How to Do Laundry with ADHD and Feel Fresh Doing It

Julia Ovcharenko, CEO of Numo
November 29, 2023

If you Google ADHD laundry tips, one of the top results would be a cry for help from a frustrating Redditor who has one important question:

And, yeah, describing laundry as “rotten, tedious, and insane” is quite apt, as it seems like something Satan would come up with if tasked with designing ADHD torture. 

It’s long and boring and requires choosing and organizing things (separating whites from the colored). 

Well, how the heck do we deal with it? That’s eh-xactly what we are going to talk about today.

So, if you wondered how not to be stinky in style, tune in! We have just the cure for you! 🧺🧼

[Have Less Clothing] ADHD laundry hack #1: Less (Clothing) is more

The more clothing you have, the more often you need to do laundry. This is simple, pure math. 

The solution? Get rid of your clothing that you don’t really need.

We all have some of those. Novelty band t-shirts bought on a whim. Clothing gifted by clueless relatives that you don’t really like. That old pair of pants you have kept since high school is full of holes and unwashable stains. 

Just…you don’t need all of that, trust me. Throw away the unsalvageable and donate those in good condition to charity. Bonus karma points and less headache sound like a win.

[Something is better than nothing] ADHD laundry hack #2: 20% is better than 0

We all want to be perfect. Yet, being perfect in imagination isn’t worth anything, not to you, not to anyone else. 

So maybe you have enough energy to gather the laundry and throw it in a bin today? Future you will thank them for cutting out jobs for them.

Or you have enough energy to wash and dry but not enough to do the folding. That’s not an issue either! Who even folds clothing nowadays? Wrinkles will just straighten out when you wear them, trust me.

Secret confession: I haven’t folded clothing in forever. 

[Eliminate distractions] ADHD laundry hack #3 Eliminate ambiguity

ADHD paralysis always waits for an ample opportunity to creep up on unsuspecting ADHDers, and laundry is the prime opportunity for it to rear its ugly head. 

“From which room do I start picking up dirty clothing?”

“Should I wash colored or white laundry first?”

“Which detergent should I use?”

All these - and many more - questions mean that you spend so much time pondering and so little time actually dealing with the piles of dirty clothes all over your room. 

So, there are plenty of ways to handle that. 

  1. Get separate hampers for white and colored laundry.
  2. Keep your laundry supplies to a minimum and pick some “one-size-fits-all” solution
  3. Try keeping everything laundry-related in one room. Sure, it’s impossible, but try moving all the bins and supplies near the washing machine. That way, you commit to laundry and reduce the chance of getting distracted as you go from one room to another. 

[Turn it into a habit] ADHD laundry hack #4 Make it a habit

I don’t know about you, but my life feels easier when I know that a certain day of a month has a specific purpose. It primes me for that activity, so I don’t need to drive myself to burnout figuring out what to do when I wake up. 

Instead, I just open my ADHD planner and see that I already have a task planned out for today, and that’s one more bad thought out of my head.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling all ✨E X T R A 💅, I will further break down the task into step-by-step instructions.

It’s a bit of cheating, really, but when each crossed-off task gives me that dopamini boost, who can judge me? You gotta trick that ADHD brain somehow! 

On days when I feel overwhelmed, just looking at my personalized, well-structured planner brings a sense of calm and control. It reminds me that, despite the chaos, I have a plan in place—a path through the uncertainty.

[Turn to a friend] ADHD laundry hack #5 Friend lifeline

ADHD is an interesting condition. Its symptoms are so diverse and sometimes incomprehensible that two people might feel and behave in completely different ways yet have ADHD. 

So, it’s good if you find those tips helpful, and you will no longer have issues with doing laundry…but what if they don’t work? 

You can never account for every possibility and quirk. This is why it’s so important to share and exchange our ADHD experiences so that everyone can find the solution to the problem they need. 

That’s why we have created Numo, the ultimate ADHD app.

What can you do with it? Well, a lot. As I mentioned in the previous tip, it has a straightforward-to-use planner app that will ensure you don’t forget about your laundry day. 

But we really wanted to go beyond the basics, hence our lovely squads and tribes. These are our closely-knit communities of ADHDers where we share laughs, goofs, and advice on handling chores in a way that doesn’t feel daunting or exhausting. 

And if that still doesn’t sound enticing, we have packed some extra goodies to lure you into our den. We’re friendly, trust 😀

  • Noise generator - smart humans in white coats suggest that static noise can help us stay focused on the task without getting distracted in the sea of our thoughts. So, why not chuck it on next time you plan to do laundry?
  • Library of helpful tips & tricks - Numo is for ADHDers by ADHDers. In our years of experience, we have gathered a fair share of coping strategies to make it much more manageable, and we are ready to share them with you! (If you join, that is 😉)

And of course…MEMES. I mean, they are not always good memes, but memes nonetheless. 

[Conclusion] Summing it all up

So, there you have it. A few handful tips on how to deal with the hell that is laundry. I do sincerely hope that you have found them useful. And, if in your pursuits of greatness, you will discover some new secrets to mastering the art of laundry, then do let us know! We’d be happy to have you!

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