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ADHD Strategies We Use With Clients

At Simplify Experts, we do more than just declutter and organize—we also specialize in supporting clients with ADHD. Our founder Denise Allan has specialist credentials in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD, as well as ten additional certificates of study through the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). She is also the only certified Chronic Disorganization Specialist (CPO-CD) in the Pacific Northwest. Our professional organizers are trained one-on-one by Denise with this ethos in mind. This is how we understand that whether you are taking care of a child diagnosed with ADHD or have ADHD yourself, you face extra challenges when it comes to home management and organization. It is not your fault. ADHD causes your mind to feel like it is jumping all over, making you overwhelmed, and disorganized—and your home becomes the same. Your brain chemistry is working against you and your coping mechanisms may not be enough.

When it comes to getting organized, you may feel stuck and don’t even know where to start. Adults with ADHD have many passions and great ideas. Common spaces such as kitchen, dining rooms, garage, and family rooms may have become cluttered by open projects. Visual overstimulation can occur and you never feel the satisfaction of completing a project. Common spaces lose their intended function. Uncompleted projects may cause financial strain and increase conflict with loved ones. We understand these unique challenges and we can help.

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The Best Under-Sink Organizers for Your Bathroom, Kitchen, or Laundry Room

That cabinet under your bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen sink is a funky storage area, isn’t it? It’s spacious, but because of the sink, pipes and hoses, and possibly a garbage disposal, it may be a challenge to find a storage solution for. It’s either a cluttered pile of items, or bins and baskets that are hard to reach and find anything in. Plus all that vertical space going to waste! With these clever organizers, you can make much better use of this very underutilized space—click on the images to see in the shop.

Tiered organizers with slide-out baskets.

These come in various heights and widths, so every under-sink configuration will be different. The top two have included dividers to make grouping items and storing small things even easier.

     

   

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10 Ways ADHD Can Hide in Plain Sight

By Dara Abraham, D.O.
from ADDitude Magazine
June 25, 2021

ADHD is sometimes impossible to miss — and other times far too easy to overlook. The children who exhibit stereotypical symptoms (i.e. hyperactivity or impulsivity) are often diagnosed, while those with not-so-obvious signs (i.e. emotional dysregulation or sleeplessness) may be misdiagnosed into adulthood — or entirely. Here are the ADHD signs most likely to hide in plain sight.

Though it manifests in disparate and dichotomous ways, ADHD is often associated with only a handful of stereotypical behaviors and presentations. So when not-so-obvious ADHD symptoms show up in broad daylight, they may go ignored or misdiagnosed.

Then, when subtle-but-lifelong symptoms of ADHD explode (as they are likely to do) under unique and stressful circumstances, they suddenly become unmanageable. And it’s only then that many adults get the help they need.

Here are commonly overlooked signs of ADHD, including unexpected symptoms and even those that seem contrary to the diagnosis.

Signs That Point to ADHD

1. Your lifelong difficulties with focus, restlessness, and impatience did not affect your work or family – until life drastically changed.

You can still have ADHD even if you were not diagnosed as a child. Commonly, symptoms of poor focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity remain manageable thanks to well-honed coping mechanisms that fall apart with a major life event — like obtaining your first job, getting married, or starting a family. Perhaps, for example, your symptoms remained under control until you found yourself amid the global pandemic.

 

Read the rest on ADDitudemag.com.

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Learn How to Minimize the Dust in Your Closet

from Closets.com
January 8, 2021

 

Ever notice how closets and bathrooms seem to be the dustiest rooms in the house? There’s a reason for this. They may not be used very often each day. But the type of use these areas receive creates dust. And the relatively small size of closets with limited air circulation exacerbates the problem.

Understand what is dust made of.

According to research from Chemical and Engineering News, 80% of the dust in a home is made up of dead skin cells that have sloughed off your body. The rest is a combination of dust mites and their excrement, clothing fibers, pollen, and bacteria. Yuck! Certainly not my home, right?

Think of Pig-Pen from the old Peanuts cartoons by Charles M. Schulz.

Unfortunately, even the cleanest among us create dust. We are all kind of like Pig-Pen. That’s because particles of our skin and hair continuously shed throughout the day. In fact, that is what bloodhounds or other search and rescue dogs are following when they pick up your “scent.” We create our own unique dust as part of a healthy rejuvenation process for our bodies. It can be completely avoided, but we can still reduce this dust from piling up in our homes.

