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July Organizing Tips

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Summertime, and the livin’ is easy!

Who wants to think about meal planning when it’s summertime? Not me; I just want to get food ready quickly and get out to the patio! Although this article was written with an ADHD mom in mind, I think the idea is a great way to get some easy-breezy meals on the table.

There was a time in my life, back when my kids were young, way before I had been diagnosed with ADHD or even knew what that acronym meant, that I gave up trying to cook for my two finicky (one with ADHD + special needs) children.

There was exactly one item the two of them would agree to accept on the dinner table and even then, the sauces had to be different: spaghetti. Yep. Noodles. But one had to have meat sauce and the other- only butter was allowed to touch the slippery strands of Mother’s Little Helper. I loved spaghetti night because I could manage boiling a pot of water and tossing a dab of butter on one plate and heating up a bottle of readymade sauce for the other. My husband, however, wouldn’t touch the stuff (how can anyone not love spaghetti? Oh right- my husband!). So on those nights, he was on his own.

So, in honor and in sympathy for all of you moms out there in a similar situation, here are some tips for surviving dinnertime in an ADD household.

Meal-Planning Wheel

One of the biggest problems for moms is deciding what to make. The kids are biting your ankles because you refuse to order pizza again (in our house: one half had to be plain; one half, pepperoni, hold the green pepper).

So, I invented the Meal-Planning Wheel. We brainstormed and wrote down 7 main dinner choices on a paper plate.
On a second plate, we wrote down veggies and other side dishes.

So…the top plate looked like this:

  • Roast chicken
  • Turkey burgers
  • Meatloaf
  • …etc.

The second plate looked something like this:

  • Broccoli
  • Salad
  • Peas
  • …etc.

I took the two plates and joined them in the middle by punching a hole and connecting them with a metal clasp so that they could spin freely. The top plate had squares cut out to reveal the bottom food options. Each day, my kids took turns spinning the menu meal. The main meal choice would line up with a side dish and voila- that was the dinner choice for that night.

It worked like a charm and managed to solve a number of problems: one- getting the kids to eat something they enjoyed and two- taking me out of the equation so that I didn’t have to make decisions every night, nor have to go head to head with one child or both on a daily basis. And since they took turns, each child knew they’d get something they liked every other day. They could double-spin on their day if they landed on a sister’s favorite.

It’s not easy having an ADHD household, but with some creative thinking and inspiration, you, too can get through meal planning and kitchen clean up without too much stress.

This article was written by Terry Matlen, of ADD consults.  If you’d like to get more of her ideas and resources, visit her website at And if you’d like to  find a way to make your organizing project easy-breezy, contact me today!