ATAXOPHOBIA- Disorder or Good Habit?

Have you ever seen a cobweb in someone else’s home, a restaurant, or anywhere and felt like cleaning it? Have you ever gone to a friend’s house and seen dust on her centre table and felt a pressing need to dust it? Have you ever not been able to fall asleep because you had not cleaned your kitchen top after dinner? Have you ever seen someone’s messy wardrobe and cringed? Have you ever felt an ‘orgasmic’ pleasure after cleaning your wardrobe?  Are you fond of labelling everything? Do you get panicked if things are not kept in proper place? Are you fond of keeping everything in order? Do you love to follow a routine? Is your refrigerator wall full of to-do lists and post-its? If the answers are YES, then welcome to the club of ATAXOPHOBIA.

What is Ataxophobia?

Ataxophobia is a fear of disorder and untidiness. Ataxophobia is more common than one would otherwise think. Remember Monica from F.R.I.E.N.D.S? Or the character of Rani Mukherjee in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and Chalte Chalte? Or Bidya Bagchi from Kahani? All of them suffered from Ataxophobia.

The good news is David Beckham also suffers from Ataxophobia. He requires that everything in his house needs to be cleaned and arranged in order of size, colour, and numbers. His wife Victoria Beckham claims that they have three refrigerators at home; one for food, another for salad and the third for drinks.


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David Beckham (Image Courtesy: Google)


“It is generally accepted that phobias arise from a combination of external events (i.e. traumatic events) and internal predispositions (i.e. heredity or genetics). Many specific phobias can be traced back to a specific triggering event, usually a traumatic experience at an early age. It is believed that heredity, genetics, and brain chemistry combine with life-experiences to play a major role in the development of phobias. Ataxophobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict. Ataxophobia may be tied to Asymmetriphobia (a fear of asymmetry).”

There are therapies to cure Ataxophobia, however, David Beckham believes that his success in life is due to his obsession with orderliness. He believes being organised and tidy can never be a disorder. There may be extreme cases of aggravated symptoms but moderate Ataxophobia is definitely good.

Ataxophobia can be considered a good habit than a phobia. Staying clean and organised always reaps benefits. It saves time and effort. There are houses where people spend half an hour in the morning only to search for a pair of socks, often leading to late marks in office. There are houses where to search a particular document the entire house is turned upside down. Nowadays, nobody has time and therefore it is very important to keep everything organised and in proper order.

In a house where there is an ataxophobic person, you would be able to find anything even with closed eyes. Each and every article would have a dedicated place and be kept neatly and properly organised. The keyword to success and time management is ‘organised’.

Marie Kondo is a Japanese best-selling author and organising consultant who is making a fortune out of teaching others how to stay organised. She used to love organising things so much that as a child she used to skip her games period and sit in her classroom organising books. She may be an extreme case, however, there are many who actually get withdrawal symptoms whenever they see things in disorder.


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Marie Kondo


There are blogs, Youtube channels, magazines and books on how to stay organised. It is actually very easy to stay organised. It is a habit that you need to inculcate to help yourself in the long run. The more organised you are the more free time you have. A clean and organised home is also good for your mental peace. A cluttered home can never be a peaceful abode.



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Cluttered vs Clean Home (Image Courtesy: Google)


Unorganised people work more than organised people because half of their time and effort is wasted in searching things. Being organised makes you a disciplined person. Be it your office or home being organised is the mantra. Here are certain simple things that you can do to stay organised:


  • Always have a routine. There should be a dedicated time for each and every chore. You can take a break or have a lazy day once a week or during weekends but try to stick to a routine.
  • Maintain a to-do dairy. Before going to bed write down what are the things that you need to do for the next day. If you want you can also write this diary after waking up but do this. You can have separate diaries for home and office.
  • While writing the diary also mention the time you need to finish the task. For example, wake up at 6am, jog till 6.30. Make tea at 6.40. This will help you stay focused and you wouldn’t waste time checking Whatsapp forwards.
  • Dedicate a time in the day for cleaning. Ideally clean and dust all the rooms daily and deep clean one room each day. For example, Monday deep clean the kitchen, Tuesday deep clean the living room etc. Once you follow this pattern regularly you will see that the time and effort is getting reduced. It won’t take you much time to even deep clean a room.
  • In office also spend some time in clearing the drawers that usually accumulates lots of unwanted papers. Also regularly clean the junk folder and unwanted e-mails.
  • Maintain a proper schedule for work in the office. Prioritise the work in an excel sheet or organiser.
  • Use labels and post-its at home and office.
  • Have separate folders for documents labelled properly.
  • De-clutter regularly. Throw away/donate/gift things that you don’t need. Learning the art of de-cluttering is the most important thing.

