How many 'tidy' Aspies are out there?

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Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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19 Apr 2010, 11:32 am

I am on either extreme.

I love things to be clean and organized, so I buy lots of bins and storage containers and shelves to organize and store things in every room. If no garbage is on the floor and everything is perfectly organized, I will still be thinking of other better ways to organize things, but I will function much better.

But if things get even slightly disorganized or cluttered I get overwhelmed and may not do anything to organize it for a long long time.

For example, for the last year my bedroom has been very organized, but I don't think I cleaned it for almost five years before that.


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Joined: 6 Jun 2009
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19 Apr 2010, 11:45 am

I am lord of the messy aspies!

It seems like a lot of autistic spectrum people tend to be toward one extreme or the other. When i was first learning about AS i was thinking the opposite way.. I had heard a lot about Aspies needing to have order and everything in just the right place, so at first i assumed that most aspies were obsessively-neat-and-tidy people.. Which made me question that i have AS, because i'm the opposite. But then i learned that a lot, like me, are unable to keep anything in their life organized.
This split toward either extreme is interesting to me... Because it does seem that, with our need for a certain amount of structure/predictability/repetition, that keeping things neat and organized makes the most sense.. So i can sort of understand why a lot are on the neat-and-tidy side. But then there's those of us who just can't manage to keep things in any real order, which doesn't really seem to make much sense. I don't really understand it. I wish i could be organized. I've only ever really had success with being organized on very specific things, and then i go overboard with the organization. But i can't just generally be organized with everything.. it's hard to explain.


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Joined: 2 Sep 2009
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19 Apr 2010, 12:50 pm

I am definitely tidy. People have called me OCD, but I don't fit that description. I maintain the cleanest/tidiest room in my family's house. I clean fairly regularly...washed sheets, washed clothes, mopped bathroom, vacuumed carpet. But I tidy all the time. It's just relaxing to me, plus I like knowing where everything is and how stuff being organized looks.

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Joined: 13 Jun 2007
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19 Apr 2010, 1:15 pm

It definitely depends on where I'm at. At work, I'm overly super tidy and organised because there are way too many for me to keep track of and to do. I lose track of things so quickly and easily that if I'm not organised, all is lost.
At home, my husband often has to dig me out from underneath a pile or two. I tend to have to be so organised at work that I have little patience for it at home. I occasionally do get into a crazy cleaning mode and have to over organise at home. It stays like that for awhile, and then back to overwhelming it becomes. It kinna creeps in. I try to make sure that I do major shoveling out at least twice a year. Once in the spring when it's time to swap out clothes closets and once in the fall when it's time to swap out clothes closets. Otherwise, I just pile and lose track and meander mindlessly about.

"All those things that you taught me to fear
I've got them in my garden now
And you're not welcome here" ---Poe


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Joined: 12 Apr 2010
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19 Apr 2010, 1:31 pm

LostNFound wrote:
When there's a lot of disorder around me I get all irritable, confused, and downright soul sick. I either have to correct it or leave the room to one less affected, infected, or otherwise.

I'm exactly like that. My theme song when it comes to this, is "Everything In It's Right Place". It's not just order and tidiness that I need either. If something feels like it's spatially in a bad place, I notice it right away and can't ignore it. I get physically and mentally irritated and can't stop thinking about how it would be better moved somewhere else. I also have a compulsion to fix it. I'm so sensitive and affected by my physical environment that I go to great lengths (which I enjoy btw) to make my home and work space "just so". It's often mistaken for perfectionism, but that's a misnomer. It's more about precision and symmetry. If I see anything hanging on a wall not completely level, it will drive me to distraction, until I fix it.

I've inherited this from my Dad, and my brother's like this too, only worse than me. I can live with some untidiness, like a jacket draped over a chair by one of my kids, but if it get too out of hand, then I can't stand it. I can't abide clutter in a home. My sister is the complete opposite and whenever I visit, the clutter gets to me and I think to myself, "What the heck does she need all this stuff for?"

Owl wrote:
I can't function without everything around me is ordered. However my wife has a different view. But once everything is tidy and ordered I am extremely productive. If things are messy especially the computer desk area or the kitchen I literally can't function until I've sorted everything. I will allow myself some dis-order while I work at the computer such as food plates and coffee cups.

