Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of the “messiness spectrum”, preferring not to live in complete chaos, but also not cleaning our spaces from top to bottom daily. But did you know there’s a tie between how tidy (or messy!) you are and your mental state?

When there’s a drastic change from your typical level of messiness — either you suddenly become increasingly messy or obsessively tidy — it may indicate an underlying emotional issue. You may be feeling anxious or depressed, or you could even be experiencing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) tendencies. Depression and anxiety can show themselves through lack of energy, hopelessness and fatigue, making it extremely difficult to find the energy or desire to clean and tidy your space. On the other hand, obsessively cleaning and organizing ritually and being unable to deal with disorganization of any kind can indicate a problem with impulse control. Either way, the significant change from your norm can tell you a bit about your current mental state.

Keeping the clutter to a minimum is a good practice in general, and can really help clear your mind as well. Extra clutter in our homes, cars and offices can lead to:

– anxious feelings
– lack of sleep
– emotional distress
– an overall feeling of loss of control

Making simple goals to declutter, asking for help from a friend or family member and taking stock of your surroundings to check in on your own messiness factor can help you understand how you’re truly feeling, and set you on the path to a clearer space and a clearer mind.

The link between messiness and mental health