These few simple tricks are only the tip of an iceberg. There are numerous resources where you can learn the art of staying organised. And if you already suffer from Ataxophobia then I am sure you have already seen them. Following are some questions for my readers:

Do you think that Ataxophobia is a disorder or a good habit?

Do you think you suffer from Ataxophobia?

Do you know of any friend or family who suffers from Ataxophobia?

Last but not the least, why do you think I am writing this post?

Please comment below, I would love to read them.


Linking this post to #MondayMusings hosted by dear Corinne.







Monday Stumble Linky

42 thoughts on “ATAXOPHOBIA- Disorder or Good Habit?

  1. Holly Jahangiri says:

    Some of us are just “differently organized.” You’re welcome to be as preoccupied with tidiness and symmetry as you like, but keep your mitts off my desk. As Albert Einstein said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

    I won’t argue that a mess doesn’t make me feel slightly guilty, but that’s just a matter of me imposing others’ judgements on myself. I can have a three foot stack of papers on my desk, and generally know exactly where to reach for the one I need!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      It is generally believed that creative people are messy by nature..they always tend to think out of the box and often fail to follow perfect symmetry. However, all are different..for some being messy helps them be creative while for others it is very important to stay organised.
      Thanks for reading and this thoughtful comment


  2. Moon says:

    This is simply awesome. Beautifully written, Balaka. I definitely don’t belong to your club but I wouldn’t call myself the exact opposite eithe. I know being organised or even a moderate obsession to stay organised is nothing but good. I would say, my mom in law belongs to the latter category and tries her best to mend my lapses when she is around . 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      Ha ha ha..I am also not an acute case however I am a progressive ataxophobic. I definitely like it when things are organised. You are lucky to have a MIL who cleans up behind you. Thanks for reading and this beautiful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Esha M Dutta says:

    Now, I can tell you having been on both sides of the fence, life is so much brighter and happier now that I am no longer bothered about tidying up all the time although order and cleanliness still takes up a major part of my day even today and you will generally call me very organised, and a follower of routines. But now, I tend to focus less on the mess outside and more on fulfilment inside, so if I have to choose between spending three hours deep cleaning my kitchen or my study, I would rather exercise and write a post or or read a book or call up a friend with whom I can have a nice chat, because having spent a major part of my life, trying to clean up behind others, I no longer have the time or the inclination to do so anymore. I have two boys, none of whom realise how much time I spent decluttering so they could come to a clean house. My house is still clean but I’m no longer ‘obsessed’ with cleaning anymore or frustrated because the other two humans in the house do not share my load. I am finally in a happier place, Balaka. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rajlakshmi says:

    My husband is exactly like that… And I am quite the opposite… The fireworks in my house are legendary 😅 I won’t call it a disorder though. It’s just their way of things. Buy it does make the life of person living with them “exciting” 😅 Didn’t know David Beckham suffered from this too. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alice Letters to my Daughter says:

    I wish I had this condition! No disrespect to anyone that does suffer because of it. I can only describe my house and my mind as chaotic. I love being in tidy places but just can’t seem to keep my own space tidy. #mg

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Modern Gypsy says:

    I suffer from whatever is the opposite of ataxophobia! And I comfort myself with the thought that creative, artistic people are generally disorganised – but the key is, we have an organised mess. What would look like a mess to others, is actually organised for us! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Helen Treharne (@WelshMumWriting) says:

    I love the Kon Marie method. There’s so much to be said for it. For me, having a clean and organised space is a reflection of how you value yourself and your time. Our house might not be the tidiest (hubs is at opposite end) but it’s as good as it’s going to be. I know that I only keep things that are truly important and special to me, and they’re not hidden away by other clutter. I used to have a daily and weekly schedule for cleaning but I don’t do that any more now, but I’ve a natural routine which keeps a balance now and allows for flexibility. Great post. #MG

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      Even my house is not the tidiest.. I have one grown up and one small boy who are just at the opposite end but yes I like to keep things organised…more than cleanliness I am a orderliness freak..I want everything in order…konmari is a blessing..
      Thank you Helen so much for visiting and reading. I simply loved your comment.