Anyway I do drive my Wife nuts with being too tidy - Oops :D

Yeah, that's the same for me. I can't do a task in a messy, disordered space. I have to clean it up first. This is true for a computer desk, the kitchen and my area at work. If someone comes along and messes with my work area, I am not a happy camper. :evil:


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Joined: 10 Apr 2010
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19 Apr 2010, 2:11 pm

jamesongerbil wrote:
LostNFound wrote:
Oh my. Was dearly hoping some of you would come forth to agree rather than be on resort under a mountain of National Geographics.
*shrugs* had to be honest. And they were library books. I actually returned some of them today! Yay!

I was just teasing. Besides it's your mess and I don't have to live around it, so if it makes you happy more power to ya. Disorder in and of itself is only as bad as how it visually distracts and confuses me. Everything just runs together in a blur of unrelated objects. It's more the sort of mess that attract the creepy crawlies from their lairs to do who knows what to our stuff. Eww, eww, eww! That sort of thing I'd hope nobody allows for. The apartment we've moved in is a pretty nice one but seems we must have a really messy neighbor. We've battled roaches from day one and only after buying a dozen bait traps has the assault slowed down. At first leaving the light on all night in kitchen kept them at bay. But they became accustomed to that and almost became tame enough to pet. No, no, no love for you! Now mice were different when we lived out in the country. No, I didn't want to be a soup kitchen to them but I had a very hard time setting death traps for them. I got so bleeding heart I even bought several of the live catch traps which worked rather well. I read now that some say that's more inhumane for several reasons. I know I'd do the deathtrap before a glue trap though, that's the sickest joke at posing humane I've ever heard of.

I'm sorry for rattling. Thanks to all who posted. It was enlightening to find that a tidy Aspie is a reality.


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Joined: 1 May 2006
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19 Apr 2010, 2:32 pm

I like the kitchen to be clean. It bothers me to see dirty dishes laying around, and there's no point in cleaning the dishes and leaving the counter or stove dirty.

Other rooms, not so much. When the phrase "grenade went off" is applied, that's generally a sign of a lot of mess.

"Nothing worth having is easy."

Three years!

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19 Apr 2010, 3:20 pm

I am both extremes - a split personality re tidiness.

I'm extremely clutter-free/organized where my interests are concerned and wherever I happen to be at the moment, i.e. need space around me, both physically and visually.

However, I'm utterly oblivious to the concept of housework and I hate having to clean or organize anything that doesn't interest me (like most of the house). Fortunately, I'm able to have hired help for that, so problem solved (took me a while to find a person I was comfortable with having in my house, tho - another topic altogether).

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Joined: 19 May 2010
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13 Jun 2010, 10:21 am

I'm quite possibly ASD, with perhaps ADHD-inattentive but not aspie, but I don't think you have to be.

I would have a 10 step plan for organising the room, but then never follow it.

I like order, but I can never manage it and I can't be bothered to sustain the effort.


Computer desk 5 feet wide, 2ft 8" deep (150x77cm approx)
I have 3 letter trays with 1 totally occupied by clear a4 sheath thingies.
1 has an cased oilstone, a sponge, some plywood strips that and a bit of wood, with some rarely used razor blades
The third one is a pile of letters which usually only gets properly filed when I flip into "I have absolutely no space mode.
My room is a mess, but I'm getting there, not that I really care anyway.
If I had my way it would be tidy but my brain refuses to agree with itself.

So, the result is, I get distracted because stuff that is "un-ordered" gets in my eyeline, processed by the ever conflicting brain, noted as a reminder of how slack I am, no matter the intent.

I have a 3 drawer set, 1 compartment full of basic tools. 1 full of stuff and another full of stuff.

Sometimes I found, that when I feel overloaded mentally, I just lie down and close my eyes. The less visual disturbances, the better.

If I see dirty dishes in the sink, I just avoid it because it's too messy.

Sometimes though I do the washing up but only if stuff is freshly dirty, ie wont take me 10 years of scrubbing. I love things to pre-soak, nice.


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Joined: 22 Jul 2009
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14 Jun 2010, 8:26 am

I'm not a neat freak but all my work (files, papers, toold) are kept as orderly as possibly. Jump drives, SD cards, and 3 ring binders are close friends of mine and my home office is perfectly setup for work and creative expression.

Other than that, my house is "lived-in" to a fairly typical level.

?How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will.?--Albert Einstein