According to research published in the journal Environment and Behavior people with a messy kitchen consume more calories than those with a tidy one.
"The notion that places — such as cluttered offices or disorganized homes — can be modified to help us control our food intake is becoming an important solution in helping us become more slim by design," said Brian Wansink of Cornell University about the study.
"It's important to know whether a food environment can actually cause you to, unknowingly, overeat," Wansink said.
Setting out to examine how clutter affects how much food people eat, researchers enlisted the help of 100 women. Next, they created two kitchens, one messy and one tidy.
"We brought 100 people into [the] kitchens — just one at a time," Wanskin said.
Each participant was given a writing task; one of the tasks was designed to make the women feel stressed and other was designed to make them feel in control.
All of the women were given snacks (crackers, carrots and cookies) and told to eat as much as they want.
Participants who wrote about a time they felt out of control while in the messy kitchen ate twice as many cookies as the women in the tidy kitchen, however, there was no difference in consumption of the crackers and carrots.
Backing up the notion that our environment can affect how much we eat, Jane McCartney, a British psychologist says open plan kitchens aren’t doing people any favours either.
"Being able to close the door on food is useful," she told The Telegraph, London.
Although renovating isn’t always an option, Jane offers some advice.
"When you go into the kitchen to put the kettle on, then leave – don’t hang around waiting for it to boil – it’s danger time," she said.
"When you get up to stretch your legs and clear your head it can all too easily turn into a stroll to the biscuit tin."
If the above research doesn’t motivate you to do the dishes, we don’t know what will.