  8. BellyBytes says:

    I like order and tidy up as I go but I am not anal about it . And what is the difference between this and OCD? My husband is a neat freak and compared to him I’m a pig … but honestly I like order and hate messy homes . But straightening out photo frames in other people’s homes ? Give me a break.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Shalzmojo says:

    Though I dont claim a stake on being this phobic but I do get a sense of relief at cleaning up the house/wardrobe/rooms, etc. I am in the midst of spring cleaning and busy doing such chores which are making me glow!
    The phobia sounds pretty intense and can be a nightmare for the other partner in the relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Catie says:

    I definitely suffer from Ataxophobia and drive my hubby mad. I can’t leave the house without tidying away and label everything! Still if it works for the lovely David it can’t be all bad! #mg

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ramya Abhinand says:

    Yes yes yes… I seem to have this.. Just that didnt know it had a term. And it sure is a great feeling that David Becham and I share a similarity.. (kidding) But heres my take. Anything in extremes is seldom a good habit. We need to follow a middle path in life. As much as we need to avoid clutter and be more organised, going overboard is not a nice thing. We need to be able to loosen ourselves once in a way.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. the bespectacled mother says:

    The whole post made a lot of sense to me but the line that caught me was the last line, your question about why have you written this post? You must definitely belong to this club.
    In my case, I like certain things to be organised like my daily wear wardrobe. I like to keep all my leggings (& pajamas, jeans, trackpants) together in one stack, all the kurtas and tunics in another stack, all my socks at one place and similarly hankies too. Same is with D’s shelf. In the kitchen, I always keep the chai patti between the salt and the sugar so that my hands know where to pick up the salt from. (Sugar I hardly use). Having said them I am not the one who will freak out at the first sight of dust on the table or dirt on the ground. I wait until the next day when my fighter jet pilot maid comes to clean. But obviously, if the dirt is too much (I am ok with dust though), I pick up the broom and clean it up or ask D to do it. With D, the dirt goes under the sofa. Easier to clean this way 😀
    So do I suffer from Ataxophobia? I am not too sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      Anamika I am happy that the last line caught your attention..well I am not really into the club..I like things to be organised but just like you would leave the mopping and dusting to my Laxmi Bai😁😁 I can wait for few hours with dust..but yes I hate when things are not kept in proper place… I freak out… I want my house to be so organised that I should be able to find things blindfolded. I love labelling things also..and I love symmetry..😂😂😂
      Thank you so much for reading..and with every passing day it seems we are more similar than we think…
      Kumbh k mele me bichar gaye the Kya??

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Shilpa Gupte says:

    I so belong to this club, Balaka. However, over time I have mellowed a bit. I don’t go about cleaning and sparkling the house, but make sure everything is in place. I can find any stuff even in the dark! So, that’s how I like things in order. Medicine cabinet, socks drawer, kitchen cabinet, etc….I esp enjoy keeping hubby’s wardrobe in order. And, then I step back and admire my handy work! 😛
    This is one trait I picked up from my dad. he is a stickler for orderliness. At times, it can get annoying to another person, but really, it does help save a lot of time.
    Oh yes, and I also love arranging papers and documents etc in files and label all the pockets of the file correctly, so that in my absence if someone needs to find some paper, they can do so without much difficulty.
    Gosh, do I sound like Monica Gellar Bing??? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      When you said that I felt you are my Siamese twin…that is soooo me..I do it each time I clean and organise the cupboard (and that is almost every day..😁) I step back and admire my house is not the cleanest but it is definitely organised.. keeping my house clean with a hyperactive kid is difficult so I have started ignoring the dust a bit..but things are organised…
      I feel physically sick if things are not organised.


  14. Mackenzie Glanville (@MacGlanville) says:

    My head is always disorganised, it is constantly thinking and worrying and just messy. So I require my home to be very tidy, or I feel out of control. I wouldn’t say my home is super organised, but if it is not clean I go a little crazy! People are always shocked when they come over because they know I have so many pets plus 3 round children so they expect a mess and are surprised by how tidy and clean my home is, but it is something I can not deal with, mess or clutter is just t hard for me to live with. I do have mild OCD. I think there is a balance between being organised and being obsessive. #mg

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      Even my head is disorganised…and all over the place, thinking and worrying…I guess you are right in pinpointing that we need our rooms tidy because our heads are disorganised.
      I am not obsessive but I feel extremely restless and irritated if I see mess and clutter around… I feel very relaxed when my house is clean and organised… Thanks Mac for dropping by. #mg


  15. Akshata Ram says:

    I am an organised person and I always take pride in it. In fact at my workplace too I have always felt that being well organised and planning out things in advance gives me a edge. I do not have this obsessive compulsive feeling of dusting or cleaning other people’s dirty unorganised homes but I do wrinkle my nose in disgust when I come across unkempt homes

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lisa Pomerantz says:

    I am very organized and grew up in a home with a narcissistic, OCD mom. I think it can be a good thing, as long as your tidiness does not interfere with living and loving. Once relationships are affected, it’s too much. But hey, that’s just me. Affected. #mondaystumble xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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