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ADHD and Decluttering

In working with clients with ADHD I frequently see a variety of interests and hobbies. Those with the ability to hyperfocus can become incredibly immersed with an idea. The ADHD brain is very creative. This is not a bad quality. The challenge emerges when the individual moves on to another interest or hobby yet is still surrounded by the volume of supplies related to the previous hobby.

It's not uncommon for me to uncover a half dozen hobbies and the supplies associated with them. While working with a client recently I learned that he had a significant volume of musical instruments. He had played many of them and had even been in a band at one time. When I asked about current interest and activity in music he informed me that due to hearing loss he no longer hears the notes as accurately as he once did therefore the hobby is less interesting to him. I proposed the question, "what would it look like to let this hobby and collection go?" He thought for a moment and considered the possibility.

The idea of letting go of a part of your history that might be part of your perceived identity is HARD! It can feel like an act of weakness or defeat to admit you will no longer engage in that activity. While asking yourself this question is hard and uncomfortable, I encourage you to do it. A former hobby can still be a part of your life story and identity without being a current part of your life.

In freeing himself from the musical instruments taking up space in his home he's able to create space for his current hobbies. Having the additional space to spread out can even make his current hobby more enjoyable and engaging.

As people we are not stagnant and nor are our interests. It's healthy and normal to try new things. I challenge you to look around for items from past interests or hobbies. When was the last time you used the items? Do you have any physical limitations that make doing that activity more challenging than it used to be? Did you discover that the activity didn't produce the result you wanted so you don't care to do it again? There might be a reason to let it go.

Hillary Case, April 2022

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