And then there are the dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic spider-like creatures that live in our homes and on our clothing. They eat dead skin cells. Thus the attraction to us. After they eat, they poop, like any other animal, adding to our “dust.” To make things worse, many people are allergic to this dust mite doo-doo. In fact, this is one of the major allergens in dust that make us sneeze.

 

Read the rest on Closets.com.

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Don’t Buy These 10 Things In Bulk

We all love a bargain, and shopping at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club definitely cuts costs on groceries and household items. Diapers, pet food, paper products, detergent, vitamins—items such as these are certainly a way better deal at the big stores! But is everything a better deal at the warehouse stores? Not necessarily. Here are ten things you (generally) shouldn’t buy in bulk.

1.  Produce

Fruits and vegetables don’t last too long, whether it’s the kind you store in the fridge or the kitchen counter. Even if buying a large amount of produce seems like a good deal, throwing out spoiled items at the end of the week is wasteful and not cost-effective. Buy fresh produce according to how much you use within a few days. Of course, if you are making French onion soup, do buy that big bag of onions at Costco! A friend of mine makes smoothies each morning for herself and her family, so fresh bananas and berries bought in bulk definitely saves them money.

2.  Meat and Fish

Meat and fish at warehouse stores are not wrapped for freezer storage, and if kept too long can get freezer burn and tough to eat. And though the FoodSafety.gov says frozen meat kept at a temperature of 0° Fahrenheit or lower is “safe to eat indefinitely,” remember the difference between “safe to eat” and “good to eat.” While keeping some meat and fish in your freezer is handy for a quick meal, fresher is usually best.

3.  Cooking Oils

Assess how long it takes you to finish a gallon of cooking oil—do you really finish it by the expiration date? Even if you do, NutritionFacts.org‘s study shows found that many cooking oils begin to go rancid and oxidize long before that date. Unless you do a lot of frying, get your oil at the grocery store instead. This way your cooking oils will always be fresh, and you can have regular-sized bottles of a wider variety, such as extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, and coconut oil.

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How to Keep Kids Safe on YouTube in 2021

from SafetyDetectives.com
June 2, 2021

Keeping kids away from inappropriate YouTube content can feel overwhelming. There are several billion YouTube videos (500+ hours of video are uploaded every minute), and 2 billion users log into YouTube every month — so how do we filter out all of the violent, sexual, manipulative, hateful, and otherwise unsuitable content that our kids find on YouTube (frequently on accident)?

YouTube has a couple of solutions — including “Restricted Mode” on conventional YouTube and also the curated YouTube Kids app, both of which are meant to filter out adult content. But dozens of reports have been published showing the staggering amount of vulgar, violent, and disturbing content that YouTube’s automated filters fail to catch.

What’s even more worrying is that a lot of these videos are actually targeted at young children, using popular characters, misleading titles, and search-engine-optimized language to maximize views from young children who don’t know any better.

That’s why relying on YouTube’s filters isn’t good enough. But there are some pretty simple techniques that you can use to ensure your kids don’t stumble across the millions of hours of inappropriate content on YouTube in 2021.

Read the rest on SafetyDetectives.com

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Back-to-School Organization Ideas for an A+ School Year

You’ve downloaded the school supply lists and bought everything your kiddos will need (and likely more!). High-five, parents! To get this school year off to a sweet start, get their school items organized and systems set up ahead of time. The first week of school will be less chaotic and more streamlined when everyone knows where everything is located and where items are to be deposited, taken from, and found.

A Place for Backpacks

Use wall hooks in the entryway or mudroom to store these items—make sure they are secure enough to hold heavy backpacks. Best location is the kids’ first point of entry and last point of exit! Don’t let them get in the habit of just leaving their backpacks all over the house. One, it cuts down on floor clutter; two, it lessens the chances of school stuff getting lost or misplaced. Once they get home, encourage them to empty their backpacks of lunch and homework items. When leaving for school, it will be the reverse order.

Lunch Bags

These should also not be strewn all over the house. Nobody wants to find a half-filled silicone sandwich bag two weeks later in the back of the closet! Once they empty their backpacks, have a spot in the kitchen for them to deposit their lunch bags so everything can be emptied, washed, and readied for the next day.

