Personality Traits Of Someone Messy and Disorganized

a bunch of different color electronic wires viewed in a tangled mess

People come in all different sizes and shapes

It is important to me to know my way is best for me and not necessarily for others. We are all unique and we all have negative and positive traits. My way is not right, not wrong, simply my way, the way that works best for me and my personality.

There should be no stigma attached to anyone’s traits. They are traits, often ingrained. Wonderful people have habits that may differ from yours and mine. It does not take away an iota the goodness of these individuals.

“My Home is too small, I’m too busy, if only this or that…”

None of this is why you can’t find stuff when you need it or why you keep banging into piles of stuff, tripping over boxes of this and that including the trash that needs to go out etc. If your home is messy and you want a tidy home you can get there no matter what size your house is.


Organization and disorganization is often a style preference. Trying to shame a spouse, family member or housemate to change is not cool. People tend to revolt when we try to change others. I know I would not like to be criticized for being ridiculously organized. Being teased is bad enough.

Disorganization is not a small house problem

Experts studying messy people and messy desk syndrome show recent research about unorganized people going about trying to organize the wrong way. Way too often they think the most common cause of their disorganization is a lack of space. David F Tolin, the director of the anxiety disorders center at the Institute of Living in Hartford CT and professor of psychiatry at Yale says a disorganized person does not have a small house problem, it has a person problem. He goes on to say the person needs to fundamentally change their behaviors. 


Always top on the list it seems when talking about disorganized human beings is procrastination. Putting off tasks and delaying decision-making can lead to a buildup of clutter and disorganization over time.

Procrastination is something we all practice from time to time even though it brings only negative feelings. What feels better – getting the tasks we don’t want to do done or to put them off?

Letting go

Having trouble parting with possessions, even when they are no longer needed or have no practical value, can contribute to too much clutter. Sentimental objects prove the hardest to part with for the obvious reason.

Not being able to let go can have lots of negative effects in our daily life. Social relationships, financial health, physical health and well being, take a hit when we hang on to either physical or mental stuff that no longer serves us.

sea and sand with let it go written in sand.

Poor time management

Difficulty managing time effectively can result in tasks being left unfinished or forgotten. Are you sure you have time to throw a load of laundry in, unload the dishwasher and vacuum before your next appointment? Is this why people run late? Are you trying to stuff 36 hours into a day with only 24 hours?

Indecisive and overwhelmed

Some folks have so much stuff they are simply overwhelmed where to start. Others attach such a high perceived value they feel they have to keep stuff. There are solutions to these obstacles. There are different ways to get to where you want to go.

The first step always has to be get rid of what is no longer useful to you. Having too much stuff around can have a risk factor and effect one’s own safety. We all deserve to live in a safe environment. This can be achieved no matter the physical size of one’s home.

Clutter blindness

Living with a lot of stuff around for a prolonged period of time causes clutter blindness. We just get so used to seeing this stuff around we don’t even see it anymore. Look around your surroundings. What do you see? 

One of the reasons minimalism is so appealing to me is the absence of stuff that can cause clutter blindness is eliminated. I much prefer to see clean empty spaces. Again though this is just me.

Difficulty prioritizing

Struggling to determine priorities and allocate time and resources can be a real struggle for some. 

Having a plan A and a plan B is my personality. I always know what my priorities are and am at good at getting the important stuff done. I have a dislike of feeling overwhelmed so I know if I can keep up with stuff I will be alright.

This fear of falling far behind seems to keep me motivated and on track. This is why at the end of each task I take a couple minutes to tidy up my spaces so it will be ready for the next time. 

I have friends that say they can’t function without digital planners and calendars. I think it is great they know this and utilize all the stuff available today, often free or low cost!

Inefficient storage and space utilization

Failing to utilize storage spaces effectively or lacking proper storage solutions can exacerbate clutter issues. This does not mean you should run out and buy a bunch of expensive color coordinated totes or shelving. This means take an inventory of what you have, what you need and what no longer serves you. 

Many people have many storage options they never even thought of. First though get rid of the clutter. To have a well-organized room the room needs to be free of clutter.

Don’t want to be disorganized?

Organized and disorganized people can be each person’s human personality. I am ridiculously organized. I seem to have been born this way.

If a disorganized person had to live with me and my organized ways, that person would be bonkers in no time! Just like if I had to live in disorganized chaos. Living with one junk drawer is about my limit!

That said there are disorganized folks wanting to become organized and are lost. If you fall in this category I am here to say you are a decision away from learning how to become organized. It may be hard at first like many things.

You can change unwelcome traits. They say it takes about 2 weeks for an action to become a habit. Find your happy place whatever your style is!

Increase self awareness

How does being disorganized negatively effect you? Do you spend an entire week looking for things you need right now? How about when you miss deadlines? Always late when meeting friends?

Forgot to pay that bill? Yes disorganization can effect finances. Banks love charging late fees! 24 billion dollars was collected by banking institutions in 2021 for late fees.

outline of 2 heads indicating awareness

Set goals and prioritize

Setting your goal is key.

1 Where are you today?
2 What do you want?
3 Describe the end result you are looking for.

If this goal of yours is a priority take action today. You will get to your more organized and clutter-free lifestyle once you decide to do so.

