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Expert says this one odd laundry habit could indicate ADHD

If you were to walk into your bedroom right now, what are the odds that you’d see clothes that never quite made themselves into actual outfits piling up on the floor? Perhaps they are sitting next to—or are even mixed in with—clothes that you did wear once throughout the week that aren’t quite dirty, but for some reason can’t make their way back into your closet.

If this sounds familiar, then you have what’s known on social media as a “floordrobe.” And sure, the phenomenon is common enough to warrant a slang term, but according to experts it could indicate neurodivergence—ADHD, specifically.

In a TikTok video that has been watched almost 5 million times, ADHD coach Jeff Rice explained that this type of clutter, be it actual piles of clothes on the floor or a laundry basket “that just sits there for days and days or weeks,” happens to folks with ADHD for two reasons.

“The first has to do with the clothes which are not quite dirty. Usually we leave these things out because it’s going to act as a visual cue to remind us ;this is not quite dirty and I want to wear it again,” he said.

However the problem with visual cues is that “we become visually adapted to them,” Rice noted. And after we’ve adapted to seeing these cues, we no longer act on them.

The second common reason is that it’s neither interesting nor urgent, and so it gets put off until it does at least become urgent, like when there are no more clean socks.

While it might be hard for any of us to focus on boring tasks, it can be physiologically impossible for those with ADHD. We have enough research now to prove that it has nothing to do with laziness or unwillingness, and everything to do with different brain wiring that comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

And thankfully, Rice has a few ADHD-proof strategies that have helped him with the floordrobe issue, which can possibly help others.

@jeff_coachyouradhdbrain It seems like many people with ADHD have challenges dealing with laundry.  The clean laundry, and the “not quite dirty and I’ll probably wear it again” laundry tends to accumulate and create clutter.  This laundry clutter is often called our “floordrobe”.  Here are two thoughts on how to tackle this kind of clutter. #laundry #clutter #organizationhacks #adhd #adhdtiktok ♬ original sound – Jeff Rice – Author, ADHD Coach

First, he put “parameters” on which of the not-quite-dirty clothes can stay out. “For example, if I’m leaving a sweatshirt sitting on the edge of the tub in the bathroom because I’m planning on wearing it tomorrow, great. If I don’t wear it tomorrow I either have to put it away or just put it in the dirty clothes,” he says.

As for putting away clean clothes, Rice decided to tackle his warped ability to gauge how long a task might take, commonly known in the ADHD community as time blindness.

“Whenever I look at a basket of laundry, I think, ‘Oh my gosh, this is going to take forever to put away,’” he said. “And objectively, it’s not true. One of the ways that I attacked this was, at one point, I had three baskets of laundry sitting in my closet and I didn’t want to put them away. So I decided to check to see how long does it really take for me to put away three baskets of laundry. The answer — 21 minutes. I set a timer, and I timed myself while I put them away ― seven minutes per basket.”

Rice shared how having the hard data help transform the emotionally overwhelming concept of “forever” into a very manageable “seven minutes” made all the difference.

“It actually makes it easier for me to look at it when I don’t want to do it, take a breath, and think intellectually ‘it’s only seven minutes.’”

And obviously, while Rice says that floordrobes are a “universal sign” of ADHD, there are plenty of other causes. Everything from depression to simply a lack of storage space could leave us making clothing piles from times to time. Still, having ways to declutter when life or our own brain chemistry seems to be working against us can help us better navigate the tough times.

Source: Upworthy
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