What Your Home Says About Your State of Mind

My newly organized bookshelf

Article by Wendy McCance

Have you ever noticed that when you don’t like something you own, you are careless with it?  Take a piece of clothing for example.  You don’t like the color or the way it fits or how it makes you feel when you wear it.  You might toss it on the floor instead of hanging it up.  It might get stuffed in a drawer without being folded.  What about a car that is getting old and embarrasses you to drive.  How often does it get an oil change?  How easily does it seem to get dinged by grocery carts at the store or scratches on it while sitting in your driveway?  What about the inside of the car?  Is there trash on the floor or stains on the seats?

I was thinking about how the state of your mind affects what your personal items look like.  The best example I can give is to look inside someone’s home.  There are three distinct styles of managing a home that I can think of.  I have been in some homes where the house seems to hum with happiness.  The home is clean and straightened but not in an extreme way.  There is some happy clutter.  There might be kids book bags in the hall, a few toys scattered about and books or magazines in spots where it looks like someone had gotten up briefly but was in the middle of reading.  There is energy in the home.  Food is cooking, kids are playing, etc…

People in these homes seem to be happy and content.  They know how to juggle their busy lifestyle in a way that is comfortable and has minimal stress.  They aren’t procrastinators and are good at prioritizing.  They know how to get things done, but also give themselves a break and make sure that they take care of themselves and enjoy some free time.

I have visited homes where the home feels like a museum.  Everything has its place.  The house is immaculate to the point where you are nervous to walk in shoes or eat anything for fear you might drop a crumb of food and it would stand out as an incredible mess.  There is little life in the home.  There is no way to know what the occupants hobbies are or what makes them happy.  There are no books to see, no photos to look at and no projects sitting out.

These people tend to be control freaks.  They are rigid and feel that everything in their life must be perfect and in its place.  People with homes like this have a hard time giving themselves a break or find time to allow themselves downtime.  They are usually workaholics and are very critical of others living up to their standards.

The last style of keeping house that I’ve seen is the home that looked like an explosion occurred.  You walk in and see piles of dirty dishes, a trail of dirty laundry running through the house and projects everywhere.  The home is utter chaos and has an uneasy feel to it.

People in these homes are always busy.  There are a million responsibilities, errands, favors to others etc…  These are good-hearted people who put everyone ahead of themselves.  They will say yes to any favor someone asks of them no matter if they have the time and energy or not.  They never want to disappoint and will stretch themselves as thin as humanly possible.  They tend to put their own needs last and don’t know how to enjoy their own company for any length of time.

Of course these are generalizations.  There are many people who might not feel they fall under any category listed above or think that the descriptions of the type of people who live in these homes are off.  When you find peace for example, it’s hard to live in a messy home, it just doesn’t feel peaceful.  You will get the urge to straighten what is around you to increase that feeling of peace that you have.  The point is sometimes by looking at the state of what you live in can give you direct clues as to the state of your mind.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 6 local papers online, including the Oakland Press.The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

12 thoughts on “What Your Home Says About Your State of Mind

  1. I love this.

    I believe children thrive in a home as the first mentioned home. Neat and tidy, but organized. It shows them how to manage their school work and future jobs.

    The home mentioned in example 3, sometimes can be pure laziness. Not so much someone who is busy or owes favors. Those children from that type of environment have a hard time understanding rules, and what can and can’t be allowed.

    Great read.


  2. I think we do get careless with our possessions. Our state of mind affects how we treat our environment and our environment affects you state of mind. This explains why kids living in slums make it worse with graffiti. In Britain, the last government gave grants to improve homes and people with new kitchens and bathrooms tended to look after them better. I don’t think it was enough, it didn’t instil pride in their communities, but at least they had the right idea.
    I have noticed too that the colours that we wear are not only governed by mood they also affect mood. I tend to wear lighter colours when I’m going some where special because it lifts my mood. Depressed people wear darker colours.

    • Hi Mike, What an interesting observation.  Incredible way of looking at the slums/graffitti.  I never thought about that.  Thanks so much for your comment.


  3. Regarding the third or “messy house” description. You live this lifetime only once (yes we do Reincarnate but for purposes of this comment, we’ll just focus on the current lifetime) so live it to the fullest and if it gets messy, at least you won’t have regrets about “missed opportunities.” Better a glass overflowing than one left empty, nes pas?

  4. Aloha:
    I am Kay’s husband. I worry that you may have stolen our identities. How you did this from God forsaken Michigan I do not know, unless there is a previously unreported Spartan DNA. Both of us lived there (Kay was actually born in Pigeon, but rarely admits it) at times in our lives, though not in decades. If you can find your way out here, we could use your insights on a virtual daily basis. We’d put you up, but consider yourself on alert: NO ONE is allowed into our garage until they can demonstrate that they have had the mandatory series of inoculations. Give us a heads-up before you book a flight. We’d have to shovel out the guest room.

    Brad in Hawaii

    • Hi Brad, You had me cracking up right away.  I told my husband that he should write back since I was too busy laughing.  You guys are a riot.  Anytime I can be of assistance, I would be more than happy to help.  I love writing this blog.  It’s been so much fun making some wonderful new friends. By the way, when my husband Mike heard what you wrote, he ran to the garage for a shovel. 


  5. OMG, you’ve been sneaking into my house and have described it perfectly. OMG, even scarier, you have been sneaking into my head and have described it perfectly. This is truly frightening. Right now my house is a mess. My head is a mess. When my house is messy, my head is ALWAYS messy, too. And you are absolutely right, I don’t/can’t say no to anyone. My husband and I always put ourselves last. Sometimes we get so angry at ourselves we vow to stop but we don’t. Because it seems as though someone always needs our help. Right now the person who needs help is me. After having read your blog post, I feel like you should send me a bill for therapy services. Wow, are you ever insightful!!!!

    Kay in Hawaii
    (I almost wrote, Kay in a State of Disarray)

    • Hi Kay, As soon as I started reading your blog I was cracking up.  I had to read it to my husband.  He said he was wondering when someone would say something like that.  He has seen me talking with people and unraveling their thoughts before.  Thanks so much for your comment, it was so fun to read. :)


  6. When I started reading your post I thought “there, I will finally understand my state of mind”. But in the end I really don’t think I fit in any of these. Maybe my house is somewhere in between the heathly cluttered and the clutter explosion, and this is probably my state of mind as well. I hope though to be walking towards the healthly happy, I just can’t stand the “victim” state of mind any more.

    • Hi Janica, It sounds like you are in a pretty good state.  I wish there were simple definitions we fit into sometimes just because it seems it would be easier to work with something definite.  In the end, maybe it’s better that there is no one answer fits all.  People are more interesting when they can’t easily fit into a certain box completely. 


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