Unlocking the Mystery: Insights from an Autistic Perspective

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Why Does Some Tasks Seem Impossible

In this article, I had initially planned to delve into the reasons behind my struggles with certain household chores. Unfortunately, understanding it myself remains elusive. Since my teenage years, maintaining a clean and organized home has posed a significant challenge for me.

I found doing laundry incredibly burdensome

It’s not that I don’t know how to operate a washing machine or a vacuum cleaner. The issue runs much deeper, as I either fail to recognize the necessity or simply disregard addressing the pile of laundry. When I first moved out from my parents home, I found doing laundry incredibly burdensome, and in hindsight, I believe it was due to the need to schedule a time and risk encountering someone I needed to socialize with in the laundry room. An encounter that comes without preparation. While my kind mother did some laundry when I visited my parents, I mostly washed clothes by hand in the shower when I ran out of clean ones. Reflecting on this method now, the beauty of it was that I only focused on essentials: a couple of underwear, t-shirts, and pairs of socks, as I washed them while showering.

The vacuum cleaner I bought when I moved out didn’t need to worry about wearing out back then

The vacuum cleaner I bought when I moved out didn’t need to worry about wearing out back then. Not only did it sound terrible, but I also never truly saw the need to vacuum regularly. I wish I had established a cleaning routine with a designated day each week, as I might still have adhered to it. Nowadays, getting started is a challenge. Living with a fantastic wife doesn’t make it any easier. Often, or rather almost always, when I remember that I live in a household that needs cleaning, laundry, and tidying, my better half has already started a load of laundry or vacuumed the hallway. My laundry or vacuuming routine has thus been disrupted, leading to a mental deadlock. Don’t think that I manage to unload the washing machine if I haven’t started it, or vacuum and dust the living room if I can’t start with the hallway or the kitchen. Missing these tasks unfortunately only marks the beginning, as my cleaning/laundry routine is so rigid that even considering dusting or picking up newspapers from the table seems absurdly distant.

Tricks and tips from an Autistic Perspective

But are there any tricks to make everyday tasks work? I’ve tried setting alarms in my calendar, which can work if I’m not interrupted. There are areas in our home that bother me when they get messy. I get so annoyed that I drop what I’m doing and take care of it instead. So, there are ways to move forward; it’s just difficult to find them. I’ve talked to both rehabilitation services and my occupational therapist about this, and they have roughly the same advice.

  • Establish a daily routine: Having a fixed daily routine for various tasks can be helpful. This way, you can create a structure and know when it’s time to do what. Write down your routines and place them visibly in a spot where you often are, like on the fridge or your computer.
  • Break down big tasks into smaller ones: Sometimes dealing with a larger task, like cleaning the entire apartment, can feel overwhelming. Try breaking down the task into smaller parts, like cleaning one room at a time or handling the laundry step by step.
  • Reminders can help you keep track of when it’s time to do a certain task. You can use reminders on your mobile phone, in a calendar, or with the help of an application on your computer.
  • It may be easier to find motivation when you have a reward to look forward to. Plan for a reward when you’ve completed a certain task, like watching your favorite movie or enjoying a nice dinner.
  • Sometimes it can be helpful to ask for help from a friend or family member when you need support to tackle a specific task. They can help you get started and keep you motivated.
  • But have realistic expectations. It’s important to have realistic expectations of yourself and what you can accomplish. Try to set goals that are achievable and take into account your capacity.

By using these strategies, you can improve your routines and make it easier to handle your everyday tasks. Does it work? Yes, sometimes, but most of the time, my mind is too confused to make the tasks work anyway. Do you have any cleaning tips you can share? Feel free to leave a comment with them.

Born in 1977, I have a diagnosis of high-functioning autism, which means I understand the world differently from others. My autism blog helps me, diagnosed with autism at the age of 41, to try to understand myself and my surroundings from a different perspective. I have been writing on my blog since January 2023.


Navigating everyday chores with autism can be challenging, but by understanding our unique perspectives and implementing practical strategies, we can simplify household tasks and create a more harmonious living environment.


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