“Messiness is a sign of individual empowerment and creativity, contrasted with tidy centralisation and control.” Tim Harford, Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives
I love a clean desk. The only problem is the desk in my office is rarely clutter-free. I have rooms in my home that appear neat and tidy, but warning… never open the door to a closet where I store “stuff,” because doing so may be dangerous. Who knows how much crap will immediately fall out, and possibly hurt you?
My filing system is not original, but it is creative. I “file by pile.” Right now, five “piles” of paper and books rest on my desk, rather sloppily. When I get around to cleaning up my piles (a couple times each year), I will go through the pile, remove anything no longer interesting or important and then put the collections of piles into a drawer in an antique metal file cabinet from an old post office. Then I tape a date on the drawer and Bang!, my filing is complete. (Oh, sometimes I neglect to put a date as well.)
At that time my perfectly neat and tidy desk hungrily awaits the oncoming onslaught of papers, which within a week or two, once again returns to a long-lasting state of messiness. Ah, home again.
So you can see why I feel that a book like Messy was written with me in mind. I have no idea whether or not messiness is truly a sign of a creative mind. I’d like to think so except one of the most successfully creative women I know (Cynthia Joy Sitton) is reverently neat. Nevertheless, I am a creative person living on the border of desiring to be organized, but can’t seem to live up to the desire.
Adrian Lang of The Amazon Book Review writes of Messy…
Messy [the book] bolsters the theory that disorder creates heightened alertness. That alertness, in turn, fuels creativity, problem solving, better driving, resilience, innovation, and much more.
That’s a pretty cool explanation of the book. I like it. It gives permission to go on with my messiness. Shoot, it even allows me to take pride in my messiness and disorderly desk (and studio).
Yes. I’m messy… but so is life.
Are You Messy?
If So, Take Pride in It
Photos by Charlie