Here’s Why Messy People Are Actually More Productive And Fun

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Growing up, one of my weekly chores was to clean my room. According to my parents, cleaning my room taught responsibility and how to get (and stay) organized.

Today, I’m a bit of a clean-aholic, but I attribute that to having a dog and cat – if I don’t keep things tidy and clean, everything gets covered in pet hair. Also, living in a small apartment forced me to abandon clutter and so everything had its own place.

I have a weekly routine for cleaning, and feel I’ve become quite efficient at how I clean my house, and how to keep things cleaner, longer.

But not everyone is like me – and that’s OK. For those that hate cleaning and organizing, John Haltiwanger says, “We should say “yes” to the mess more often.”

Depending on the person, a little mess can actually help boost creativity and productivity in their lives.  So if you are a messy person or if you know a messy person, here are a few things to remember on why it’s ok to be a little disorganized.

They push boundaries and open to new things.

Those with less-than perfect environments tend to stay away from conformity and tradition, while pushing the boundaries to explore and trying new things.

“Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe,” reports Kathleen Vohs, a psychologist scientist at the University of Minnesota, to APS.

They are creative

In addition, a study from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, found that a cluttered and messy environment helps increase creativity.  Watch this video from the Carlson School of Management on creativity, clutter, and how preferences and behaviors can be influenced in the workforce:

They can still be organized

Eric Abrahamson and David Freedman, authors of A Perfect Mess, believe that messy people can be just as organized (if not more organized) than clean people. Abrahamson told,

Mess isn’t necessarily the absence of order. A messy desk can be a highly effective prioritizing and accessing system.

On a messy desk, the more important, urgent work tends to stay close by and near the top of the clutter, while the safely ignorable stuff tends to get buried to the bottom or near the back, which makes perfect sense.

They are more spontaneous

It’s also been said that people with a bit of disorganization use the time that would have been spent cleaning to be spontaneous. Those with an untidy space are also known to “go with the flow” and don’t stress as much when things don’t always go as planned.

While I like to think of myself as adventurous, I also know that I hold back on things I want to do because of my busy schedule and routine chores that need to be accomplished at home.

Maybe next time someone asks me to do something at the last minute, I’ll put down the vacuum and go have some much deserved fun.