There have been times in my life where having a clean room was not so out of reach. What is has really come down to for me is the amount of stuff that's in that room. In college, when I only brought what I needed with me, I was able to designate a place for everyyyyyything. I had bins and shelfs, storage towers and pant hangers, even desk organizers! I had a system.
And (if you can imagine!) I got by with only those things! That is the key here. Get.rid.of.some.stuff. That's easier said than done. For a normal person, donating the clothes that fit two sizes ago should be a no brainer. But for me, I feel the need to keep that skirt I got at J. Crew in 2004; the one that is a size 6 (keep dreaming), salmon colored, corduroy, and has embroidered geese on it. Why? I don't know, maybe because I wore it on Thanksgiving that year and actually thought is was classic ("a skirt with embroidered geese on it, yes, that's totally something I will wear often and for years to come!"). And to be honest, I have put that goose skirt in a "give-away" bin more than once...just never got around to take the clothes out of my house!
So for me, the first mess that I really need to get a handle on is the stuff. The stuff I will never use/wear/look at again. While I work on cleaning (room by room is the plan), I will need to really cut back on my stuff. Lord help me, because this will be a challenge.