Tuesday, December 26, 2006

January is National "Get Organized Month"

And I am not getting organized. Yes, you heard it here, no more moaning from me that my house is a mess. My friend Karen sent me this great article from the New York Times. Below are my favorite points:

It was the overall scumminess of Alexander Fleming’s laboratory that led to his
discovery of penicillin, from a moldy bloom in a petri dish he had forgotten on
his desk.

“My wife has threatened divorce over all the piles,” continued Dr. Pollack, who has an office at home, too. “If we had kids the health department would have to be alerted. But what can I do?”

Mr. Freedman is co-author, with Eric Abrahamson, of “A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder,” out in two weeks from Little, Brown & Company. The book is a meandering, engaging tour of beneficial mess and the systems and individuals
reaping those benefits, like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose mess-for-success tips include never making a daily schedule.

Mess is robust and adaptable, like Mr. Schwarzenegger’s open calendar, as opposed to brittle, like a parent’s rigid schedule that doesn’t allow for a small child’s wool-gathering or balkiness. Mess is complete, in that it embraces all sorts of random elements. Mess tells a story: you can learn a lot about people from their detritus, whereas neat — well, neat is a closed book. Neat has no narrative and no personality (as any cover of Real Simple magazine will demonstrate). Mess is also natural, as Mr. Freedman and Mr. Abrahamson point out, and a real time-saver. “It takes extra effort to neaten up a system,” they write. “Things don’t generally neaten themselves.”

“When I think about this urge to organize, it reminds me of how it was when Americans began to take more and more control of their weight: they got fatter,” said Marian Salzman, chief marketing officer of J. Walter Thompson and co-author,
with Ira Matathia, of “Next Now: Trends for the Future,” which is about to be
published by Palgrave Macmillan. “I never gained weight until I went on a diet,”
she said, adding that she has a room in which she hides a treadmill and, now,
two bags of organizing supplies.

His studies and others, like a survey conducted last year by Ajilon Professional Staffing, in Saddle Brook, N.J., which linked messy desks to higher salaries (and neat ones to salaries under $35,000), answer Einstein’s oft-quoted remark, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk?”

My favorite quote from the article would be the ever popular phrase "violently messy."

With all of this said, I'm going to continue my life the way it is, only I'm going to accept the mess. Wait, I'm not only going to accept it, I'm going to embrace it.


Anonymous said...

You might enjoy this review of A Perfect Mess on Mommy Track'd.

StuntMom said...

Loosen the reins implies that one was neat to begin with...funny. I think I'm a little bit more tidy than I was when I was single so many years ago.

Thanks for sending the link to the book review Susan.