I’m 36 and I still have trouble keeping my room clean. I’ve figured out it is probably because cleaning isn’t part of my daily routine. Things that happen every day is easy. When it happens once a week or once a month or once a year, it is difficult to remember. To this day, I’ve never been able to renew my driver’s license on time since it is done every 5 years. Everyone on the spectrum is different. These methods work for me but will not work for everyone. They may, however, inspire other methods that you can try.
When my room gets really messy, it’s hard to know where to start. It can be very overwhelming. To help with this, I start with moving one item at a time. It’s a very small task and is very slow, but it helps. It makes you walk more, which is good exercise. After a while, things start happening and I am able to move more items at time. Before I know it, it’s all done.
This is how I move items. I use categories. I start with clothes. Dirty clothes go in the hampers, then clean clothes get hung up. Dishes get collected and washed in the sink. Trash gets collected. Papers go to the desk. Books go back on the bookshelf. Tools go back to the toolboxes. Hobby items like bike parts or car parts go back to the garage. Bedding and furniture related items get put where they belong. I tend to start high (like table tops) and work my way down to the floor.
Once the room is cleaned, I set a daily routine. Every day, at the same time, I will do one thing related to cleaning. On Monday, I’ll do laundry, on Tuesday I’ll vacuum (with ear muffs on), on Wednesday I’ll sort through papers, etc.
The written lists rarely help since I’m 85% visual. Photographing clean areas of the room help me to visualized what I want to accomplish for next time. Posting photos by the door or in the bathroom works for me since I will see these areas every day. Automatic text messages (most phones have appointment reminders) and automatic email messages can help as well. You can set these reminders as often as you want to get this done. There are most likely other forms of technology that can help as well.
Keeping the room clean helps efficiency when finding and or storing items. Visualizing other reasons as to why you would want to keep the room clean can also help. For me, having friends and coworkers over motivate me to keep everything tidy. This also helps me be more social. Having a clean room also helps with moral and mood.