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Can a Messy Kitchen Affect Your Eating Habits?

posted: 02/19/16
by: Courtney Reimer
Woman doing the dishes
iStock

By now you've probably heard about the lifechanging magic of decluttering (as taught by of-the-moment organization queen, Marie Kondo), and our own Estee Lalonde has given you some tips on how to declutter your wardrobe. But did you know that a cluttered and messy kitchen can affect how much and what you eat? Yep.

According to a study published this month in Environment and Behavior and reported on by NPR, a clean kitchen can help promote clean eating. Especially for women, in the case of this research. What they did is invite women into two different kitchens, one messy, one tidy. Within each kitchen, they were given an assignment: some were told to write about a time they felt out of control; others were to write about a time they felt in control. All of the groups were offered snacks and told they could eat as much as they want. Surprise, surprise: the ones in the cluttered kitchen ate far more than the ones in the neat one.

But wait, there's more: the ones in the cluttered kitchen who wrote about feeling out of control ate far more of their calories from cookies than of healthier snacks. Twice as much, to be exact.

So not only does a messy kitchen nudge us to eat more, it nudges us eat less healthily. And just when we thought there might be a good reason to sit back and let the clutter pile up. Turns out a clean space really contributes to clean dietary habits, too. One fewer excuse to not do the dishes tonight!