They say that “home is where the heart is.” As it turns out, home is where the heart is—and where a whole lot more is, too. According to a whole compendium of new research, what your home looks like—the color it’s painted, the photos on your wall, the state of cleanliness and order (or absence of)—can reveal a whole lot about your personality.
Take your refrigerator, for instance. You might not think twice about overstocking your fridge with unnecessary food, but experts say that this indicates that someone is outgoing and enjoys entertaining. And your bed? If you’re one of folks who makes their bed before heading out for the day, you’re likely also someone who enjoys their job. But that’s not all! Read on to learn all the facets of your personality people will learn the moment they step foot in your house. And for more ways to optimize your living space, learn (and purge!) the 30 Home Decorations No One Over 30 Should Own.
A messy sock drawer means you’re detail-oriented.
It might sound counterintuitive, but it turns out that the people who are the most orderly tend to have the messiest sock drawers, according to a study conducted by chemistry.com. The study’s scientific advisor, Dr. Helen Fisher, told Your Tango: “An organized sock drawer can reveal a lot about a person’s personality and biology. From my studies on temperament… I have found that the Builder type—who are typically orderly, conventional, respectful of the rules, and detail-oriented—have the messiest sock drawers.” Dr. Fisher and her colleagues hypothesize that these so-called builder types are too busy organizing other parts of their life to focus on something like their sock drawer.
A well-kept garden means that you are happy.
Everything in the garden is rosy, including the person tending to it. One study from Gardeners’ World magazine found that 80 percent of people with gardens are happy with their lives, compared to just two-thirds of those lacking the green thumb. What’s more, 90 percent of respondents noted that gardening improves their mood. “It’s… about passing the seed of knowledge and the pleasure that gives,” magazine editor Lucy Hall explained to Express. And consider tending to your garden with your significant other, as that’s one of The 50 Best Ways to Relax with Your Partner.
A neat bed means that you love your job.
What do a well-made bed and going to the gym have to do with one another? Quite a bit, evidently. One survey of nearly 70,000 people found that those who keep their bed tidy are more likely to hit the gym on a regular basis. What’s more, these people are also more likely to enjoy their 9-to-5s. The experts believe this may have something to do with the fact that happier people tend to keep their lives more organized.
A cluttered closet means you’re clinging to the past.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re struggling to throw out old items of clothing that you don’t wear anymore. According to Jennifer Baumgartner, Psy.D., your inability to tidy up could be an indication that you’re not quite ready to let go of old memories.
“Nostalgia can make clearing out a space nearly impossible,” Dr. Baumgartner wrote. If you’re currently in this boat, Baumgartner suggests setting a timer for 20 minutes and doing a “speed elimination,” throwing away everything that you no longer use. And don’t forget to use these 20 Genius House-Cleaning Tricks That Will Blow Your Mind.
A horde of decorative candles means that you are ambitious.
People who spruce up their homes with decorative towels, display candles, and untouched fine china tend to be very ambitious, according to behavioral psychologist Donna Dawson. As she explained to the Daily Mail: “Their creativity is at its best when they are under pressure. [These people] want to show their home at its best, and know it’s the small things that make a big impression—so they rush around, creating an impressive upmarket space.”
A bare desk means you’re reliable.
Keeping your home desk lightly decorated doesn’t make you plain and unsocial. Rather, as environmental psychology consultant Lily Bernheimer told the BBC, it indicates that you’re a reliable worker who thrives on structure and stability.
A collection of cleaning supplies means you lean to the right.
One study published in The Journal of Political Psychology found that subjects who identified as conservatives tended to be extremely clean, had a lot of well-lit rooms, and owned large collections of cleaning supplies and sports memorabilia. “Conservatives have a need for order, for there not to be ambiguity,” study author Dana Carney told Scientific American. “There you see that expressed by being more orderly, having more cleaning supplies, needing to have everything lined up and organized so that one feels one’s environment is predictable and therefore safe.”
A well-lit bedroom means you’re doing okay.
Choosing a house with an airy bedroom doesn’t just mean that you enjoy the breeze—it also indicates that you’re emotionally stable, according to a study from the University of Texas at Austin. The researchers found that there was a correlation between bright, open spaces and emotional stability, as well as messy bedrooms and extroversion. And for more great home décor tips, don’t miss these 30 Home Design Tricks That Will Make Any Room Look So Much Bigger.
And a brightly colored door symbolizes that you’re the life of the party.
According to a recent study conducted by the color maestros at Pantone, “pink or lavender is youthful and spirited.” Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, said that “someone who paints their front door a vibrant pink or yellow is making a statement that life should be fun.”
An overflowing fridge means you’re outgoing.
Do you have a tendency to buy everything that looks good when you shop at the grocery store, ultimately crowding your pantry and fridge to unmanageable levels? According to the personality experts DISC insights, this might make you an “Imaginative Shopper.” These people tend to “have fun, charismatic, and exuberant personalities” and “love to entertain,” which explains why they always have so much food on hand—just in case they have to plan a last-minute party, of course! If you’re rocking a kitchen like this, though, you may want to take a look at these 20 Products That Make Cleaning So Much Easier.
An openly displayed clothes rack means you have a passion for fashion.
“Fashion is a big part of this person’s identity,” psychologist Dr. Linda Papadopoulos said about one blogger’s decision to display her clothes outside of her closet. “The fact that it’s not hidden away in a closet but out on display attests to the fact that she sees fashion as art, something to engage with and enjoy aesthetically, not just functionally.” And for ways to make the most of your wardrobe, check out the 15 Killer Style Accessories You Never Knew You Needed.
A purple door indicates a theatrical flair.
Purple: The symbol of royalty, wealth, and now, drama. According to Pantone, people who paint their front doors purple are “those with a penchant for the dramatic.”
A big book collection means that you’re open-minded.
“Openness—a willingness to try new things and explore new ideas—is actually expressed in the home more clearly than any personality trait,” says Samuel Gosling, Ph.D. According to the psychologist, openness can be expressed in the house through a large library, an expansive art collection, or various symbols of vacations past.
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