Can disorganization be linked to clearer thinking?

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Photo courtesy Nancy H.

“I think messy people have different learning abilities than clean people because messy people just throw their things all over,” Kaitlyn Keller, sophomore, says. A study by Journal of Consumer Research confirms Keller’s thinking that people with a messier room or desk space can actually be more clearer thinkers.  “Not all evidence supports this conventional link between a messy environment and a messy mind.”

Although a messy room or desk does not always mean it affects the way someone learns it does affect the people around the cluttered mess.

There are many studies that show that the way other people think about a messy person can be largely influenced by their cleaning habits. A messy room can lead to problems such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Along with the mental problems being too messy causes, a  messy person is less likely to keep a long lasting desk job than a neat person.

Being surrounded by clutter all the time is not good for a persons mental health. Many people throughout the world suffer from insomnia; and, many of those people lay awake in bed because of a messy room. There are two types of insomnia, primary and secondary. Messy people usually suffer from primary insomnia because the sleep problems are not associated with any type of medical issue. Secondary insomnia is when a person cannot sleep due to allergies, asthma, or even alcohol consumption.

Depression and anxiety are two of the biggest effects of being too messy. Messiness can cause an “all-or-nothing” view on life. Anxiety can be triggered either by depression or messiness.

On the other hand, being overly neat can cause just as much harm as being a cluttered mess. A lot of neat people have an obsessive need to make everything as perfect as it can possibly be. Overly neat people will go to extensive ends to have everything clean.

“I think being neat affects how I learn because then I have an organized brain,” Danielle Martinez, sophomores, says.

There is a loss of creativity with being too neat; if the surrounding environment is too perfect and predictable there is no surprise. “Neat freaks” spend too much time making their surroundings pretty and perfect instead of having time to relax. “When my mom asks me to vacuum one room, I cannot just stop there. I have to clean the rest of the house,” Martinez admits.

When clean people become too obsessed with perfection, there really is not a difference between the two. It is all a matter of opinion. a messy person clean could mean their homework is shoved in different pockets of their backpack; they know where everything is. A compulsively neat person would probably need different binders for every class with a specific pocket for homework.

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