'We were shocked': Does your child own the world's messiest bedroom?

Photos: Louise Merrick’s teenage son doesn't seem to mind the clutter as long as he can play his video games (Left) Phil ...
Photos: Louise Merrick’s teenage son doesn't seem to mind the clutter as long as he can play his video games (Left) Phil Newis, sent in this shot of his 10-year-old daughter’s messy den (Right) Photo: Supplied from BedSOS

Until recently I thought that my nine-year-old was pretty good at keeping her bedroom tidy.

Then we got her a loft bed and discovered that she has just been hiding all her mess. 

Now, with nowhere to stash her discarded clothes, toys and books, her bedroom has become a contender for the world's messiest bedroom. 

She is not alone.

Heather Kinsman’s bedroom seems to have everything except the kitchen sink.
Heather Kinsman’s bedroom seems to have everything except the kitchen sink. Photo: Supplied

A British bed shop recently set out to find the UK's messiest bedroom and well, the entries take 'messy' to a whole new level.

From teetering piles of laundry to empty chip packets and pizza boxes strewn about, it seems that some of us have no shame when it comes to mess. 

In one eye-watering photo a step-ladder can be seen leaning against an ironing board. There is so much stuff piled up next to it that it's hard to see what's trapped underneath.

In another photo there is so much stuff on the floor that getting in and out of the room must be a exercise akin to mission impossible. 

Danny Richmond, Managing Director of BedSOS, said he was surprised by the extent of the mess.

"We were shocked by the state of some of the bedrooms in the entries so far," he said. "With all the extra time people have been spending at home recently, it does make sense that things will be a little more cluttered than usual, but some of these take the cake!"

"On the plus side, with the sheer number of entries we've received, if you're a bit messy yourself, at least you know you're in good company," he added. 

I'm definitely not judging. Truth be told, I wasn't the best at keeping my room tidy when I was a kid.

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And, if I'm being totally honest, I'm not exactly the worlds tidiest person now that I'm a fully functioning adult. 

I asked professional organiser, Erin Boyce, CEO of Your Organised Life, why some of us struggle more than others when it comes to mess. She told me that it all comes down to executive functioning. 

"Some people's brains are literally not wired to be able to figure out clutter," she explains. 

Photo: Heather Kinsman’s bedroomseems to have everything except the kitchen sink.
Photo: Heather Kinsman’s bedroomseems to have everything except the kitchen sink. 

"It's also been scientifically proven that you do not think effectively in clutter so if you're starting from a point of extreme disorganisation then it can be very hard to know where to begin let alone keep on top of it."

"We all have our strengths and weaknesses and for some this just isn't their strength," she adds. 

If you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of tidying a messy bedroom, Erin's advice is to work slowly.

Photo: Time for a wardrobe cull? Supplied by BedSOS
Photo: Time for a wardrobe cull? Supplied by BedSOS 

"Rome wasn't built in a day and unless your brain is wired like a professional organiser and you can see through the chaos then tidying up and organising takes time," she says. 

The best approach is to tidy a bit at a time.

"Pick one shelf or spot in the room and focus solely in that area. Don't put anything into that spot unless you intended on it going there and then when you finish have a break," Erin explains.  

If you need some more encouragement, Erin has the following tips for stying on top of mess. 

  • Assign everything a 'home' - when things have nowhere to go they get dumped.
    Give them a home and you take away the anxiety of trying to figure out what to do with it.
  • Group things together in "like" categories - for example all the toy cars in one tub, all the figurines into another.
    That way when they go to play with a toy they can take out one activity at a time and finding that one desired toy will be easier to source.
  • Keep storage simple – there is just no need for elaborate storage systems that costs thousands of dollars.
    For kids the best type of storage would be clear and stackable. That way, kids of all ages can see what's in each container and you don't need to rely on them being able to read a label.
Photo: Supplied

Photo: Sally-Ann Johnston has documented her son's pigsty from every angle. Supplied