The Top 10 “useless” things I’ll never get rid of

Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover
Hover before clicking for more info

 I Won’t Throw – don’t ask me!

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

If you’re a Professional Organizer or an Interior Decorator,
unless you have ADD,
you might want to hide your eyes!

Cute color drawing of a man carrying a full trash can OUT of a dump of trashcans.

Things I will always keep that make NO sense to anyone else.

1.  Fake Ficus  – what can I say?   I like the look, have no sense of time, and can’t stand it when I suddenly notice all the plants are dead.  (Nobody cares that the plants on stage aren’t real, so what’s the diff?)

2.  Beautifully wrapped, totally empty boxes – Old friends all, designed and done one year when I spent 100% of an unbelievably meager Christmas budget at Big Lots, on wrapping paper, tape, ribbons & trimmings.  I couldn’t even afford purchased BOXES – anyone who looks closely would be able to guess which products I kicked out to have something to wrap.  (Fun game!)

I’ve had them for years. They come out the day after Thanksgiving, and keep my [yes, fake] Christmas trees [yes, plural!] company when everybody else’s trees look sad and lonely – both before AND after any “real” presents show up and go away.

From Thanksgiving until Twelfth Night, they are part of a rich fantasy life:
every year they hold magical gifts – everything my little heart desires! 

3.  My hot pink tap shoes – fond memories of my show-biz days, keeping alive and well the dream that I’ll return to the stage some day.

4.  Theatre memorabilia – Scripts and scores from every show I’ve ever done and almost every show I ever auditioned for, and PlayBills from ALL the shows I’ve seen. [see #3 above]

5.  A LIBRARY’s worth of books – Theatre references, ADD books, spiritual books, books about decorating and architecture, business books, computer books, self-helps and how-tos, autographed books by friends, neurological tomes . . . and YES I DO need to keep every last one of them (filed by category and author, thank you very much, not something truly stupid like height or color: I want to be able to find my friends.)

Far be it for me to pooh-pooh any idea that might reduce distraction, but whenever I read yet another dumb “tip” from yet another interior decorator suggesting shelving books so that they LOOK better, I want to send a letter to the editor saying,

Here’s a Tip: why don’t you just put a ‘Not a Reader’ sign on the bookshelf
in a loverly frame, and decorate with something else?”

Consider it sent!**

6.  Artwork in frames, TOTALLY obliterating the wall space – I put ’em up regardless of size, source, condition of artwork, mat or frame, and irrespective of provenance.

There are black and white photos of generations of family, a lifetime of friends, old headshots, show-pics and show-posters and visuals of NYC in several formats, a few pencil sketches and pen and inks, posters of old Vogue covers from the days when they were drawn rather than photographed, coaching certifications, awards and acknowledgments, a TON of framed geese (The Goose Story is a central metaphor for my coach training company, The Optimal Functioning Institute™) . . . and more!

I’ve never been a fan of the blank walls that others seem to adore, case closed!
I have this to say to anyone objecting to the condition of the hangings:

You have my permission to reframe or re-mat to your heart’s content,
 but don’t expect ME to dedicate time and money toward that end
– OR to throw them away because I won’t!

7.  My red sweatpants – 100% lightweight cotton, at least 20 years old, mended to death, splattered with dried paint, slightly shopworn, flowy and totally comfortable.  House pajamas!

If you’re thinkin’ I could always get another pair,
I challenge you to find one!
— NO polyester, remember, and light-weight
(while you’re looking, POCKETs would be nice)

Whatever happened to FUNCTIONAL pockets in women’s clothes?
Surely I’m not the ONLY woman on earth who would gladly trade looking a pound or two heavier for the convenience that men have enjoyed since the dawn of mass-produced clothing.

8.  “Shelter porn” and Xmas Mags – So I’m a Decorating and Christmas magazine junkie – shoot me!  And yes, I do browse the old ones regularly — but even if I didn’t

it’s my life and MY shelf-space!!!

9.  Thomas J. Leonard‘s original Mac – but if the coaching field ever builds a coaching museum, I might consider donating it.

Thomas created the coaching field on that very machine, gifted to me
when Coach U turned the corner and he could afford to upgrade.

10.  Every love letter I’ve ever received – don’t even GO there!


YOU PLAY TOO: Once you’ve read “About the Top Tens,” (or even if you haven’t) use the comments section below to keep adding to this list. Make sure you ADD something – don’t “ditto” — and don’t invalidate anyone else’s world view, please.  ALSO, don’t get hooked on the “TOP” Ten part – whatever pops into your brain probably qualifies.

What “useless thing” are YOU holding on to?  (One man’s Zen Palace is another’s Motel 6 — I hope this gives you the guts to stick to your guns about your entitlement to your stuff!)

For help with your STUFF, CLICK HERE to jump to the first article in a series about organizing: Stuff – and Nonsense

If TASK Management is your biggest problem (or what the ADD-illiterate refer to as “procrastination” – CLICK HERE for the first article in the TaskMaster series.

**CLICK HERE for a humorous take on throw pillows and another “karate chop” at the decorators who insist on them

As always, if you want notification of new articles in the Top Ten or ADD Empathy Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

However you do it – stay tuned. There’s a lot to know,
a lot more here already, and a lot more to come.
Get it now, while it’s still free for the taking.

If you’d like some one-on-one (couples or group) coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this post (either for your own life, that of a loved one, or as coaching skills development), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end, or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

Related Content here on

ADD perspective in a humorous vein

Related Articles ’round the ‘net

BY THE WAY: Since is an Evergreen Site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, comment (or follow), you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

4 Responses to The Top 10 “useless” things I’ll never get rid of

  1. Pingback: The best Christmas tip EVER! | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Pingback: Christmas Gifts – the thought that counts | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  3. says:

    Hello there, You have done a great job. I will definitely
    digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
    I’m confident they will be benefited from this web


    • Thanks a million – appreciate the kind words and (especially) the digg & recommendations. Please click around and explore — I will resume my “normal” posting schedule once my current move and the July ADDA conference & another biz meeting in Fla. are behind me. MEANWHILE, there are well over 300 info-dense articles on a variety of topics. Hope they help.


And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: