Poor executive function is one of those many quirks of ASD that’s not in the diagnostic manual. It essentially means difficulty planning and organizing complex tasks. Understanding poor executive function provided me with an explanation for why I could never close my desk in elementary school and also that time I was cleaning out my locker at the end of the year and knocked over a container of pears that had been sitting there since October and had turned in to moonshine.
That, and I was kind of a slob.
When I found myself all grown up and married, I freaked out a little. I could barely see my bedroom floor for most of my childhood, and here I was in charge of an entire living space. I would see piles of stuff and it dawned on me that I had absolutely no clue how to organize it. How other people keep their houses tidy is a complete mystery to me. Suffice it to say our home won’t be featured on any magazines (except maybe Hoarder’s Monthly, which, if it doesn’t exist, should.)
This summer I made it my mission to minimize clutter and start cracking the enigma that is home organization. I had to ask myself some difficult questions-did I really need my rock collection from the third grade? It turns out I did. But I parted with some things I never thought I would, and the rest was sorted into various bins, shelves, and caddies. I’ve become a bit fanatical about everything having a place. As it turns out, I still lose track of stuff because I’m not expecting it to actually be where it’s supposed to, as opposed to, say, under the couch. But there’s definitely been a big improvement. And for everything else, there’s always the stuff-it-under-the-couch-like-company’s-coming-in-ten-minutes trick.
Now I’m off to go find where I put my car keys.