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The Impact of ADHD on Decluttering: Why is it Difficult to Focus?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often associated with difficulties in maintaining attention, focus, and organization. However, there are instances where individuals with ADHD can display remarkable focus and even enthusiasm when it comes to decluttering and organizing. This apparent contradiction raises an interesting question: why do some people with ADHD find it easier to focus on decluttering and organizing tasks? In this discussion, we will delve into the factors and reasons that explain this phenomenon, shedding light on the potential benefits it can offer to individuals living with ADHD.

SMART goals definition

Clear Goals and Immediate Rewards:

One reason why individuals with ADHD may find decluttering easier is the presence of clear, tangible goals and immediate rewards. Decluttering involves organizing and simplifying one's living space, which leads to a visible and immediate sense of accomplishment. This contrasts with many other tasks that require sustained attention over a longer period, which can be challenging for individuals with ADHD. The process of decluttering offers a structured, goal-oriented activity that provides a sense of achievement as each area is tidied.

Hyper focus Phenomenon:

People with ADHD often experience a phenomenon called hyper focus, where they become intensely absorbed in a particular task that captures their interest. Decluttering and organizing can trigger hyper focus because it engages the individual's interest and may tap into their natural inclination for novelty and change. When in a state of hyper focus, individuals with ADHD can exhibit intense concentration, often working on decluttering tasks for extended periods without becoming distracted.

Immediate Gratification and Reduced Overwhelm:

Many tasks for people with ADHD can feel overwhelming due to their complexity or the need for sustained attention. In contrast, decluttering often involves breaking larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This approach provides immediate gratification as each step is completed, reducing feelings of overwhelm and making the task more accessible and rewarding.

Novelty and Stimulation:

ADHD individuals tend to seek novelty and stimulation. Decluttering can provide a stimulating environment as they rediscover forgotten items, make decisions about what to keep or discard, and create an organized space. This novelty and sensory engagement can maintain their interest and focus throughout the process.

Reduced Distractions:

An organized and clutter-free environment can significantly reduce distractions for individuals with ADHD. They may find it easier to concentrate and stay on task in a tidy space. This understanding can motivate them to declutter in the pursuit of a more conducive environment for their daily activities.


While individuals with ADHD can face challenges in maintaining focus and attention in various aspects of their lives, decluttering and organizing tasks provide a unique opportunity for them to excel. The clear goals, immediate rewards, potential for hyper focus, and reduced overwhelm associated with decluttering make it an activity that aligns well with the cognitive strengths and interests of many people with ADHD. Recognizing this potential can empower individuals with ADHD to use decluttering as a tool for improving their living spaces, reducing distractions, and enhancing their overall well-being.


(This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission through qualifying purchases. Links are not recommendations unless stated)


Recommended Reading:

by Lily Beachem


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Clearout NI

Therapeutic Decluttering and

De-hoarding services

(Northern Ireland / UK)

Tel: 02895 555 600


(This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission through qualifying purchases. Links are not recommendations unless stated)

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