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The Inner World of De-Cluttering

Posted on February 08, 2016

Decluttering women


January was an incredibly busy month for me and I promised myself that as soon as things calmed down, I’d de-clutter my home office and a storage area that I hadn’t laid eyes on in twenty years {shudder}.

That day came and I began to go through boxes. And boxes. And more boxes. I was determined to get rid of as much stuff as possible, longing for that Zen feeling of peacefulness. A clean slate. A lightness.

Tons of cancelled checks were tossed. Old receipts got cleared out. Duplicate photos were thrown away. But then I saw it. The little pink diary I’d gotten when I was 8 years old. I couldn’t help but sit and spend the 10 minutes it took to read through it. Notes about a doll I’d gotten for my birthday, a beloved cousin moving far away, being mad at a brother. And it went downhill from there. I’d kept a diary for over 10 years, though most of the entries were very brief. But very revealing. My throat tightened as I read about refusing to go to school. Feeling sick at school. Begging to come home from school. I had a whopping case of school phobia but had forgotten how much I’d written about the daily agony of having to deal with my fears. My notes during 6th grade showed how I’d lost my popularity in 24 hours after my family moved to a different town.

And then, there it was, October 26: “Daddy died of a heart attack.” Nothing more, nothing less. I was 10 years old.

My zealousness in de-cluttering made a complete U-turn as I re-lived the sadness of my youth. The awkwardness. The fears and anxieties. The not fitting in. The losses- too many in a short period of time.

When I talk about de-cluttering in webinars or in the Queens of Distraction, I think about things. We share an enthusiasm to just roll up our sleeves and get rid of stuff. But I think we need to take into account the emotional upheaval this can bring to our awareness- memories that lay dormant until we pull out the big black Hefty bag. If we throw out all the “stuff”, do we also remove our memories? Does it bring relief? Or does it bring anger and sadness?

I’m still processing this whole thing, amongst bags and boxes waiting to be explored.

What about you? Do you feel great, ditching old stuff from your past? Or do you screech to a halt, wondering who that person was back then? Do you hang on to her? Let her go? Is she ever really gone?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below- I’d love to hear your emotional experiences with de-cluttering.



ADHD Women’s Palooza 24 Hour Sale: Own All 31 Sessions for $97

Posted on January 21, 2016

Palooza sale

You registered for the Palooza but forgot to tune in.

Or you heard a couple of sessions and were intrigued but missed the rest.

Or you meant to buy the Encore package with all 31 replays but the deadline whizzed past.

ADHD strikes again.

And it’s not fair.

But we’re all about fair and equity and ADHD-forgiveness.

So we’re opening up the half-price sale once again. But this time we WILL close the doors Friday at midnight. (January 22). Seriously. ADHD or not. We mean it. Really.

The truth is, when we set the cutoff deadline for our half-price discount on the ADHD Women’s Palooza recordings, we didn’t realize that our email system couldn’t adjust for different time zones. That means some of you had only a scant few hours to buy the Encore package. And that truly isn’t fair.

So today only, you can buy the entire Palooza set of recordings – audio AND video AND bonuses from our esteemed speakers – for just $97.

That, my friend, is a steal.

A bargain.

Click the picture below to buy the Encore package


Remember – this was the Palooza line-up of experts (never-before in one place at one time):

Solden  Quinn  Hinshaw  Barkley  Hallowell  T.E. Brown  Littman  Bertin  Fellman  Dupar  Ramsay  Rostain  Sarkis  Tuckman  Novotni  Dodson  Giwerc  Roggli  Matlen  Copper  Green  Pinsky  Tivers  Luther  Kensington  Taylor-Klaus  Dempster  Walker  Tudisco  Orlov  McGillicuddy  A. Brown

You cannot go wrong with this special deal.

And this time we ARE closing the doors Friday at midnight.

It’s only fair.

Order your set before midnight tomorrow by clicking HERE.




Terry’s Top 10 ADHD New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on December 28, 2015

resolution2 Happy New Year to all of you! Now, I normally don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, for two reasons:

  1. I never remember what they are.
  2. I don’t want to set myself up for failure.

However…this year I am sharing…


Terry’s Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions


1. I will get to the hairdresser before there are 5” of gray hairs peeking through.

2. I will stop freaking out whenever there’s a change of plans at the Matlen house. Why is transitioning so difficult?

3. Ok, just checked my last from last year and sadly, most are the same, so here they are with one BIG resolution: I will not get angry with myself for not making much progress on last year’s list. ADHD is not something that is easily controlled and I have to walk the talk: I’ll do my best but not judge myself. So here’s the rest of that list:

4.  I will return phone calls within 24 hours, not 24 days.

5. I will spend less time on Facebook, which really is like crack cocaine for those of us with ADD. Wait, first I need to check and make sure I didn’t miss anyone’s birthday. Oh, cute baby! Haa…great puppy video. (yikes)

6.  I will remember to take out the laundry from the washer and put it in the dryer.

7.  I will TRY and remember to take out laundry from the dryer to the laundry baskets.

8.  I will purge my closets of clothes that are more than 10 years old. But what about the 20 year old stuff?

9.  I will file away those two  five + piles of papers I’m staring at right this minute. I am not even going to mention the other 4 piles next to those. That’s for my next year’s  resolution.

10. Thank goodness for resolution lists like this- I just realized I have forms to fill out and send that were due last week month.


How about you? Share your ADD Resolutions below, in the comment section. In the meantime, if you’d like to get a head start working on your list, come join me and other women with ADHD at the Queens of Distraction, where we get out of our chairs and into action. We have fun, too!

Check it out HERE NOW- I’m offering a New Year’s 20% off discount only through January 4, 2016. 



ADD Consults has been nominated in Healthline 2015 Best Blog Contest! Please Vote!

Posted on December 23, 2015

Healthline Best Blog Nominee

ADD Consults has been nominated in Healthline 2015 Best Blog Contest! Please vote for me HERE!

Terry’s Top 7 Tips for Surviving the Holidays when Your Nerves are Already Shot

Posted on December 12, 2015

Stressed Woman


This time of year can be most challenging for those of us who, along with our ADHD, experience tremendous difficulties with sensory overwhelm. And it makes sense.

We’re shopping at malls filled with people racing here and there while music is screaming at us, kids are racing, perfume is being sprayed on us, and more. Every ounce of our senses is being slaughtered.

We’re being invited to holiday parties, generally wearing special clothes that don’t feel so special to our skin. Panty hose are leaving permanent impressions on our waists. Hair spray is making our scalps itch. Nail polish feels like 10 -pound weights.

People are all talking at once; it’s hard to filter out other conversations, so we end up doing the ADD “nod”- mmhmm. Yes! Mmhmm! Uh huh. Smile smile. All while gritting our teeth and watching the perspiration crawl down to our sleeves because we’ve forgotten the name of our colleague or next-door neighbor.

Our kids are in high gear, excited about holiday gifts coming their way, yet overwhelmed as much as we are due to their change in daily routines and lack of structure, now that school is out.

Ok, ok, so you get my point. But what’s a person to do?

Terry’s Top 7 Tips for Surviving the Holidays when Your Nerves are Already Shot


1. It’s only a few days until Christmas. Don’t fight the crowds anymore- shop online! Here are my top picks for kids and adults with ADHD. Running late? Choose things like instant gift cards (iTunes); Amazon Gift CardsDigital Magazine Subscriptions, and more- all things you can send out this week.
You can find more last minute holiday gifts HERE .

2. See it coming and have a plan:
If you know your child will have a meltdown at the holiday party, brainstorm together and come up with strategies to keep him calm, ie bring an iPod with big headphones which will also serve to block OUT noises. Have a bag of quiet activities for your daughter and find an area of the house where she can retreat.

3.  Stop yourself when you feel overwhelmed and identify the problem. Is the noise level too high for you? Are you wearing uncomfortable clothes? Are you feeling angry at someone? Once you identify the stressor, take appropriate steps to solve the problem.

4. Delegate! Stop feeling like you have to do it all yourself. Find shortcuts in preparing your special meal. Perhaps just make the main course, but carry out the sides.

5. If someone offers to help, by all means, accept his or her gracious offer! Stop feeling like you have to or should do it all.

6. Remind yourself the real reason for the holiday. Whether it’s religious or enjoying the company of close friends and family, make that your focus instead of how the roast duck is coming out.

7. Laugh at the moment. They say that if you laugh, you can’t feel panic. So try and find the humor of the moment.

Now that you’re completely calm and ready to take on the holidays, remember to take your emotional temperature throughout the day(s) and utilize the strategies above to bring yourself down to a calm state.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!



The Turkey Didn’t Burn, But I Got Roasted. Holidays and ADHD, Take Two

Posted on November 30, 2015



One down, one to go.

Thanksgiving behind us, Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza ahead of us.

Every holiday is a learning experience for me (maybe that’s how we should frame them, if they are as difficult for you as they are for me). In fact, many of my ADHD presentations include a holiday “faux pas” or two. Or three. I think this makes my tenth, at least.

