Two Signs Fix It or Live With a Problem Tolerate or Improve

My Border Collie Bubba has a big basket of toys in my living room. Bubba is really good at taking all of his toys out of the basket and scattering them around the floor and though he is really smart, he doesn’t know how to put his toys away.

Every morning I have to step over his toys to get to my desk. I notice that I usually step over his toys about five times before I stop and put them away. I tolerate them being out of place even though it takes me less than a minute to pick them up and put them in the basket.

I’m not sure why but there are many things that we tolerate in our lives and we willingly step over and around them. Sometimes we even sweep them under the rug.

The trouble with tolerating is that it eventually wears you down and makes your world an uncomfortable place to live.


What are some things that folks with ADHD typically tolerate?


  • Clutter
  • Disorganization
  • Piles of paper
  • Paying bills late
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Being late to everything
  • Not being able to find your keys


Think about the things you tolerate and pick something you could begin to address today. Take that first step then another.


  • Throw out five things.
  • Fill a shopping bag of clothes to donate.
  • Clean up one corner of your desk.
  • Go through a pile of paper and reduce it by throwing away junk mail.
  • Create a place to keep your bills.
  • Create a bed time.
  • Wear an analog watch.
  • Create a home for your keys.

Start small with whatever is easiest for you to tackle. You don’t have to do everything at once and the goal is progress not perfection. Try zooming in on one thing and see what happens.

If you need help don’t be afraid to ask for it. You might have a supportive friend you can ask to act as a body double while you declutter or you might want to hire a professional organizer or a coach to keep you on track.

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. She is the organizer of the ADHD Women’s Meetup Group that meets every month in downtown Brooklyn. For more information visit her website: or email Kathy at

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