The Common Laundry Habit That Expert Claims Is 'Almost Universal In People With ADHD'

Why does laundry have to be such a daunting task?

Man crying while holding laundry hamper. Cast of Thousands via Shutterstock

Right now, at this moment, my laundry hamper filled with clean clothes from two days ago is staring into my soul, begging to be put away. Maybe I’ll do it later tonight, maybe tomorrow. I've got a busy week, though, so maybe it’ll have to wait...

Jeff Rice, Author, and ADHD Coach, recently posted a TikTok explaining why the ADHD brain seems to hate putting away laundry so much that the result has been dubbed “floordrobe.”


According to Rice, the 'floordrobe' laundry habit is common in people with ADHD.

Rice explained that laundry clutter is common among people with ADHD, and the term "floordrobe" has been used within the community to describe "a place, typically on the floor," where, as Rice described, "we leave either clean or not quite dirty clothes." 

The problem is that you think you'll wear these clothes again soon, and they end up sitting in that pile, accumulating until they become a bigger problem to tackle.



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Rice explained that the ADHD floordrobe exists for two main reasons: 

  1. The not-quite-dirty clothes get left out as "a visual cue to remind us, this is not quite dirty and I want to wear it again;"
  2. "The act of putting away clean clothes is," as Rice described, "one that our ADHD brains just do not get attracted to."

So, inevitably, the monotony of the task itself and the act of becoming visually accustomed to the pile of clothes result in the mess remaining on the floor, chair, or laundry basket indefinitely. 

When I do laundry, each load moves from the dryer to the basket to be put away all at once. Shocker, it doesn’t actually happen. I’ll leave it there and dig through for what I need until there are only two items of clothing left, and it's time to do laundry again.

Rice offered two solutions that he uses to try to deal with his 'floordrobe' tendencies:

Rice explained that the "floodrobe" has long been a "challenge" for him, and as a result, he's devised two solutions to try and tackle the clutter.

  1. He puts "parameters" around the clothes that are not quite dirty that he might wear again: Using the example of a sweatshirt he might wear again left draped over the tub in the bathroom, Rice explained if he does not end up wearing the sweatshirt he either has to, "put it away, or put it into the dirty clothes hamper."
  2. He sets timers so putting away clean clothes isn't as daunting: When the prospect of a task becomes more difficult than the actual task, sometimes it's best to trick yourself into the realization that it's easier to get it done in the moment. Rice explained, "This task, which somehow gets built up into my head as being this task that's going to take forever, takes me seven minutes."

putting clean and folded laundry into a a drawer pixelshot / Canva Pro

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Having a 'floordrobe' is not a diagnosis of ADHD.

Yes, a "floodrobe" is common among individuals with diagnosed ADHD. However, it is not and should not be used as a means of diagnosis.


Dr. Alma Spaniardi, an assistant attending psychiatrist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, told the New York Post, “While the information might be valid, mental health diagnosis is more complicated than just the identification of one symptom alone.” 

Spaniardi added, “There can be many other causes for this phenomenon, including avoidance of the task due to anxiety or just being very busy for a period of time, causing you to put off doing chores.”

basket of laundry Jupiterimages / Canva Pro


Perhaps instead of qualifying the avoidance of putting laundry away as an ADHD trait, we can simply say that laundry is a universally disliked chore that we all would rather put off for another day. 

Unfortunately, like all chores, it must be done.  Thanks to Rice, we now have two new tricks in our arsenal to utilize in the endless battle against "floordrobes."

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Madison Piering is a writer on YourTango's Entertainment and News team specializing in human interest and pop culture topics.