The following blog post originally appeared in Scarsdale10583.com
As a Professional Organizer I spend my days teaching organizing skills and asserting the virtues of maintaining organized, clutter-free homes and workspaces. My sister-in-law recently sent me article about messy rooms and why creative people need their clutter. The author of the article argued that creative people should be entitled to their messes because it feeds their imagination. As shocking as this may sound coming from a Professional Organizer, I must acknowledge that on many levels I agree with the author of the article. I especially loved the quote he used to support his objective. It was a quote from Albert Einstein – “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?”
Now, I like to think of myself as a creative person, and one of my hobbies is crafting homemade greeting cards. I spend hours designing unique cards to send to friends and family for birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc. I even have an entire area in my home devoted to my crafting supplies. This hobby may sound hypocritical given that I advocate clients “let go” of unnecessary clutter, and greeting cards could certainly fall into that category. It does not bother me if my family throws away my one-of-a-kind card; the joy was in creating it and sending it off. Besides, I photograph all my cards before I send them so I have a digital record of my work. My sister-in-law who sent me the article collects the greeting cards I have sent over the years and displays them in a beautiful glass bowl in her living room. These cards bring her joy so it is only right that she keep them. I must confess that I love revisiting my special creations when I visit her.
Not only am I creative, but I also have two highly creative children. Are they messy? You bet! I always had the rule that they could keep their bedrooms in any condition they wanted (well, except on the day the housekeeper came to clean), but they were expected to keep the common areas of the house clean and clutter-free. Several times a year, usually around the change of season, I would work with them in their bedrooms to de-clutter and sort through toys, books, clothes, and schoolwork. This was my opportunity to impart my organizational skills to them. Now that they are adults, I know I was successful at transferring my skills. They both have a tendency to be messy, but they know how and when to “pull it together” when it counts. The bottom line is being messy is fine as long as it doesn’t interfere with your safety, productivity, mood, relationships, schoolwork or livelihood.