We’ve been in the middle of a huge kitchen renovation. There’s good news and bad news with that, which I don’t even have to go into.

The final stage of the reno fell smack in the middle of Thanksgiving, even though I planned on dinner for 11 that night. Kitchen reno + ADHD + a woman who is not exactly gifted in the cooking/entertaining department = disaster.

So I put on my ADHD expert crown on for size and decided to make accommodations for myself to survive this holiday. The crown fit, but not the rest of the outfit.

I decided to simplify everything by ordering Chinese Food, since my kitchen was not 100% ready for action. This, my friends, would solve all of my problems: deciding what to make, deciding what NOT to make, ease of serving and virtually no cleanup. Ta-da! Problems solved- I could enjoy my family with no stress.

Three days before Thanksgiving, I called our favorite Chinese restaurant to place my order. I was surprised to find out they are closed for Thanksgiving, though I was happy to know their employees would get the day off. But then….why are they always open for Christmas? That’s for a different discussion.

I called two other places. They were closed as well.

I knew I couldn’t take on the cooking, so in a state of complete agitation, I called the local markets for a full Thanksgiving carry out dinner. The first two firmly stated I was too late calling- no more orders were being accepted.

The sweat began to dribble down my neck and back. Phone call #3 worked, though. It would cost a mortgage payment, but it was worth it for my mental health.

Still wanting to stay OUT of the kitchen and be WITH my family stress-free, I hired a lady to take on the whole project. For a 1 ½ months mortgage payment, it would be worth it to me.

This sweet, likeable lady whom I will call Cindy, to protect her innocence (?), arrived on time. I told her what I needed done (I mean, how simple is it to throw food into the oven to warm and then into containers to serve?? Wait, that’s why I hired her).

When I walked out of the room, I overheard her calling her girlfriend on her cell:

“What temperature do you heat up turkey, stuffing, green beans and mashed potatoes? How long do you let it cook for?”

Luckily, a family member who drove 5 HOURS to my house to enjoy dinner with us, came to the rescue and directed the gal. Obviously, my relative does not have ADHD, because she orchestrated this like she’d done it a million times blindfolded. Wait, she has done it a million times.

But here’s the thing: even though I’ve been in the field of ADHD for a million years and have offered advice to hundreds and hundreds of women over the years, I still found myself questioning my abilities, my self-worth. Here we go again! Why couldn’t I heat up a bunch of food and get it on the table without having a nervous breakdown?

So you see, even the pros get stumped at times.

But….I did remind myself of the things I am good at. I make art. I write books. I play at least 5 different instruments. I earned college degrees. I can still jog 2 miles, even at my age.

So what’s my point? Like me, you WILL fall down. But we just have to remember that we can still get up and brush off the dust and move forward.

And boy, that turkey was delicious.

How about you? Have an ADD holiday story to tell? Please do- in the comment section below.



Terry’s Top 20 Gifts for Kids and Adults with ADHD

Posted on November 25, 2015

Copy of Santa Terry copy

Uh oh. It’s…holiday time and not always an easy time if you are a shopper with ADHD.

Relax. Avoid the mobs…the crowded parking lots, the noise, lights…it can all be too much.  Why not relax at home and do all of your holiday shopping at YOUR convenience?

CLICK HERE to see my hand-picked Top 20 Gifts for Kids and Adults with ADHD and lots of these items are on sale TODAY.

Happy Holidays!

PS: Become a member of The Queens of Distraction at 20%+ off membership until November 30- register today HERE!

Turkeys, Tempers and To-Do Lists

Posted on November 16, 2015



Here we go again. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if you’re an adult with ADHD, chances are you haven’t begun your to-do list, let alone pull together a plan for celebrating the holiday. If you’re lucky- real lucky- you’ve been invited to someone’s home and all you have to do is bring a dish to pass (which in itself, can be overwhelming) and make sure you have an outfit that is clean and unwrinkled.

If you’re unlucky, you still have to figure out how many people to invite to your home, plan a menu, buy the food and remember that temper outbursts and turkeys often go together. The stress can simply be that bad.