Develop organizational skills

Get rid of everything that no longer serves you first. This needs to be the very first step. When this step is complete you will feel lighter than you have in years! Now you know what you are dealing with.

If you have a good eye and a natural instinct on how to organize like I do, this next part is the fun part!

Again do not run out to buy storage containers etc. Really give thought as to what storage systems will suit your lifestyle best. Because my personality is less is more my California closet style shelving suits me best.

I have no need to own clothing bureaus. Because the only thing important to me about my wardrobe is staying warm in winter and cool in summer. All 4 seasons of my clothing fits in one decent sized closet, outfitted with shelving, in an organized manner.  

Seek support

Engage the help of friends, family, or professional organizers who can provide guidance, support, and accountability during the organizing process. Or join our free, safe and private Facebook group where we help each other for free!

Quite possibly, right in your circle of family and friends, there will be at least one nut like me that loves to organize! Ask for help. Most people love to help others. I get excited at the challenge when people ask me for help!


So why would an organized person like me need a friend to whom on occasion I ask to help keep me accountable? Well when I set out to begin a lofty goal I know how easy it is to procrastinate staying on track. If I tell a friend I plan to be wherever by whenever I will find staying focused that much easier because I would not want to admit defeat!

Cultivate healthy habits

Establish consistent habits, such as daily decluttering routines or regular maintenance of organized spaces, to prevent clutter from accumulating. 

Because I choose to live minimally I find the 2 minute rule to be magical. Like I said earlier when I finish a task I leave the space tidy for the next time. It only takes about 2 minutes. I move from task to task throughout my day. If I did not follow this rule my environment would be a mess by days end.

Practice decision making

Work on developing decision-making skills and overcoming indecisiveness when it comes to letting go of unnecessary items. This can be a tough one for those of us on a tighter budget. For me if I have to lay out a substantial amount of money I want to get it right the first time.

This requires a certain amount of research for me. What happens then, if I let it, is too much research overwhelms me, and I throw my hands up in the air and decide to do it later. This of course means procrastinating til my back is against the wall and I have to make a quick decision! This takes practice. 

Today the most important part of decision making for me is to simply make the decision in a timely manner. Then I can cross it off the list and move on.

Cultivate mindfulness

Practice being present and mindful in your spaces. Take a look around. Do you still want that which your eye has landed on? Is it still serving you? Nothing gets into my home that is not functional or breathtakingly beautiful.

A more organized, functional, and peaceful living environment is available for the asking to those that wish for it. It is simply about developing and practicing new behaviors.

Can differing personalities live in harmony?

It can be tough sharing living quarters with someone having different feelings about housekeeping in general. Sharing a home with someone that has conflicting organizational skills can indeed present challenges. The individual differences, styles and preferences, can lead to fair amounts of tension and frustrations, especially if each person digs in instead of discussing compromises.

Cluttered living spaces: 

The disorganized person’s tendency to accumulate clutter and leave items scattered about can create an environment that feels chaotic and visually overwhelming for the organized person. The organized person may drive the disorganized person nutty by nitpicking. This can create tension for all. Compromise needs to be reached sooner rather than later.

Difficulty finding shared items: 

The disorganized person that never returns scissors, keys, documents, or household supplies ‘where they belong’ annoys the organized person. The organized person goes bonkers looking for things. The disorganized person doesn’t get the need for hysteria.

Good systems agreed upon by both will help. Separate private spaces could provide a needed respite from the storm.

The organized person may be a clean freak and the the disorganized person may be more lax in their approach. This difference in cleaning can cause friction and chaos to say the least. Again if space permits each person can have their individual nest to their liking.

Communication and coordination challenges: 

Some folks like to plan every aspect of their lives down to the millisecond and some don’t like to plan anything. This can create conflict. Maybe a compromise can be reached to plan together the important things like vacations etc. and when to do laundry and mow the lawn not so much?

Differing priorities and perspectives: 

When it is very important for one person to have a well maintained and organized home and for the other person to be not in the least concerned, these different perspectives can lead to less than harmonious agreement over how the living space should be maintained.

To navigate these challenges, open communication, understanding and compromise are crucial. Here are some suggestions for fostering harmony in a shared living environment:

Establish clear boundaries: 

Define shared spaces and individual spaces, allowing each person to have autonomy over their personal areas while compromising in the common, shared areas.

Communication and compromise: 

Have open and honest discussions about organization preferences, expectations, and compromises. Find middle ground and establish some ways that not only can work for both of you but can also be easily honored. Set yourselves up for a win.

Allocate responsibilities: 

Divide household tasks based on each person’s strengths and preferences. An alternative could be hiring a house cleaner and or yard maintenance crew. If the duties always fall to one person this could get ugly fast.

Everyone deserves and needs to feel peaceful in their homes.

Home is where we go to recharge, to relax and to be ourselves in comfort. Like Dorothy says ‘there really is no place like home.’ This living in disharmony can not only be a drain of energy it is bad for our health.

As always seek professional help if needed. No shame. No stigma. In cases where the differences in organization styles and preferences cause significant distress or strain on relationships, it may be beneficial to seek the guidance of a counselor or professional who can provide strategies for navigating these challenges.

Compromise, empathy, and respect for each other’s differences are key to maintaining harmony at home for all of us, and just that much more challenging for folks with different organization styles.

Marj pic

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutterer and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

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