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Pandemic Habits to Keep

Last month we went over some pandemic habits to say goodbye to, like too much takeout and screen time. However, there are even more habits and routines we’ve changed or added that actually bring healthy, positive, and uplifting vibes to our lives. We may have turned the corner on the pandemic (and fingers crossed that it stays that way!), but some things are too good to let go of. Let’s focus on pandemic habits we should definitely keep!

Walking, walking, and more walking!

Remember in early lockdown when there was nowhere to go and everyone started walking outside? It was actually quite wonderful! Our neighborhood streets, normally quiet, became busy with people walking, saying “Hello” from a distance, and talking to others from their porches. I’d have meet-ups with friends to walk, and with the streets empty we could walk six feet apart in the middle of the road. My husband liked to pop in his AirPods, find his latest favorite podcast, and walk for miles. If COVID got you taking a walk regularly, there’s absolutely no reason to stop this awesome practice. No wonder The Guardian calls 2020 “The Year of the Walker”!

Supporting local businesses

My local community groups were big on supporting local mom-and-pop shops instead of the big retail giants—we sure didn’t want them to disappear during the pandemic. While many places unfortunately still had to shutter, many more stayed afloat and are now feeling a resurgence. Yay! Restaurants, book stores, boutiques, pet shops, food trucks, clothing and gift shops, cafés, etc.—it’s so terrific to see these businesses return to almost-normal and begin to thrive again. Let’s keep up this local support!

Hygiene

One of the things I found so odd (and alarming, honestly) at the beginning of the pandemic was all the imploring for people to wash hands regularly; why was this a new thing?! In any case, in the past year colds and the flu almost disappeared. With social distancing, mask-wearing, and tons of sanitizing, the basic illnesses truly diminished; this may change as the world is opening up and the COVID-safety measures start to go away. I, for one, plan to keep up the hygiene practices—lots of hand-washing and sanitizers—even post-pandemic. I love not getting sick! And as they have been doing in Asia, I will start wearing a mask when I’m feeling under the weather, to keep others from catching whatever bug I’ve got.

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Top Five Lists To Make Before A Big Trip

A weekend or a few days away is pretty easy to pack and prepare for, especially if you do it fairly often. If you are going to be away from home for a week or more (lucky you!) then you’ll want to make sure your situation at home is thoroughly set up and taken care of, especially if you are leaving kiddos or pets behind. Here are five major lists to make before you set off:

1. Packing

Write it on a notepad or use an app, but make a list of everything you (and your family) are bringing. Create categories such as clothing, toiletries, swimming stuff, devices, baby stuff, etc. It’s helpful before you go; then when you’re repacking to come home it’s a great way to make sure you don’t forget anything. It also keeps you from bringing multiples of the same thing.

2. Arrangements

From the dog-sitter to the yard company to the U.S. Mail to the Waste Management pick-up, list all the things you need to have done (or not done) while you are away, and confirm the arrangements you make.

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10 Must-Haves for Your Carry-On Bag

There was a time when all one needed for their carry-on bag was an airline ticket, a few toiletries, a good book, and maybe a snack and a drink. How things have changed! With extensive security measures in place, digitized ticketing and check-ins, and a need for multiple devices, air travel has definitely become more complicated. Your carry-on bag basically holds your existence for the next 2 to 20 hours, depending on where you are traveling! Here’s our list of 10 must-haves to make your flight less stressful and more efficient:

1.  Trip Documents

For quick and easy access, items like your wallet, boarding pass, and passport should definitely be kept in the front or top pockets of your carry-on. Other documents to keep in a separate folder: physical tickets, invitations, itineraries, and any other documents with no digital version. Extra: When traveling abroad I always make double-sided photocopies of my family’s passports, TSA-Pre cards, IDs, and credit cards. I take one copy and store it deep inside my carry-on in a zippered pocket, and leave one with my parents.

2.  Technology

Definitely your smartphone and charger! But do think through your other tech—these items are heavy. Do you really need your laptop, iPad, and Kindle? If you plan to work during the flight, then bring your laptop. You can leave your Kindle or e-reader at home and use it’s app on your iPad instead. If you want to bring several devices but know you’ll really only use your smartphone and iPad on the flight, pack the rest safely in your checked luggage. Don’t forget the chargers—keep them tidy and organized.

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