A living space can greatly define not only how a person lives but their very psychology as well. It’s much more than the first impression that comes across with an unmade bed, laundry that looks like it exploded across the interior, or the presence of food so old it could be a science project. There’s a reason why some go into a frantic cleaning mode when they know they have company coming over. Sometimes we don’t want to be ourselves when we aim to please. But chances are when there’s no party or visit on the horizon, you may tend to neglect some cleaning or leave out something that should be put away. One could argue that such actions make you lazy and forgetful but perhaps that messy room is telling you more than just the obvious assessment that you should really spruce up your living area. Here are a few traits that may become visible for someone with a messy room, the good and the bad.
We’re not suggesting a messy room is grounds for a diagnosis but there may be a few with mental conditions to explain the way they live. In the same way that someone with OCD may want everything in proper order, a hoarder seems to desire the clutter to a point that removing anything could be psychologically damaging. If this is the case, one might want to seek help.
Creatively and Productively Busy
You may have heard this phrase uttered by a cluttered person: “Don’t clean up the mess. I know exactly where everything is.” We’re sure you’ve probably seen the messy rooms of someone who isn’t lazy but the exact opposite. They may always be working on something that they simply push cleaning aside. Yet they also have a firm grasp on their environment where they are fairly organized in what may appear as a cluttered cluster. So don’t be surprised if an artist or writer has their work/living space overflowing with paints and books, more interested in keeping their home brimming with ideas than tidiness.
Not as Charitable
If the messy occupant is a hoarder, they most likely don’t want to depart with their possessions. And someone that messy and possessive is likely to scoff at the notion of maybe shoving off those neglected books and unworn socks to a Goodwill. If they like it messy, chances are they’re going to keep it messy without anyone having or touching their delicate ecosystem. But given how some who keep cluttered spaces tend to keep things that are either broken or decaying, it might be a good thing they don’t donate some of that junk.
A messy room, depending on the levels of filthiness, could also be considered a lived-in room. Research has found that those with a messier living space feel less inclined to stick to social norms of how one should be living, feeling less stressed about needing to maintain a level of cleanliness with their interior. It’s not true for everyone but chances are those who keep things messy most likely either like it that way or it doesn’t bother them.
Of course, if it’s the messy room of a child, chances are high their parents have asked them to clean it more than once. And that child most likely refused to do so. If that child grows up to still live in a room that is messy, they may have a problem with following rules and taking orders, figuring that it’s their room and they’ll do what they want with it. They may just apply those same habits to going out to eat, leaving trash at the table and refusing to clean that mess. It’s enough to make one think twice about the phrase “make yourself at home” when their guest’s home is a messy one.
Researchers have discovered that those within a messy room were better adept at solving puzzles and brainteasers. This, again, goes back to the whole environment feeling more at ease as a lived-in space that is comfortable and cozy rather than clean and proper. We’re sure the mind feels less stressed to take a whack at a problem if they don’t feel the pressure to keep things neat. This may explain why a lot of hardcore gamers can be so adept at video games yet lack in the act of cleaning up their gaming area.
Not So Healthy Lifestyle
The worst messes are the ones of food. There’s a higher likelihood that someone with a messy living space won’t clean their dishes right away and leave dining ware still encrusted with food to rot. Not only does this bring the dangers of mold into the living area but it also attracts mice, who could easily poke through your messy nooks, leaving small bits of waste and holes in their wake. And even if you’re really into rodents, their presence can make your living space a nightmare of sights and smells. That’s to say nothing of the terrible fast and instant food one also adopts with this messy lifestyle.
Open to New Things
In another study of testing those in clean and messy rooms, smoothie menus were handed out to those participating. The results were that those in clean rooms preferred the more traditional smoothies while the messy room occupants enjoyed some new and novel choices. We’re not sure how credible this study may have been but we suppose you can count on a messy person to choose something exotic when it comes to dining out, for whatever that may be worth. What the study may be trying to say more broadly is that someone messy is likely to give new things a shot. Cleaning their room, however, just may not be one of those things.
As we stated with disobedience, there’s a chance the messy room occupant doesn’t play by the rules of society. Refusing their parents request to clean their room may lead to them refusing lots of stuff, not reserved exclusively to making the bed or washing dishes. Unwillingness to clean and be organized can lead to a refusal of more, where one might refuse to be orderly in public places. They may also get very defensive about their living spaces, which most likely makes coming over to their home more of a hassle for the host’s way of life. After all, if you can rationalize keeping old newspapers, you can find excuses for anything no matter what others may say to the contrary.
On the other side of the coin, a messy room may signal more generosity. A study found that those taking a survey within a messy room were more likely to donate more to charity. Perhaps being around so much clutter makes one feel they have too much not to share, realizing how lucky they are to have so much stuff while others have less. We’re sure there are plenty of people meaning to get all that junk out of their place and just haven’t gotten around to boxing it all up. But, please, if you try to donate those dishes, wash them first.