HOMES & GARDENS ~ NOVEMBER 2022
Updated: Nov 23, 2022
What does a messy room say about your personality? Experts weigh in
Does a messy room speak volumes about your personality type?
Expert organisers weigh in on this controversial topic.
Chiana Dickson, Junior Writer
While we are all prone to the occasional mess in our homes at times, some have constantly messy spaces in their homes. As much as we try not to, this mess can quickly lead to judgments about a person. So, what does a messy room say about your personality?
Given that everyone is different it can be difficult to implement blanket home-organizing ideas. Whether decluttering and tidying is overwhelming, or you simply find that you function better in a more chaotic space, there is a multitude of reasons for mess.
Here, experts offer their opinions on what a messy space says about your personality, and what you can do to change your habits if the mess is affecting you.
WHAT DOES A MESSY ROOM SAY ABOUT YOUR PERSONALITY?
There is a general consensus that having a messy room does not indicate your personality type, but experts believe it can say a lot about your current frame of mind.
'A messy room can mean many things so I don’t think we can attribute a personality type to it,' begins Gill Gudgeon, APDO(opens in new tab) member and founder of Restore the Calm(opens in new tab). 'Apparently, creative people benefit from living in spaces that are somewhat messy as it fuels the creative process, but it doesn’t mean that they’re not organized. At the extreme of this are people with mental health issues, hoarding tendencies, and depression, making it difficult for them to deal with it. Conversely, a mess could simply be a sign of a busy family who doesn’t have the time, or of a home that just contains too many possessions and needs a good old declutter.'
Here are four reasons you may live with the mess, and what it may say about your current living situation.
1. YOU MAY NOT HAVE SYSTEMS THAT WORK FOR YOU
If you find yourself listening to decluttering tips but still end up struggling with messy rooms, it may be that you have not yet implemented systems that work well for you such as the bin system, for example, which involves leaving catch-all baskets around your home to collect clutter and make tidying easier.
'A room can say a lot about a person and so a messy room can easily lead to someone being judged. However, things are not always what they seem and so it's important not to jump to conclusions,' says Vickie Farrell, APDO member and founder of Declutteright(opens in new tab). 'It could just be that the person is super busy right now with work and/or family commitments. It might be that the person isn't a naturally organized person and may need help to find systems and routines that can help them to be more organized.'
'Some people (I am one of them) can very quickly create a mess,' says Jane Fern, a Spark Joy Collective(opens in new tab) member, and KonMarie consultant. 'I need very simple systems that help me to stay tidy. If something takes more than a couple of steps to get something out or put something away then I will avoid doing it. I don’t think you can categorize personality types by how messy they are. We are all so individually wired which makes us all so interesting.'
2. YOU MAY SIMPLY THRIVE IN 'BUSIER' SPACES
'I wouldn’t label anyone who has a messy space,' says Craig Hoareau, APDO member and owner of A Tidy Mind - London(opens in new tab). 'What I do know is our physical environment is a manifestation of what is going on in our heads. Some people thrive in a chaotic space. Some prefer complete order to focus.
'Sometimes a very disorganized environment can indicate feeling overwhelmed or in extreme cases other mental health issues,' Craig explains, 'however, I always say that mess is okay if the person who the 'mess' belongs to, is okay with it.
'If it bothers them then that is where there is a problem and if it affects others living with them then some compromise has to be made.'
If this sounds like you, then trying out the maximalist decor trend may be for you with its focus on collated clutter and visually busy spaces.
3. YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH TIME MANAGEMENT
When it comes to messy rooms, it often accumulates when we find ourselves busy with other things. This does not necessarily speak volumes about your personality, but about how you prioritize tasks and manage your time.
'There’s a difference between mess and clutter, Laura Pearson, APDO member and founder of Intentional with Laura(opens in new tab) explains. 'Clutter is too much stuff. Mess is disorganized. I wouldn’t say that mess says anything about your personality, but it might suggest that you are short on time or would benefit from taking the time to reset your space with a good tidy-up. A tidy space can often equal a clear mind and an easier life.'<