This Little Mouse in Wales Tidies Up a Messy Workbench Every Night

Every evening, 75-year-old Rodney Holbrook would leave various bits and bobs out on his workbench in Powys, Wales. When he returned the next morning, the items had been put away. Holbrook had no idea how it was happening or who was doing it. In a story reminiscent of the Tailor of Gloucester, or Ratatouille, his helper is a mouse.

He initially noticed something unusual in October 2023. The bird food he stored in the shed somehow found its way into old shoes. Then small items on his bench were “tidied away.”

Intrigued, the wildlife photographer decided to try and catch his mystery cleaner and set up a night vision camera on the workbench in his shed.

The Welsh Tidy Mouse

Every night a little mouse, now nicknamed “Welsh Tidy Mouse,” gathered up pegs, corks, nuts, and bolts and placed them neatly into a tray on the bench. Holbrook was astounded.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw that a mouse was tidying up,” he said.

After this, he placed other random items on the bench to see what happened. Every night, the mouse put the items away.

“He moved all sorts of things into the box, bits of plastic, nuts and bolts,” Holbrook said. “I don’t bother to tidy up now, as I know he will see to it…Ninety-nine times out of 100, the mouse will tidy up throughout the night.”

Rodney Holbrook alongside the small tray.

Rodney Holbrook alongside the small tray. Photo: Animal News Agency


The mouse has been caught on camera moving everything from cable ties to screwdrivers. Piece by piece he carries each item and gently places it on the tray. Nothing seems off-limits for the house-proud rodent. Nor does he always do his straightening alone. On a few occasions, the camera captured other mice joining in the cleaning spree.

The mouse appears daily and does not seem to be getting bored with its nocturnal routine. Holbrook thinks that the mouse is “just having a bit of fun,” but others disagree.

Natural hoarders

Gareth Davies, from Pest and Property Solutions, told The Washington Post that it is just in their nature to hoard items.

“They are very funny creatures, if I’m honest,” he said. “Mice are very inquisitive creatures, and they are hoarders. They love hoarding food and everything else…They love dragging things; they’re like the magpies of the rodent family.”

The mouse would tidy away any item left on the bench

The mouse tidied up any item left on the bench. Photo: NewsFlare


This is not the first time a mouse has been spotted tidying away belongings. In 2019, the so-called “Brexit mouse” went viral in the UK for doing the same thing — sprucing up a messy shed. The owner of the shed joked that it was hoarding items in preparation for the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca McPhee is a freelance writer for ExplorersWeb.

Rebecca has been writing about open water sports, adventure travel, and marine science for three years. Prior to that, Rebecca worked as an Editorial Assistant at Taylor and Francis, and a Wildlife Officer for ORCA.

Based in the UK Rebecca is a science teacher and volunteers for a number of marine charities. She enjoys open water swimming, hiking, diving, and traveling.