The Continuous Clutter Cycle 

By Madeline Crowley

As I come home and flop back onto my bed, I am once again surrounded by piles of clothes and random clutter all over my room. I tell myself I’ll clean it up later. It starts off as just 3 hours. I’ll do it later. Then 5 hours pass, I procrastinate, and 24 hours later the whole cycle starts over again. My mom walks into my room and asks what that smell is. When was the last time you did laundry? Not sure, I’ll do it later. 

The messy room addiction occurs in cycles. It starts off with one bad day where you pile a big mess in your room. No big deal, you’ll just fix it the next day when you’re in a better mood.  However, being trapped in clutter affects your mood and causes more anxiety and stress. So another day goes by and more clutter is piled on. The cycle continues. I’ll clean it later. The reason this messy room addiction is common among teenagers is because of the “nothing matters” attitude. This mentality gives teenagers the idea that they can live in a little bit of clutter no problem. In many cases this is true, but a little mess routinely leads to more and more being piled on. An excessive amount of clutter is harmful to your mental health and discourages you from ever cleaning it up. It works just like many kinds of addiction, when you start one day, and it grows increasingly harder to pull yourself out of the messy room addiction cycle. Lazy teenagers often put cleaning out of perspective. A simple five to ten minutes a day is plenty to clear your room of any mess and prevents you from piling on more. The reality is that it’s worth a small amount of cleaning everyday to prevent a giant mess that takes forever to clean later. However, many teenagers exaggerate the job, claiming it will take hours just to tidy up a small amount, so they avoid cleaning at all costs. Furthermore, being stuck with really bad cleaning habits for a long time can lead to the medical condition “diogenes syndrome”, also known as hoarding. This is when you have an extremely difficult time with disposing of items, even if they are pieces of trash that you will never use again because you feel an intense desire to save them.  In some serious cases of hoarding, it becomes a safety hazard; houses grow so full of clutter that the walls are not visible, and you cannot walk into any rooms of the house because there is literally junk from floor to ceiling. Next time you are contemplating tidying up a bit, just do it!