I have always been unable to be really neat. I got the worst beating my dad ever gave me because I just could NOT clean my room (I was nine, and I got a broken arm out of the deal). I do not ever remember a time when I could be neat(er). I am organized, though, so that is something. I usually know where things are no matter what.

But is this a genetic trait (which I think it is because of all the years I have worked to overcome it),or is it something else? I don't remember my mom teaching how to be neat, if that is any help.

Jaianniah (Liz)

asked 17 Mar '13, 08:51

Jaianniah's gravatar image



Nice excuse right there. Not inspired, can't bother, or just plain lazy to make a change? Blame it on genetics! Which are generally assumed to be unchangeable.

Btw, I was messy too, and it's because of my parents. They are so flipping messy, when I visit I could puke. I see it only because now I live with a friend who likes to keep the apartment neat. And guess what, I started to like it too. Because of him. It's all about stuff that's influencing you.

(18 Mar '13, 04:22) CalonLan

jai, looks like you are still learning about your nature, yet meanwhile do what is culturally acceptable. he would say cause and effect is your mindset

(18 Mar '13, 07:15) fred

Here's a little habit to develop when you finish with something mental say "don't put it down .... put it away "then follow through, next time you want it you'll know exactly where it is and this ultimately prevents time wasting and another bonus .... no frustration ;-)

(18 Mar '13, 10:32) Starlight

"Blame it on genetics! Which are generally assumed to be unchangeable." Nurture vs Nature. You assume nature (genetics) rules... hmmm.... interesting..

(19 Mar '13, 20:02) ele
showing 0 of 4 show 4 more comments

I would think it's just your mind-set or preference. You would rather expend your physical and mental energy on other matters, and that is OK. We are each unique and have different priorities.

My husband doesn't mind clutter or disorganization in the least. And he is like you in that he does know where everything is located. I am much more neat and hate chaos, so I pick up all this things and put them where I think they belong. Later, he can't find anything! We have repeated this so many times that all we can do is laugh. I am not going to change him and his preferences and he will not change me either. Best to roll with it and keep your sense of humor!


answered 17 Mar '13, 10:51

LeeAnn%201's gravatar image

LeeAnn 1

I do not believe that it is genetic. I believe it is a habit or the lack of a developed habit. The habit of neatness is one that is often developed and nurtured by our parents. So one might say that is an inherited trait. My mother in-law is a very neat person and that habit my wife has inherited. Now on the other hand my mother was a slob our house was always a mess .There were many reasons behind this but one is the possibly the rebellion against her mother. now i don't have the habit of neatness but I do like origination. Everything in its place and a place for everything. And I realize that there is a sense of calmness when things are not chaotic.And it is in my and my family's best interest to be neat.
As I was pondering an answer I remembered Zen Habits and clicked on a article that might help us both.

The Habit of Starting

So... I guess I'll go get started on being a little domestic and make myself happy . :D


answered 18 Mar '13, 04:36

ursixx's gravatar image


It's lack of dignity. You don't clean cuz you don't take pride in it. Then again, everyone's trying to be selfless and abandon their selves, how could they ever be proud of something, when pride is no.1 marker of identity of self.

(18 Mar '13, 04:57) CalonLan

@CalonLan "Those who matter don't care, and those who care don't matter.” Dr.Suess

(18 Mar '13, 09:34) ursixx

@ursixx, what a twist! Suddenly people who care...shouldn't matter. And those who don't give a damn, should matter. LOL. But then, why so many people crying out loud for someone to care, if they don't really matter to them? :P

(18 Mar '13, 09:50) CalonLan

@Calonlan there is an etiquette rule (here in Sweden?)that when you accidentally spill on a table cloth it is not wrong ,but it is wrong to point out that some else did spill.

(19 Mar '13, 05:05) ursixx

@ursixx, can you see why? Etiquette is there for insecure, easily butthurt people to hide from embarrassment and unpleasant situations they may get themselves into. But these people are not mature, regardless of how old they may be.

You can call me out on my mistakes, but be ready for it to backfire instantly. Because not only I've no regard for other people's opinion, thus I easily admit I made a mistake or screwed up, but also, I'll call you on your need to call me out. How much insecure...

