DON’T TRY TO ORGANISE ME
It’s National Organising Week.
I should have written about this earlier but life has been somewhat chaotic.
So, let me just … step… over… this busted printer… around… this stack of books… and … sort through this pile of papers… and…. Ah hah! Here it is!
One of my all-time treasured books.
It’s called: A Perfect Mess. The Hidden Benefits of Disorder. In it, US authors Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman explain how “crammed closets, cluttered offices and-on-the -fly planning make the world a better place”.
And let me also give you one of my favourite findings from the book – organised people spend an hour a day filing and storing, but messy people spend a mere 15 minutes a day looking for stuff.
Now let me wedge it under the door so the dreaded de-clutterers can’t get in and try to tidy my life out of existence.
The huge, multi-billion dollar organising industry, with its vast array of products, TV shows, seminars and experts, is growing exponentially in need of a clean-up, in my opinion.
I swear these busybodies are everywhere with their files, plastic shelving and typed labels – all profiting from the notion that a tidy world equals success and happiness. They’re very keen to promote the idea that “de-cluttering” can “change your life”. That it’s “vital to success” to be organised…But is it?
Let’s look at Albert Einstein, or, more particularly… his desk.
Or as he so famously said : “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
If the organisers had their way, the Prof. would have spent half his life writing on multi-coloured tabs and filing stuff, thus depriving the world the Theory of Relativity.
There is good evidence to suggest that a messy desk and office is wonderful for creativity because an array of visual stimuli helps you make the sort of “Eureka!” connections that can’t be made when everything is filed away in a cabinet and shut out of sight.
And now I offer a snapshot of a corner of my office.
I’m no Einstein, but what organisers see as a project to be solved, I see as a treasure trove of random thoughts and memories that fire my imagination.
The authors of A Perfect Mess argue that when we express embarrassment or anxiety about clutter and disorder, it’s not the mess itself that causes these feelings.
It’s the assumption that we should be neater and we feel bad when we aren’t.
Exploiting that sense of inadequacy is what the anti-clutter industry does so well.
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