We struggle with this too with our 8 year old son. I’ve realized that he can’t really clean without having company to keep him on track and give him specific jobs. (Put the books away. Ok, now put the Legos in the bin.) If I told him to clean his room or even “Put the Lego away” and left, I can 100% guarantee I’ll come back to a mess. I hope it becomes automatic for him one day, but we’re not there yet.
If anything has too many steps to put away, he won’t do it (much like my husband, actually), so I had to get rid of storage bins with lids. Everything has a home, and is generally in a bin with no lid, so he can just throw it in. I try to make it one step if possible. Label everything (or put a picture on, if that’s easier for him).
We used to do a clean 30 mins before bed as a family, but I found I ended up managing everyone and it got frustrating for me because as soon as I walked away from someone, they stopped working. I’m trying to have him clean up when he’s done with something now, in the moment. But I do have to be there to keep him on track.
We haven’t tried it yet, but a counsellor suggested using a Pomodoro timer to keep tasks on track.