Ep. 123: How Decluttering Helps to Manage ADHD Symptoms with Wendy Zanders

Mar 7, 2023 | 0 comments

For most of us, clutter can become distracting. Now imagine how clutter can impact those who find it difficult to focus all the time. Clutter is so easy to pile up and if we’re feeling disorganized on the outside, it makes us feel cluttered on the inside. Today’s interesting topic can apply to everyone and their family and can benefit us in some surprising ways.

Today’s guest is Wendy Zanders, the Declutter Coach. In our conversation today, Wendy shares her experience growing up undiagnosed with ADD and how through her education she coped with stress by decluttering. She has since taken her experiences and applies them now to help neurodivergent individuals and their families organize their space to go from overwhelmed to simplified. 

Listen for some easy tips and tricks on how to start the declutter process in your own home, life, and brain that will also help your child or teen do the same.


Show Notes:

[2:32] – Wendy shares her experience being diagnosed with ADD later in life.

[4:05] – In her youth, Wendy found herself cleaning and organizing her room to de-stress. It calms her down still in her adulthood.

[5:40] – It’s all about focusing on something specific to declutter rather than cherry picking certain things.

[6:57] – When your child has ADHD and you may also have ADHD, getting things organized can feel impossible. Where do you start?

[8:46] – Parents reach out to Wendy when their adolescent needs support and a lot of times realize they struggle with the same challenges.

[10:50] – There’s a misconception of what “minimalism” really means.

[12:37] – The goal is not to get rid of everything. It’s about getting things that are meaningful organized.

[13:46] – Task initiation can become a problem when a student’s space is cluttered and distracting.

[16:30] – Decluttering areas in the home can lead to other areas being organized.

[17:15] – Let your child choose things that may help them focus, like their work space or even the clothes they wear.

[20:47] – Purchasing bins or organizational materials and systems does not declutter.

[23:08] – There are three steps to organization.

[25:47] – No two homes are the same. Avoid comparing your home with someone else’s.

[27:30] – Generally, people work better on whatever task they need to focus on when things are organized first.

[28:17] – Brain dumping is a great strategy to declutter your mind and still remember things.

[30:50] – Use a calendar to keep things straight and organized as a family.

[32:44] – In addition to having a calendar available, sometimes the act of writing something down helps you to remember.

[34:15] – Don’t stay stuck and reach out to someone for help who is compassionate and non judgemental.


About Our Guest:

Wendy Zanders is a Professional Organizer, Declutter Coach, Special Needs Mom, and United States Army Veteran. She is passionate about helping Veterans and the special needs community take their homes and lives FROM Overwhelmed TO Simplified. An underperformer in grade school due to undiagnosed attention deficit disorder (ADD), Wendy worked hard and surpassed the expectations of everyone around her. Early in her career, she found that she had a knack for systems and organizing, but found herself living in a totally disorganized home after several episodes of depression. She helps the community get organized by helping them identify what has created the disorder in their lives, and by helping them create systems so they can get back in control of their possessions and homes. 


Connect with Wendy:

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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.