Tidy your room. Put your clothes in the washing basket. Soak your plate in the sink. We bet that for all you mums out there those are day-to-day sayings.
But research shows that the messier your child is, the more intelligent he or she might actually be.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota in America found that being in a messy environment can stimulate new and more creative ideas, as well as help you to think more positively.
The study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, also found that working in a tidier area makes you more likely to do what is expected of you, rather than thinking more out of the box.
Researchers asked participants to fill out questionnaires while sitting in different types of spaces. Some did the activity in a tidy and orderly office, while others did so in a messy and cluttered space, where office supplies were taking up space and papers were dishevelled.
After filling out the form participants were then given the opportunity to donate money to a charity and on leaving were offered a snack of either an apple or a chocolate bar.
Results showed that those who were in the more orderly room tended to give more of their own money to charity and were also more likely to choose an apple over the sugary snack.
But while being in the tidy environment did promote healthy eating and more social awareness, being in a messy room also had its pros.
In a second experiment, study-leaders asked participants to come up with new uses for ping-pong balls. And while both groups gave a similar number of suggestions, those in the messy room gave ideas which were regarded as more creative and stimulating.
‘Being in a messy room led to something that firms, industries, and societies want more of: Creativity,’ says Kathleen Vohs, lead researcher.
‘Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,’ continues Vohs. “Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe.’
So the kids’ messy rooms might mean a future high-flying career. But maybe keep that quiet for now.