriving late for work (even losing your job) might actually be down to undiagnosed ADHD.

What is ADHD?

There are three main elements of ADHD to consider:
Inattentiveness- e.g. difficulty focussing or paying attention, poor working memory.
Hyperactivity- e.g. restlessness or edginess.
Impulsiveness- e.g. impatience and risk-taking.

For more detail about diagnosis and treatment read this article by the Royal College of Psychiatrists or this article  from AADD-UK  (a UK-based support group for Adults with ADHD).

How does it affect your home?

Working with clients with ADHD I often see the following issues:

  • Difficulty with starting a tricky task (procrastination), a tendency to distraction- something more interesting pops up midway, and finally, difficulty finishing a project.
  • Difficulty setting up and maintaining routine systems e.g. for managing tax returns/ bill payment/ filing.

The result is often a cluttered home*. Unfinished projects are scattered around the home, with accompanying feelings of guilt; impulse purchases fill the wardrobe and the home is generally messy (nothing has a home). ‘Floordrobes’ are pretty common in my line of work!
*NB. Just to point out, perfectionism can also be an issue for people with ADHD- a need to impose control on the internal chaos, may result in the home being immaculate- and woe betide anyone who puts things out of place!


How can I help you?

I love working with clients with ADHD- and key to how I work is being person-centred. It’s not my job to impose rigid rules or filing systems on my clients. Instead, my focus is to learn how you tick, hear about your organisational successes and work together with you to simplify and organise your home. Simplicity is the key for ADHD- the less you own or take on, the better you will organise it. I know this works from first hand experience.

Decluttering & organising over a few months (or even longer) usually works best. These are life skills, and you are learning what fits you best. You may even need to change your systems over time to keep things fresh. If you want to get inspired:

  1. Call me for a free consultation.
  2. Sign up for my ADHD newsletter (ADHD-centred workshops will be publicised)
  3. Follow me on FaceBook or Twitter.


Information provided on this website is intended for your general knowledge and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment. You should never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking an assessment or medical treatment because of something you may have read on this site. You should also not use the information on this web site or the information on links from this site to diagnose or treat ADHD and/or co-morbidities, in yourself or others, without consulting a qualified adult ADHD specialist.