Today, I am going to talk about messy rooms and organised homes.
I quite often see women beating themselves up for order and organisation in their families and in their lives. And some men do that too.
That is a potential conflict in many relationships.
However, what if I say , that’s not their fault at all.
We were all told as kids by our parents to clean our rooms and we saw our mums and aunts taking pride in clean homes and organised pantries.
In fact, that’s a subconscious benchmark for many young women growing up, to be a good home maker.
And that old program didn’t change even in their 40s or 50s.
Being messy was identified as a character flaw and undignified.
Being messy can either be a symptom of depression or may lead to one.
Hoarding can be another outcome of being messy that leads to irrational attachments to irrelevant objects for day to day functioning.
If you are frustrated, angry, or overwhelmed by the clutter and disarray, then it’s a clear sign that something needs to be addressed. Sometimes a mess might be frustrating.
Figuring out where to start and how to tackle the problem can seem overwhelming. This might mean prioritizing certain areas, learning new organizational tactics, or getting other household members to help with the cleanup.
However, being messy is not doom and gloom after all, if it does not worry you or trigger you.
The scientist Albert Einstein, famous for his genius and creative thinking, was known for having a messy desk.
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?” he once asked in response to comments on his workspace.
And there is research that supports the idea that messiness also has an upside.
Kathleen Vohs, Ph.D., and her fellow researchers did a series of experiments on the psychology of messiness. They found that while working in an orderly room encouraged behaviors such as generosity and healthy eating, working in a messy environment actually led to greater creativity.
Rather than focusing on achieving perfection, they are more attracted to ideas, experiences, and creativity.
The researchers believed that doing work in a clean and tidy space activates social norms encouraging people to do what is expected of them. Working in a messy space, on the other hand, relaxes that need and allows people to break free of social norms and expectations.
Research by Sam Gosling from the University of Texas outlines what aspects of people’s living spaces might reveal about their personality.
- Conscientious people tend to have clean homes in good condition, and books or magazines neatly arranged and conveniently located.
- Extraverted people, who are social and enjoy stimulating environments, tend to live in highly decorated homes that are warm and inviting.
- Highly open people tend to live in homes that are fresh and stylish with décor that is unconventional and distinctive.
If having a perfectly neat and tidy room is what inspires you and helps you feel productive and creative, it might mean that you have what is known as aType A personality.
People with this personality type tend to be perfectionists. Having everything in its place helps fulfill their need for order and control.
But if you tend to be more laid back in your approach to housework and tidying up, it might mean that you have more of a Type B personality type.
People with this personality type are more relaxed than their Type A counterparts. Rather than focusing on achieving perfection, they are more attracted to ideas, experiences, and creativity.
Organising is a big business today but taking it to the extremes may not be helpful for your creativity and flexibility.
Also check if you worry others might judge you for being messy. Perhaps that’s how you judge others and it might be your old program that has to change now.
Nothing is black & white after all.
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