Monday, January 08, 2007


Anyone who knows me knows that tidiness isn't my strong suit. I am a messy person by nature. I tend to dress fairly neatly, and my thoughts are usually pretty organized, but the space around me is pretty cluttered. It seems it has always been this way. Even when I was a kid, my room was always a mess, and my closet floor was full of junk. My mother was always making me clean my room, but the lesson never really stuck. I was a mess in my college dorm, but my roommate kept me cleaning and straightening, mainly because there wasn't enough space to be messy. Then I got married, and my husband was a former Marine. You know I became a spiffy housekeeper, right? Wrong--he tried to reform me (and still does when he is up to it!), but it was a hopeless task. There are piles of paper on my desk, stuff on the kitchen table, storage dishes on top of the counter instead of in the cupboard, socks on top of the dresser instead of in the drawer... I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I used to hurry around and clean up when people came over, but I don't do much of that anymore. Everyone knows I am a mess! I was going to try to get organized when I retired, but I don't seem to have made much progress at that in the last year and a half.

Of course, January is the time that you read all the articles about resolutions to get organized, and you see all the ads for storage containers. That means it is time to seriously start cleaning up, and I usually do make a stab at it. However, when reading the Sunday paper, I noticed a story about an author that wrote a book that states that neatness isn't all it's cracked up to be. It seems a messy area really is the mark of a creative mind. Apparently, smart and creative people are too busy doing these types of things to worry about the mundane issues of cleaning and organizing. This author states that neat and organized people simply don't have anything better to do with their time, and that they are humorless and boring people( he actually called them prigs). I don't know that I would go that far, but I do like the part about being creative and smart! Evidently all those piles represent ideas and things the creative and smart person needs to remember. I tend to agree in part with this. I am always tearing out pictures I may want to paint or recipes that I may want to prepare. I set them on a table, and then more things get piled on top of them.

So I am done feeling guilty because I am such a slob! I'm just creative! Life is good!


Motherkitty said...

Hi, Nancy. I haven't been here for a little bit but wanted to thank you for your sweet remarks about HRT and those awful symptoms. I had my hysterectomy in 1989 and have been on HRT since then so this is nothing new for me. What I learned is that no matter how long you've been on this med, it's not pretty when you get off it. You were lucky that you didn't have horrible reactions.

Now about your neatness -- I used to be a slob big time when I was working and the kids were still at home. I was too involved in their and my activities to worry about the house. As long as company and the family didn't care, it was okay. When I retired, however, it became another story. I got tired of junk and papers piled up everywhere. Husband and I decided to downsize and get rid of all the crap so our kids wouldn't have to deal with it when we're gone. In fact, we even managed to pawn some things off on our son and DIL when they visited with us last April. That's one small step for woman, one giant leap for clearing out the junk. I think the trick is to tackle one small area at a time.

I started with my recipes. I purchased a three-ring binder, some sheet protectors, some alphabet dividers, and voila, a neatly organized "Laurel's Favorite Recipes" book that the kids will have to fight over one of these days. Next were our magazines. The newspapers are done in two days. The magazines are only saved if they're from an organization we're members of. Otherwise they are either given away after they're read or trashed. I cleaned out my two huge bookcases and organized all my books. I actually cleaned out my linen closet! Can you see a pattern here?

We purchased numerous under-the-bed storage containers. I even purchased those huge storage bags at Wal-Mart where you suck the air out of them.

You will be amazed at the results if you accomplish just one area at a time. Now as far as being a creative person, after you get organized you will be surprised how creative you can be because you can actually find stuff that you thought was lost. Amazing grace will be your motto. Good luck.

Susie said...

I was just commenting to someone else that the office where I'm sitting to blog, is in need of some serious tidying. Reading this makes me think perhaps this is my "creative space"
If not, it at least sounds good!

Motherkitty said...

P.S. I'm not a neatnik and I'm not a prig. I just no longer have to run all over the house straightening up if company unexpectedly comes over and I'm no longer embarrassed because my kitchen is no longer loaded down with dirty dishes all over the sink and counters.

BTW, it helps that husband is also retired and he is VERY helpful with housework. (I'm closing this book now.)

Anonymous said...

Um, so what are you saying about me? Hmmm? Exactly what are you implying? That I'm not creative? Or smart? *sigh* That's not very nice, mom.


Natalie said...

You know, I had a poster in my bedroom for most of my childhood that had a picture of a cat in a paint can that said, "I'm not messy, I'm creative." And I've definitely stuck to that motto! :)