We’ve all heard a million times that we should keep our rooms tidy and clean. What if someone told you otherwise? Yes, actually, you may not have to clean your room at all!
Are you sick and tired of the unending rituals of tidying your room? You’re not alone.
There is a sort-of-scientific explanation for that.
And “entropy” will be our main source of explanation.
So, what’s entropy anyway?
Entropy is “a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.”
Or: “lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.”
What does it have to do with cleaning your room?
Here's the explanation:
“The universe is slowly undergoing a process of increasing entropy, from a very ordered state at the big bang to a state where every atom is moving about in a random direction - the heat death of the universe.”
“It is a basic rule of the universe that any room will, without any external organising influence, tend to a state of disorder. Take a tidy room and add a high energy particle, say a small child, and the room will get messier and messier. Eventually the room will reach a state of total disorder, nothing will be where it should be, and the child will be exhausted. This can be likened to the heat death of the universe.”
“Consider people coming into a room, picking up an object and putting it down in a random place. Repeat this a hundred times and a once tidy room will soon become messy. Chaos can be the only result.”
“Left unchecked a room will tend to a state of total disorder. This alas is a natural process, rooms do not stay tidy all by themselves, another process is needed to maintain perfect room tidiness and the process is life.'
So: WHY BOTHER? Why would you even try to beat the laws of physics?
“A disordered room has greater entropy than an organized one. So, an organized room will tend to become disordered over time. The only way to reverse this is by continually putting in energy from an outside system (i.e. making the effort to clean your room regularly).”
In short, it’s pointless to clean your room regularly.
It’s a task for the modern day Sisyphus. It is much more energetically efficient to allow the room to stay at its natural, maximally entropic state towards which it will always tend.
And maybe you can spend that time and effort on more interesting things...