Messy rooms can be more than just a visual eyesore; it can also affect one’s mental and emotional well-being. From piles of clothes strewn across the floor to stacks of papers cluttering every surface, the chaos in our living spaces often mirrors the chaos in our minds.

Understanding the underlying causes of messy rooms is the first step towards reclaiming order and harmony in our homes and lives. In this blog, we delve into the various factors that contribute to messy rooms, ranging from psychological tendencies to environmental influences. By uncovering these root causes, we can develop effective strategies to declutter our living spaces and cultivate a sense of peace and clarity within them.

How Messy Rooms Impact Your Mental Well-being

messy rooms

Our homes serve as more than just shelters—they are reflections of our identities, lifestyles, and emotions. A tidy and organized room can foster a sense of control, stability, and tranquility, while a cluttered space can evoke feelings of chaos, overwhelm, and stress.

Our surroundings have a profound impact on our mood, behavior, and cognitive functioning. Our living spaces play a role in shaping our daily habits and routines. A cluttered environment can disrupt these routines, making it more challenging to maintain healthy habits and achieve our goals.

For example, a cluttered kitchen may discourage healthy eating habits, while a cluttered workspace may impede productivity and creativity. For some, this may mean a minimalist and clutter-free space, while others may feel more comfortable surrounded by objects and decorations.

Messy rooms can have a significant impact on mental well-being, influencing mood and stress levels. Depending on the person, they can cause a variety of negative responses.

Negative mood

Living in a messy room can evoke feelings of frustration, irritation, and even shame. The constant reminder of untidiness can weigh heavily on one’s mood, leading to a sense of dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

Impact on self-esteem

A messy room can undermine one’s sense of self-worth and competence. Constantly living in disarray may lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-criticism, as individuals judge themselves based on the state of their living space.

Social implications

Messy rooms can also impact social interactions, as individuals may feel embarrassed or ashamed to invite others into their homes. This can lead to social isolation and a reluctance to engage in social activities, further exacerbating feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Impaired decision making

Cluttered environments can impair decision-making skills. When surrounded by clutter, individuals may experience decision fatigue and struggle to make choices effectively.

Reduced focus

A cluttered environment can impair cognitive function and make it difficult to concentrate on tasks. With attention constantly drawn to the mess around them, individuals may struggle to stay focused and productive.

Difficulty relaxing

A cluttered environment can make it challenging to unwind and relax. Instead of feeling like a sanctuary, the messy room may serve as a constant reminder of unfinished tasks and responsibilities, preventing individuals from fully embracing moments of rest.

Unraveling the Psychological Reasons Behind Messy Rooms

messy rooms

While most people might think that messy rooms are caused by laziness or lack of planning, there are several psychological reasons behind why people struggle to clean their messy rooms.


One of the primary psychological patterns associated with messy rooms is procrastination. People often delay tidying up or organizing their belongings due to feelings of overwhelm, laziness, or a belief that they can do it later. By putting off cleaning until tomorrow, clutter can easily accumulate over time creating messy and dirty rooms.

Decision-making issues

Another psychological aspect of messy rooms is difficulty making decisions about what to keep and what to discard. Some individuals may struggle with indecisiveness or attachment to possessions, making it challenging for them to declutter.

Emotional attachment

Emotional attachment to belongings can also contribute to a messy room. People may find it difficult to part with items that hold sentimental value, leading to clutter as they accumulate more possessions over time.


Surprisingly, perfectionism can also be a psychological driver of messy rooms. Perfectionists may avoid tidying up if they feel they cannot achieve the level of cleanliness and organization they desire. This all-or-nothing mindset can lead to a cycle of procrastination and clutter accumulation.

Executive functioning skills

Executive functioning skills, such as planning, organization, and time management, play a crucial role in maintaining a tidy living space. Individuals with weak executive functioning skills may struggle to create and follow through with organizational systems, resulting in messy rooms.


Messy rooms can be both a cause and a consequence of stress and overwhelm. When people are stressed or overwhelmed by other aspects of their lives, such as work, relationships, or health issues, they may lack the mental and emotional bandwidth to prioritize tidying up their living space.

Habitual behaviors

Messy rooms can result from habitual behaviors and routines. If someone has grown accustomed to living in a cluttered environment or has never been taught the importance of tidiness, they may continue these patterns of behavior without consciously realizing it.

Strategies to Help Combat Messy Rooms

messy rooms

Although messy rooms can have positive impacts on creativity, leaving a room messy for too long can have negative health consequences over time.

To help combat a messy room and create some organization, it’s important to address the cause of the clutter and develop habits to maintain a tidier living space.

  • Declutter regularly
  • Create an organizational system that works for you
  • Designate specific storage areas
  • Develop daily habits
  • Address procrastination
  • Practice the “one in, one out rule”
  • Seek support of others

Seeking Professional Help to Conquer Messy Rooms

Seeking professional help to conquer messy rooms can be a valuable step for individuals who struggle to manage clutter on their own. 

Professional organizers

Professional organizers are skilled people who specialize in creating customized organizational systems tailored to the unique needs and preferences of their clients. They offer practical solutions to declutter and streamline living spaces, utilizing techniques such as categorization, storage optimization, and space planning. 

Professional organizers work collaboratively with clients to assess their current living environment, identify areas of concern, and develop sustainable strategies for maintaining organization over time. Their hands-on approach and expertise empower individuals to reclaim control over their surroundings and cultivate spaces that promote productivity, peace, and well-being.

Therapy or counseling

Therapy or counseling can be invaluable for individuals whose clutter issues are rooted in underlying emotional or psychological factors. Therapists provide a supportive and nonjudgmental environment for clients to explore the underlying causes of their clutter habits, whether it be anxiety, depression, trauma, perfectionism, or other emotional challenges.

Through various therapeutic strategies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness techniques, and psychodynamic approaches, therapists help clients develop insight, coping skills, and tools to address the root issues contributing to clutter. 

Hoarding specialists

Hoarding specialists are professionals with training and expertise in working with those who struggle with a hoarding disorder, a complex mental health condition characterized by the excessive acquisition of possessions and difficulty discarding them. 

These specialists offer compassionate and nonjudgmental support to individuals and families impacted by hoarding, helping them navigate the challenges of clutter, safety hazards, and emotional distress associated with the disorder.

Support groups

Support groups offer a valuable source of connection, validation, and encouragement for those who struggle with clutter-related challenges. Whether in-person or online, support groups provide a safe and supportive space for individuals to share their experiences, struggles, and triumphs with others who understand their journey.

Participants in support groups receive empathy, understanding, and practical advice from peers facing similar challenges, fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual support. Support groups can follow various formats, including structured meetings, peer-led discussions, and educational workshops, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of participants.

Professional cleaners

Professional cleaning services, like us at Brennan & Co, offer a practical solution for people dealing with overwhelming clutter or hazardous living conditions. We utilize specialized cleaning techniques and products to restore order, cleanliness, and sanitation to living spaces, addressing dirt, dust, grime, and other environmental hazards. 

At Brennan & Co, we work diligently to create a safe, hygienic, and comfortable living environment for our clients to alleviate stress, anxiety, and discomfort associated with clutter and disorganization. Whether for a one-time deep cleaning or ongoing maintenance services, we can provide a valuable support system for individuals striving to create healthier and more livable spaces.

Seeking professional help to conquer messy rooms shows a commitment to improving one’s living space and overall well-being. Whether through professional organizing services, therapy, support groups, or other resources, individuals can find the support and guidance they need to create a more organized, and clutter-free living environment.