Cluttered room –
A room where the locations of items is fluid. It does not mean dirty, dusty, germ or bug infested etc.
Do people feel more comfortable in a slightly cluttered home compared to an absolutely neat home?
It is intimidating. The extremely neat home may indicate the owner is obsessed with cleanliness and it may appear a bit inhospitable to a guest visiting since there is an unwritten obligation to maintain this level of neatness and to ensure that he/she does not disturb anything. So basically, some kind of very restrictive environment, so less welcoming in a way.
Whereas the houses which are relatively cluttered (I don’t mean in terms of cleanliness, but more in terms of orderliness and organization) probably convey the impression of a more laid back environment which is ready for a “make mistakes and explore” kind of attitude. So in other words, more warm and welcoming.
Houses that are excessively neat may not feel “lived in”. Its also a question of priority. Certain preoccupations may also relegate this activity of cleaning. Also, it is interesting to think about whether there is really any point in putting stuff used everyday in exact spots, which would mean extra work would be needed to put them back in the same place. For this point people might argue that an efficient architecture can be created to solve this problem. But then another problem crops up, of rigidity.
If the position and functions of everything is fixed, this rigidity passes on to the mind too. How can one think out of the box and look for crazy associations, patterns, be creative etc. if everything is set in stone?
There is also another perspective where, after a period of time, the organization of the room contents evolve dynamically to suite your lifestyle in the most optimal way. Its similar to they way a biological organism evolves depending on the environment its put in. In other words, it could be the most efficient self organizing arrangement for your priorities. The traits of a person that prefers this system of organization could be a mind that is like water, constantly adapting and trying to free itself from conditioning.
It could also be a form of rebellion against convention and desire to explore alternate untrodden paths.
It could also indicate a higher tolerance to disorderliness. Such a person could likely have a broad picture view of things where everything is optimized at the highest levels.
It could also be a symptom of an insecurity which causes them to hoard things. Usually, patterns get passed on from parents. The way your parents lived is the way you choose to live because that is what feels familiar and like home unless there is a really pressing reason to not do so.
Thus, a person’s messy room could show a lot more than just the simplistic connotation of being ‘messy’ OR a stereotype of what a “person with a messy room” is like. Such a person might simply be optimizing different variables in his life’s equation.
Also another factor in favor of the cluttered room, is you do not need to use your memory as much. Like say there are some items like keys, wallet, phone, wireless mouse, phone charger, USB card reader, car keys etc used every single day which need to be organized. Leaving all these items on a table top makes it easy to find them in one pass, though the exact location of these items is not known. Instead of remembering an table where there is 1-1 mapping for each of these 7 items, now you only need to remember 1 location for all the 7 items.