(19 Mar '13, 05:19) CalonLan

...must a person be, to attempt to diminish other people's value by pointing their mistakes out publicly, right? At best I'll understand you feel threatened by my presence.

Now if you point it out privately, it's a different story. But doesn't relate to topic of etiquette that much.

(19 Mar '13, 05:21) CalonLan

@CalonLan hope you did't feel that I was calling you out, was just trying to clarify my Dr.Suess quote.. I thought they are similar in spirit. As far as dinner table etiquette it's more or less just the rules of the game.

(19 Mar '13, 05:40) ursixx

@ursixx, no I didn't feel you were calling me out on this illustrative situation. lol. "rules of the game" I must be then one of the greatest anarchists ever. I piss on all 'em rules. Their existence can never be justified. Rules are introduced so that people don't have to deal with the root of the problem which effects are the rules designed to prevent.

Of course rarely anyone's looking to fix the root cause, people just want an easy way out. E.g. speed limit. It's obvious that not everywhere

(19 Mar '13, 05:52) CalonLan

...where there is 50km/h speed limit you cannot go 200 and that no everywhere, where there is 120km/h speed limit you can go that much. Nobody would need speed limit signs if they used their brain, knew their car/bike limits and had good evaluation of the situation. But who wants to teach people that? Nobody. They just introduce speed limit and are done with it.

It's stupid and ignorant.

(19 Mar '13, 05:55) CalonLan

@Calonlan I'm more of a closet anarchist. See how far I can bend the rules than break them. Has speeding tickets to prove that,but I'm still ahead in the game http://goo.gl/3rg3P

(19 Mar '13, 06:02) ursixx
showing 2 of 10 show 8 more comments

Some people are messy have not enuff space to put things etc.. and some other have it the other way around it is never clean enuff,they spend their time cleaning each day they say the floor is dirty etc... so like in everything you need to find a proper balence. if you do not clean enuff it is dirty and if you clean to much you are over doing it and could enjoy your time doing something else. Or maybe you want to change the floor and that is why you need to clean it each day?In the hope that the floor will be melt away. Ha.Ha.Ha smile. clean stuff and put order but you do not need to clean the floor each day if you have walk on it and put dirt on it ok clean that part but you do not need to clean all the house each day and where no one as put a foot. dust does not accumulate that fast. onless you want to eat on the floor. But not many people eat on the floor in this time in age.

alt text

Now we have table and dishes.Men and invention.Now you can wash the table and the dishes you do not need to clean the all flour and the all house 3 time per day.


answered 18 Mar '13, 04:50

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

edited 18 Mar '13, 04:58

For some people, I think it is genetic.

They just do not care to keep everything in perfect "order". They like a little bit of naturalness and to focus their energy on more important things...


answered 18 Mar '13, 01:48

arpgme's gravatar image


Amen! Ty so much!

(18 Mar '13, 03:39) Jaianniah

How is being messy inconvenient? It might be inconvenient to other people who can't stand messiness, but I don't think it is inconvenient at all to the particular person who is messy. I am also a messy person by nature and I never felt any inconvenience that arose from my messiness.

I used to be bothered by my messiness too a little until I was watching a random TV variety show. I forgot what the show was really about, but the show broadcasted a couple of offices in the same company and one of the office was really messy. But I remembered that one of the offices was the manager/boss's office, and the secretary that accompanied the filming said that the boss really hated people touching or arranging his things even though it was so messy. Then the host commented something along the lines of, 'Messy people somehow still seem to know where all their things are amongst all this mess!'

And that line struck me really hard, because amongst all this messiness, one could also argue that there is also an element of organization in it. I am sure you would agree that all messy people (apart from you) somehow are able to know where all the things they need are whenever they require them in just a few seconds, even if it seems really messy to another person.

If I might guess, maybe you got into an argument with your dad because he tried to help you tidy your room and then you could not find where your things are anymore? Messy people really hate people touching or tidying their things up when they are around because they cannot stand not being able to find the things they need in just a few split seconds.

Therefore, I do not think there is anything wrong with being messy. As long as your room is still clean and hygenic, and you know where all your things are placed, then that is more than good enough.


answered 20 Mar '13, 13:13

kakaboo's gravatar image


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