Here are some suggestions to get you through the holiday without panic or Xanax:


  • Make this holiday a family – only event. If you’ve been overly stressed and simply can’t fathom having a house full of guests, explain that you need this time to connect with your immediate family. If you feel guilty omitting other family and friends, ask them to stop by after dinner for a visit and dessert.
  • As I preach over and over again at my presentations throughout the country, there is NO right way to celebrate and make holiday meals. You must take into account how your ADHD affects you and find ways to work around it. If you had a physical disability, you would probably be able to accept certain limitations a bit easier. Invisible conditions like ADHD are harder, in some ways. Just as a person with limited mobility wouldn’t stash dinnerware in cupboards beyond their reach, a person with ADHD likewise, shouldn’t take on more than they can handle.
  • Don’t shy away from asking for help. Ask your family and guests ahead of time what they can do to help. Many with ADHD find it nearly impossible to ask for help; we continue to try and do it all, regardless of the toll it takes on us. Try making a list of tasks each person can help with, like clearing the table, helping with dishes, putting chairs back, etc. Guests want to help but are often unsure what specific help is needed.
  • There is no rule etched in federal law books that state you must roast a turkey. If that overwhelms you, make something you’re more familiar with, like baked chicken. People coming to your home for dinner are more interested in your company than your kitchen skills.
  • Take a break from cooking altogether and have dinner out. Many restaurants cater to holiday diners. You can enjoy a wonderful meal with your family and friends and not deal with any of the stress.
  • If the idea of eating out doesn’t sit well with you, cater your dinner in. If you absolutely must roast your own turkey, bring in ready-made side dishes.
  • Recognize your stress level and have a plan in place. When you see yourself ready to “blow”, give yourself a time out. Discuss with your family your plan and don’t forget that they too will react to the stress. Work out a plan for the whole family on ways to keep things as calm as possible. Give yourself plenty of down time as needed and try not to make plans for a day or two afterward so you can recoup and relax.
  • Put on relaxing music while preparing, serving and enjoying your meal. You will be amazed at how calming music can be.
  • If you have young children or kids with ADHD who find it nearly impossible to sit still, relax your house rules. Let them eat standing up if necessary, or give them their own smaller table so that you don’t stress out from their behavior. Allow them to leave the table when needed. You might even want to consider letting them eat in a different room. If it makes everyone happier and calmer, why not?
  • Keep reminding yourself why you are hosting the holiday dinner. If it’s mainly to enjoy the company of friends and family, you might find that you don’t need to work so hard to impress yourself and others. Make the holiday work for you!


Now, get your pen and paper out and start writing your to-do list, while keeping in mind that you need to make accommodations for yourself and your ADHD. Oh, and…Happy Thanksgiving!

ADHD Adults: How to Get Control of your Inbox- Hacks and Apps, with my guest Paula Rizzo

Posted on November 05, 2015



If you missed my live teleseminar yesterday, here is the replay. My guest was Paula Rizzo and she shared great information on how to manage your inbox. Click below.


Terry Matlen Teleconference with Paula Rizzo




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ADHD Adults: How to Get Control of you Inbox: This Wednesday with me and Special Guest, Paula Rizzo

Posted on November 02, 2015


Are you overwhelmed by your inbox?

Want to get a handle on it and even get to Inbox Zero? Then join me this Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 9pm EST for a special free teleseminar with my guest, Paula Rizzo:

ADHD Adults: How to Get Control of you Inbox- Hacks and Apps

Register how HERE!

Paula is an Emmy award winning senior health producer at Fox News Channel.

Imagine going from 50,000 emails in your mail box to…ZERO. Yes, you can do this! and Paula will show you how!

  • How many of those apps on your smartphone have you actually used? 
  • Are you bogged down with email and yearning for inbox zero? 

Come join me and Paula Rizzo, Emmy award winning senior health producer at Fox News Channel and author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed for some easy ways to use technology to be more productive. (Professional Organizer Julie Morgenstern wrote the foreword for Paula’s book and shares her love of lists).

Paula is also the founder of and…

She has developed the incredible online course Take Back Your Inbox: Stop Drowning in Unread Messages, Respond Quicker and Finally Achieve Inbox Zero.  It’s perfect for those with ADD- it’s short, fun and doable!

Paula is an expert on how to manage your email! Want to learn some tricks to tame YOUR inbox? Then join us!

When: Wednesday Nov. 4th at 9pm-10pm EST

Where: Sign up at and listen to the event on your phone in the comfort of your home or office.

* There will be a special bonus for all attendees, but you won’t know what it is if you don’t go! 

** EXTRA special bonuses if you sign up within 24 hours for Paula’s one-of-a kind online class, Take Back Your Inbox: Stop Drowning in Unread Messages, Respond Quicker and Finally Achieve Inbox Zero

***  All teleseminar attendees are automatically entered to win a copy of Paula’s book, “Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed .”

                                                                                                                     REGISTER HERE


Questions? Email me at

** Like this post?  Get notified any time I publish a new article like this one, and get instant access to my e-book “Tips for Women With ADHD.”  Go to  and sign up right away!  **