Tips to Help Your Child Keep Their Bedroom Organized If They Have ADHD


Most people like to have their space relatively clean and organized. However, for many children, it’s difficult to not only get their bedroom to be neat, but also to keep it that way for longer than a day. Nearly every parent knows what it’s like to have their child’s bedroom turn from a clean space where everything is in the right place to a disorganized mess after they try to find that sweater from two weeks ago or have a playdate.

It’s not uncommon for children to have messy bedrooms. Young children don’t intrinsically understand the importance and value of a clean bedroom. Teens have such a long priority list that cleaning their bedroom often falls to the wayside in favor of extracurriculars and studying for exams. But bedroom organization is more than a common household chore to learn responsibility. It also helps them develop the Executive Function skills they need in the future to be productive. 

Organization is a skill that can be difficult for your child to develop, especially if they have a developmental disorder like ADHD that impacts their Executive Function skills. With the right tips and tricks, you can help your child work with the challenges posed by their ADHD. They can keep their bedroom organized in a way that works for them. 

Which Executive Function skill is your student’s #1 blindspot

Strategies to help your child with ADHD keep their bedroom organized

Keeping your child’s bedroom organized goes beyond just putting things in drawers. It requires Executive Function skills that can be impacted by ADHD, such as focus and working memory. Children who have ADHD can have trouble concentrating on a cleaning task until it’s completed or remembering where things are supposed to go. 

The goal is to not only get your child to organize their room but also for their room to stay that way with sustainable solutions. If you’re trying to help your child with ADHD keep their bedroom organized, there are quite a few strategies that are worth testing out. Remember, collaboration is key. It’s their room, their belongings and their time. Work with them to figure out which strategies will be the most effective. Be sure to consider their strengths and challenges.

Here are a few ADHD-friendly organization tips to help your child keep their bedroom organized. These tips can be adapted for your child’s age, space and abilities.

  • Be specific with your directions — When you’re trying to get your child to organize their room, saying things like, “Clean your room” or “Put your things away” can be vague. These types of instructions can make the task seem overwhelming. Be specific with instructions. Say things like, “Put your school supplies back into your desk” and “Put your new jacket away with the rest of your winter clothes.” Be as specific as possible with your instructions to leave little room for misinterpretation. It also helps break down a large task into smaller, more manageable organization tasks. 
  • Make it fun — Children with ADHD often get distracted from tasks like organizing their room due to boredom, leading them to look for more enjoyable activities. Try to make the organizing process fun for them. Make it a fun challenge by timing how fast they can put away their things at the end of the day. You can also recommend playing music during the process to give them an extra bounce in their step as they put things in their rightful place before bed.
  • Use clear bins — Some of the most effective organizational systems utilize clear bins and containers. Children with ADHD are often forgetful about where things go and have challenges with their working memory. By seeing everything in a container, it can show them the right place for any item without the risk of things becoming even more disorganized by throwing an item into the first box they see. 
  • Incorporate visuals — Children often respond well to visual cues, especially if they have a developmental disorder like ADHD. For children with ADHD, if they don’t see it with their own eyes, then they are less likely to think about it. Incorporate visual reminders into their organizational process, such as sticky notes or stickers. They can be used as reminders on their chore chart or calendar of where things go as well as to let your child know it’s time to organize their room.
  • Keep it simple — Many organizing strategies focus on the details, such as, “Separate your socks by type” or “Organize your books by color.” Microorganizing can be overwhelming for children with ADHD, who may run out of patience quite quickly. Keep the organizational systems simple to make the tasks more manageable and easy to maintain. Systems like combining similar categories of items into one bin or designating an area of a closet to a particular activity are simple yet effective.
  • Add it into their routine — Sticking to a routine can be challenging for a child with ADHD because it can be seen as boring, instead of more “exciting” distractions. However, following a routine can help set your child up for success by reducing procrastination, alleviating stress and providing a sense of control. Add bedroom organization into their daily routine so that it eventually becomes an automatic habit that doesn’t require a lot of thinking during the process.


The importance of your child with ADHD keeping their room organized

When you have a child, you know the importance of staying organized because you’ve no doubt had experiences of what happens when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Maybe you misplaced important medical records or you were late to a birthday party because you couldn’t find that greeting card you bought. Your children may not have had those experiences yet, so they don’t understand the consequences of being disorganized.

It’s essential to help your children form organizational habits now to avoid preventable issues in the future. If they have ADHD, the benefits of an organized bedroom go beyond being able to find what they need. Your child with ADHD should keep their room organized because it:

  • Alleviates stress from having working memory challenges
  • Accelerates the process of getting ready
  • Reduces the risk of misplacing schoolwork or sentimental belongings
  • Improves productivity for tasks that are completed in the room, such as homework
  • Decreases the chance of hyperfocus and distractions from stray items
  • Teaches them how to take care of their possessions
  • Brings a sense of accomplishment and reduces feelings of guilt, affecting emotional regulation


Beyond BookSmart can help your child with ADHD develop the Executive Function skills needed to keep their room organized

Executive Function skills are life management skills that we all need in order to be effective in planning, initiating, and achieving goals at home, in school,  and in the workplace. There are plenty of Executive Functions that are involved in keeping a bedroom organized, including self-monitoring, focus, and working memory. ADHD can impact these skills, making it difficult for your child to organize their room and keep it that way.

Even though ADHD can make bedroom organization a challenge for your child, incorporating the tips above can help them keep their room clean and develop the skills they need to succeed in other areas of their life, from schoolwork to extracurricular activities.

Executive Function skills are trainable and coachable with time and the right tools. At Beyond BookSmart, our Executive Function coaching can help kindergarten-age children through college-aged young adults stay focused, motivated, and engaged in everything from schoolwork to household chores.

We can help your child tackle a specific task like this in a Single Coaching Session! No commitment is needed and it won't interrupt your student's summer.

Sign Up Now

Explore our solutions for students, adults and schools

for students
of all ages

Leaders in Executive Function coaching for students since 2006

WorkSmart (2)
for adults
in all walks of life

A Beyond BookSmart coaching company for adults

for schools
of all types

A Beyond BookSmart mentoring company for school classrooms

About the Author

Previous Post

6 Ways to Help Your Child With ADHD Keep Up With Household Chores

Next Post

11 Personal Hygiene Tips for People With ADHD