What is DOOM Piling and How to Deal With It?

Demi Aspey
3 mins read
Nov 19, 2023

Ever felt like you’re in a game of Jenga but with your personal belongings? 

Enter DOOM Piling: the arch-nemesis of anyone trying to organise their life, especially if you’re rocking the ADHD life. 

But fear not, fellow chaos warriors, we’ve got the lowdown on tackling these daunting stacks.

What is DOOM Piling? 🤔

DOOM (Didn’t Organise, Only Moved) Piling is like playing hot potato with your stuff. 

You shuffle things from one spot to another, hoping it magically organises itself. 

Spoiler: it doesn’t. 

It's the ADHD brain's way of saying, "I'll deal with this later".

Except later never comes, and the pile turns into a mini mountain of doom.

adhd doom piling explained

The ADHD-DOOM Piling Connection 🧺

Why do our ADHD brains love a good DOOM Pile? 

It’s all about how we're wired. Our noggins often struggle with organisation, prioritisation, and seeing the 'big picture.' 

Some other core ADHD contributors:

So, we create these piles as a temporary fix that becomes a permanent fixture. It's like putting a band-aid on a leaky pipe and hoping for the best.

ADHD Symptoms Making Organisation a Mission Impossible 🧠

ADHD comes with a fun bundle of traits like distractibility, impulsivity, and a dislike for mundane tasks (looking at you, laundry). 

how to clean with adhd meme

These make organising as fun as watching paint dry. 

The result? 

DOOM Piles become our unintentional yet loyal roommates.

stumbling on adhd piles
Credit: @autistic_callum_

7 Strategies to Tame the DOOM Pile Beast ✨

But wait, there’s hope! 

Here are some nifty tricks to wrangle those DOOM Piles into submission:

1. Don't Put It Down, Put It Away

As soon as you touch something don't drop it or put it down, but put it away at it's designated place.

Repeat it like a mantra. Whether it’s dishes, laundry, keys.

This tiny 10-sec fix can finally help you get rid of the DOOM pile.

It works like magic! 🪄

2. Start Small, Aim Big: 

Begin with the low-hanging fruit.

Tackling small tasks first builds momentum and confidence.

Try sorting one pile or one room at a time.

Give yourself a little reward when you're done.


3. Limit the DOOM Pile’s Real Estate:

ADHD cleaning meme

Set boundaries.

Your DOOM Pile doesn’t need to sprawl like a metropolis.

Keep it contained.

Let that blinking desk chair be free of the clothes pile, please!

4. Body doubling

Body doubling whether in person or online, is when two people work together on their own tasks alongside each other.

Having someone around can can help turn up the volume on your dopamine levels and make it easier to deal with that DOOM pile.

Want to easily find a partner?

Try Deepwrk's online body doubling website to get that energy and motivation.

5. The 5-Minute Rule 

If a task takes less than 5-minutes, do it now.

If it’s bigger, break it into 5-minute chunks.

Bite size is the right size.

6. Daily Decluttering Dashes 

Allocate a short time each day to declutter.

It’s like a daily workout but for your space.

7. Put Together a Decluttering Checklist 

ADHD cleaning meme getting distracted

Make a list, check it twice.

No, you’re not Santa. You’re a sorter.

It’s satisfying to tick off tasks and keep you on track.

Conquering the Chaos 💪

Doom Piling might feel like an unbeatable boss in a video game, but with these strategies, you’re well-armed to take it down. 

Remember, organising isn’t about perfection; it’s about progress.

Frequently Asked Questions: The Doom Piling 101

What is a Doom Box?

Think of a Doom Box as a Doom Pile’s cousin.

It’s where all those ‘I’ll sort this later’ items go to hang out, only later never comes.

How do you deal with ADHD Doom Piles?

Tackle it bit by bit, set limits, and use time rules.

And don't forget the "don't put it down, put it away" mantra!

It's about outsmarting the pile, not overpowering it.

Where to find more ADHD resources? 

For more insights into living with ADHD, check out our selection of the best ADHD Podcasts and ADHD books.

In case you want to explore some less understood ADHD concepts, head over to our articles on: ADHD Tax, ADHD Burnout Cycle, ADHD Masking, ADHD Decision Fatigue, RSD, ADHD Intrusive Thoughts.

And in our ADHD Awareness Month feature we explore in detail the ADHD misconceptions and stigmas.

Looking for ADHD life hacks? Here you can find 17 ADHD hacks that actually work and an ADHD cleaning checklist to transform the chaos into order.

Find your flow with Deepwrk. An ADHD body doubling app to get more done solo, not alone!
Learn More
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Demi Aspey
Demi is the founder of the creative agency, Sonder Script, a culture columnist for House of Coco magazine, a part-time lecturer, and a soon-to-be Doctor in screenwriting. She is a scriptwriter by speciality and a copywriting cultivator by trade. Demi is a mental health advocate and was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult.