13 Very Personal Details Your House Reveals About You

What your home might say about your personality, political affiliation, and sex life.

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Your political affiliation

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Conservatives tend to be neatniks with brightly lit, organized rooms, according to a study in the journal Political Psychology. They have more sports paraphernalia, cleaning supplies, and American flags than liberals do. Liberals’ homes, on the other hand, are more likely to be cluttered and have a variety of books, music, maps, and colors. Psychologists say conservatives tend to be traditional, reflected in conventional decor, while liberals may be less conscientious and more open-minded.

What you watch on TV

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Internet-connected televisions can collect data on everything you’re watching and sell it to advertisers—and many are set up to do it by default. (To keep your information private, turn off data sharing in your TV settings.)

Whom you live with

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Your dirt reveals whether there are more men or women in the household (the sexes shed different types of bacteria). By examining the fungi in your dust, scientists can also predict where in the country you live, down to about a 150-mile range.

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Whether you are outgoing

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It’s written on your front door. According to color experts, a red front door means you’re not afraid to say what you think. A blue door says you’re naturally at ease in most situations. Green broadcasts your traditional values, and black means you’re probably consistent and reserved. Inside the home, extroverts tend to choose open, spacious furniture layouts. If you’re introverted, you probably decorate with soft, solid colors and muted patterns.

What you weigh

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A Cornell University study found that women who had just one box of breakfast cereal on the kitchen counter weighed an average of 20 pounds more than those who didn’t have any cereal in plain view. Women with soda sitting out (even diet kinds) weighed an average of 24 to 26 pounds more. People who had a bowl of fruit in the kitchen weighed an average of 13 pounds less than those who didn’t have fruit out.

How often you’re intimate

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If you have purple decor, you have nearly double the intimacy of people with gray bedding, walls, or furniture, says a British survey. Reds and pinks also seem to spice things up, while beige and white may inhibit intimacy. Regardless of bedroom color, here are some tricks to spice up your sex life.

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How Type A you are

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The answer is in your socks. One survey found that orderly and detailed people tend to have the messiest sock drawers. Experts hypothesize that people who are meticulous are more likely to spend time prioritizing and organizing more important parts of their lives.

Whether you’re a millennial

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If you have many photos of yourself visible, you’re most likely under 35. Previous generations considered it gauche to display photos of themselves, but interior designers report that millennials—accustomed to posting selfies on social media—are much more inclined to show self-portraits.

How lonely you are

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A Yale University study found that people who take longer showers and baths are more likely to feel lonely and isolated. Researchers believe they subconsciously use hot baths and showers as a substitute for emotional warmth. (By the way, here's why you can shower less often than you think.)

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You hate your job and avoid the gym

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Both things are probable if you think making your bed is a waste of time. One survey of 68,000 people found that those who make their beds in the morning are more likely to enjoy their jobs and to exercise regularly than people who do not. Psychologists say it could be because happy people aim for an orderly life (rather than a chaotic, unorganized one).

Your chances of being burglarized

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According to an analysis of more than 1,000 burglaries, your home is likely to be a target if it has a sliding glass door or single-pane windows. These are easy for burglars to pry open or break. Here are more insider secrets from burglars.

If you’re anxious

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Most people—even those with clean, organized houses—have hidden messes under their beds or in their closets. If you’re one of the few who don’t, you may be an anxious person. Social scientists say the more anxious people are, the more they try to control their environment. Don't miss these natural ways to reduce anxiety.

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How well your kids read

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A 2014 study found that the number of books in your home is by far the most important predictor of your child’s grade-level reading performance—more than your income or education level. Students whose homes had at least 100 books read one and a half grade levels above those with fewer books in the house. Check out these tricks to make your kid love reading.

Sources: Sam Gosling, PhD, psychologist and author of Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You; Charles Givre, data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton; Noah Fierer, PhD, a microbial ecologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Kate Smith, author of Color Confidence: Color for Your Home Interior; Kit Yarrow, PhD, a consumer psychologist; Helen Fisher, PhD, a biological anthropologist; Sally Augustin, PhD, an environmental psychologist at Design with Science; psychologytoday.com; popcenter.org; medicaldaily.com


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