Laundry habit that’s an ‘almost universal’ sign of ADHD

Have you ever found yourself leaving your clothes in a heap for weeks on end?

Maybe you’re torn between thinking something is “too worn” to put back in the wardobe but not quite dirty enough to be thrown into the washing machine.

The phemomenon known as the “floordrobe” often refers to a a disorganised pile of clutter that would likely baffle any neat freak.

However, Jeff Rice, a certified ADHD coach, claims it’s “almost universal” among people with the neurodivergent condition, which he recently explained to his 179k TikTok followers.

“A floordrobe is a place, typically on the floor, where we leave either clean or ‘not quite dirty’ clothes,” he posted on his account (@jeff_coachyouradhdbrain).

“It can be in a laundry basket that just sits there for days and days or weeks. Or, it can be in a pile of clothes that you’ve worn for a little while, but they didn’t quite get dirty and so you think you’re going to wear them again,” reports the Mirror.

ADHD – or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – is a condition that affects a person’s behaviour, potentially causing them to be impulsive, restless or hyperactive, while struggling to organise tasks.

Jeff suggests that floordrobes typically occur among individuals with ADHD for one of two reasons. The first is to serve as a ‘visual cue’ or reminder that certain clothes aren’t entirely dirty and may be worn again in the upcoming days.

However, this concept is often flawed, as the human brain becomes accustomed to seeing the pile after a few instances. This makes the floordrobe much easier to overlook, meaning it’s likely to be left out for more than just several days.

“Another common reason for having a floordrobe is because the act of putting away clean clothes is one that our ADHD brains just do not find appealing. It’s not interesting, novel, urgent or challenging,” Jeff added.

“And so we procrastinate and delay until perhaps it does become urgent, because all four laundry baskets are in the closet full of your clothes and you have to do the laundry.”

Jeff’s sentiment was also echoed by Tobba Vigfusdottir, a psychologist and founder of Kara Connect – a wellbeing hub for employers. Speaking to The Mirror, she said: “Common indicators in daily habits could include realising dozens of minutes have passed while you were thinking of something different than your task, struggling to maintain tidiness or forgetting routine chores.”

“People with ADHD will often jump from one task to another without completing them, leading to a perpetual cycle of starting but not finishing tasks.”

If you’re grappling with ADHD and seeking ways to better manage these tendencies, Tobba recommends establishing structured routines and allocating specific time frames for various tasks.

Breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps can also make them seem less daunting.

Those who are close to someone with ADHD should approach the topic with empathy and patience.

Tobba added: “Whilst it’s fine to confront your friend about this, remember that the chaotic behavioural traits typical of ADHD do not necessarily reflect their intentions.”

“Let them know that you understand their lateness and interruptions weren’t intentional, even though it was frustrating for you, and ask what can be done to avoid a repeat of it.”

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