I just finished reading A Perfect Mess, which is subtitled “The Hidden Benefits of Disorder–How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place”. Just reading that on the cover when I saw it in the new non-fiction section at the library made me feel good. I have crammed closets! I have clutter in my office! (Mostly in drawers and cabinets, but it’s there.) I am making the world a better place!
I thought the book was great. The authors don’t assert that messier is always better but rather that the costs of order need to be considered and that there is an optimal level of mess for every system. They validated my belief that a certain amount of clutter can actually be comfortable, making a home feel lived in. I think that will be one of my goals for 2008, to find the optimal level of mess for my key systems. It’s certainly a different way of looking at my clutter problem and one I might have a chance to actually achieve. I can certainly manage the first step in the decluttering process the authors recommend: “Aw, relax”.
I’m sure the basement is operating well in excess of its optimal level of mess. I did make some small improvements when I hid out down there during the great air conditioner snafu this fall, but it still needs a lot of work. Last weekend, I went looking for some polypro to wear while shoveling snow and while I did find the box labeled “ski stuff” easily, and there was some polypro in there, the pants and shirt I really wanted were not. Nor were they in the next box I looked in, where I thought I’d put the overflow from the first box. I gave up and wore the second string pants and shirt and still don’t know where the good ones are.
My fabric stash, though, might be a lot closer to its optimal level of mess even though I haven’t gotten around to the grand reorganizing I’ve been planning for what feels like forever. Most of the fabrics are sorted in some way (by color or motif or maker or something else that makes sense to me). The stacks that aren’t sorted are at least visible. The whole collection is in one room. I’m able to find fabric to make quilts. And sometimes I’ll come across things that spark ideas for future projects when I’m looking for fabric for my current one.
Hey, I think I just made my first New Year’s resolution, and it’s not even Christmas yet. Go me!
One year ago today, I panned a restaurant.
Two years ago, it was time for a ski trip report.
Three years ago, I looked back on my second quilt ever, the one I made for my mom and have rarely seen again.
Four years ago, I was in a bizzare alternate reality where I woke up early for no good reason.
Five years ago, I was one woman in a room of men. We’re now up to three women in the developer meetings.
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