What are Doom Boxes? The TikTok organization trend is not as bad as it sounds

Adults diagnosed with ADHD are joining the Doom Box trend on TikTok – showcasing their Didn't Organize Only Moved items

Cardboard box in sunlit room
(Image credit: Getty / Catherine Falls Commercial)

TikTok has recently seen a surge in Doom Box videos, where users showcase boxes containing random items that have been stored together because they don't have their own place in the home yet.

Rather than signifying a gloomy or disheartening situation, 'Doom' is actually an acronym in this context (Didn't Organize Only Moved). The term Doom Box has been gradually circulating TikTok since the latter half of 2021, but has exploded over the last couple of months with more users admitting they are in possession of a Doom Box. 

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What are Doom Boxes?

Doom Boxes – whether created accidentally or on purpose – are a space to stash items together with the intention of organizing them later. Most Doom Boxes though remain in use for years to come, and they become the go-to storage place for old receipts, spare parts, and memorabilia. They become an interim storage method and might be part of an intial attempt to organize a bedroom, office or living space.

While many of us can admit to having a Doom Box equivalent, they have emerged to be particularly common (and useful) for people with ADHD.

'Put simply, a "Doom Box" is a box where an ADHDer selects to host their belongings,' says Katie Bowen, Founder of ADHD Home TV (opens in new tab)

'People with ADHD are more likely to possess a Doom Box because they have strained executive function, which is the cognitive process responsible for essentially all self-regulation,' Katie explains. 'This can drastically impact one's organization skills'.

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Doom Boxes are a quick way to remove visual clutter and tidy up a room, without having to think about where to store items on a long-term basis.

According to Katie, 'the goal of a doom box is to have stuff put away, so why would we consider the next steps if they don't feel relevant? It's amazing how an ADHDer's "all or nothing" mindset presents on a day-to-day basis.'

Doom Boxes may have become more popular since the pandemic because of an increased desire to have a tidy space while spending more time at home. Transitioning to remote working involved creating impromptu office spaces and storing random items together to make space, for which a Doom Box is perfect. 

If a Doom Box isn't for you, we have lots of desk organization ideas to help keep your WFH space tidy.

The positives side of a Doom Box

Though some of us may prefer to find a permanent home for our possessions, Doom Boxes can be a simple solution to help your space feel more calming. Sure, everything in the Doom Box might not be where other people would store it, but if the owner knows that is where to look for it, then we can conclude that works for them.

'If someone has an established system, and their system has proven to streamline and improve their lives, who are we to call it negative?' says Katie.

'Doom Boxes are only negative if they are causing one to overspend, feel overwhelmed, or feel confused. As long as someone can remember the reasoning behind the boxes, and what should be in them, the Doom Boxes are working!'

If you've been thinking about decluttering lately and do need some methods to try, the 15 minute declutter is a quick and easy way to transform your space.

Katie has recently joined Future's Ecommerce writing cohort after exploring different forms of digital writing in her Media and Journalism MA. Her love for being at home and creating an environment that is at once cozy, stylish, and practical means she's constantly browsing home decor sites online. Her current favorites are Anthropologie and H&M Home. For her next interior endeavor, she's looking to become a plant mom, in the hope that some greenery will refresh her home in time for spring. 

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