Messy Home Or tidy Home – Which Is Better For The Mind?

tidy-houseRecent research has shown that there may indeed be benefits from both having a lovely clean home and a messy one.


Experiment 1

One group of participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire in a tidy space and another group were asked to complete the questionnaire in a messy space with objects strewn everywhere.

They were then asked:

1. to donate to charity and

2. choose a healthy or unhealthy snack.

What difference do you think being in each environment made?


See the results HERE.


45 thoughts on “Messy Home Or tidy Home – Which Is Better For The Mind?

  1. Organised and clutter free homes, surely help you to find all your stuff easily and keeps you organised and keeps mind stress free. On the contrary, even a messy home keeps you stress free as you don’t have to bother to keep the house neat and clean. It all depends on the view of an individual. I have a organised home and I like it that way. Mess truly stresses me!

  2. What an interesting experiment!
    My daughter goes to the Art Academy in The Hague.
    At her most creative times her room looks like a bomb exploded πŸ˜‰
    On the other hand if she needs to do homework she tidies up first otherwise there is too much distraction.

  3. I think the people in the cluttered place were less likely to state that they would donate to charity and more likely to indulge in an “unhealthy” snack.

    The question is, it seems to me, “:To clutter or not to clutter? That is the question. Whether ’tis better for the spleen and mind to endure the outrages of grievous litter or to clean and suspend inevitable disorder for a brief time. Or to rest and perhaps to dream of maid service. But ’tis the not knowing that makes cowards of us all, for will they provide a French maid or a toothless disheveled hag?

  4. Fascinating! What’s the research on people who live in a bit of a mess but keep dreaming about how nice the place would look if kept tidy? πŸ™‚
    I like my house to look like someone lives there, but if it gets too messy I get stressed.

    Ever see those signs which say “if you want to see us, come any time; if you want to see the house, make an appointment”?

  5. When I’m making art or giving classes, I need a considerable amount of mess. I want lots of materials, tools and supplies available, and plenty of space to bring them all out for easy sight and access. So, I’m encouraging messy. Why? Because “messy” in that instance means more inspiration, more ideas, more opportunities for creative juices to start flowing.

    Likewise, at home in the studio, I surround myself with all of that . . . paint, papers, craft crap and just plain junkie fun stuff, Only then do the ideas get going. A “too tidy” room is too sterile and squelches creativity. It may be a few days until a project is completed and the work room is cleaned up, so . . . I just shut the door.

    NOW, the cog in the wheel. When I draw, write, relax or i.e. live, I need a clean space. Not spotless but picked up and straightened with things in their place, and definite order.
    I can let my housework slide a day or so, but then have to get to it . . . or I’m in a very foul frame of mind! No comfort, no coordination . . . and NO creativity.

    Once again, an interesting post. Thanks.

    1. Love it! Shut the door behind it all! See now I’m tidy, tidy, tidy, whatever I do. My creativity stems from my imagination so I just need quiet and space, maybe even eyes shut. But I am operating with a somewhat unusual brain anyway.

      And yay! Cheryl visited! πŸ™‚

      1. Your brain operates fine on “Unusual” . . . so does mine, but it just took me a couple more decades than you, to figure out that it’s OK this way!

        And OF COURSE I visited. Wouldn’t miss it!

  6. ‘A messy home is a happy home’ ! I like to think that my household is a kind of organised chaos. With craft and artwork everywhere, furry animals and children peering out from every corner.

  7. I’m quite messy and very creative. but i find it very relaxing to have a tidy house …which usually doesn’t last too long πŸ™‚ i can say my 5 year old is a lot tidyer than i am πŸ™‚ so i guess it does depend on the kind of person you are too

      1. OH I LOOOOVE POTTERY !!!! i loved the tidying up afterwards too … i prefer tidy but its a hard thing for me and when others in the family contribute to the mess and never to the tidy …that’s where my frustrations come in …. it is easier for me to focus on new art projects when it’s all tidy

  8. I am so messy but very creative… Yet on a path to being neater & all that goes with it. Love that I can now argue I’m messy because I’m creative as a confirmed study & not just because it was wishful thinking lol

  9. Hmmm…I have a very untidy(but clean) room in a tidy house, but I eat healthy, but won’t divulge if I donate to charity or not….So, am I the exception which proves the rule??? πŸ˜›

      1. I like a tidy house, but your room is your special area that should be maintained however you like. For example, I don’t like my bed being made, it feels weird. I love my covers and pillows scattered. It reminds me of my mind and how much I have scattered inside my brain. Great post!

  10. I think its safe to say, looking around my house, that my kids are very creative πŸ˜€ That being said, I do like the spaces I’m in to be tidy πŸ˜‰

  11. it’s funny because my sister is a total packrat and just about as Oscar Madison as they come, yet she IS the first person to donate to a charity or volunteer to go help someone else and NEVER would choose the healthy snack over the not so healthy… if there is a candy bar and an apple, she will eat the candy bar in a heart beat.. lol

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