Home Improvement and Self Improvement with ADHD


Last summer after thinking about it for about 8 years, I took a leap of faith and decided to totally remodel one of my bathrooms. My old bathroom was functional but I hated the way it looked. However, I found that tolerating the ugly tile and cheap fixtures was easier than doing something about it.

There are some people who love interior decorating and home improvement. I am not one of those people. I have my strengths and abilities, I’m good at many things, but home improvement projects? As they say in Brooklyn, fuhgedaboudit!

I’m not a handy person. I don’t like decorating or making a million decisions about what will look good where. Home Depot makes me feel overwhelmed and I have had panic attacks in disorganized tile stores. Making a decision about paint color is a slow and painful process for me.

My husband is one of the handiest people on earth but not so great at initiating and he was more than willing to keep tolerating our ugly bathroom. I told him I would take on the role of project manager but I would need his help and he agreed. I took charge of finding a contractor, selecting the tiles and fixtures and my husband was with me every step of the way.

The bathroom is done and I love the way it turned out and that I made it happen. It was a home improvement project but there were self improvements as well.

Here’s what I learned:

  • We will tolerate things that take effort to change.
  • Spending too much time on decisions can be paralyzing but not thinking enough is impulsive. Finding the balance is the key.
  • It’s OK to make some mistakes.
  • Starting small and taking one step at a time will get you where you need to go.
  • When you get stuck, take a deep breath and figure out your next move.
  • Ask for help from people who know what they’re talking about and keep asking questions until you know what they are talking about.
  • Keeping all project related paperwork in a folder will save your sanity.
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone provides opportunity for growth.

Kathy Sussell is an ADHD coach in Brooklyn, NY. She helps teens, college students and adults with ADHD with time management, planning and prioritizing, getting started with and finishing tasks, organizing paper and objects and improving social skills. Kathy is the organizer of the ADHD Women’s Meetup Group that meets every month in downtown Brooklyn. For more information visit her website: www.bravolifecoaching.com or email Kathy at kathy@bravolifecoaching.com

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