Many of today's fashionable life coaches tell us that cluttered environments mess with our sense of peace and calm, our focus, and our productivity. Plenty of gurus and television hosts urge us to declutter our desks and homes. And overall, they're right. Research does support the concept that having a tidy living space and workplace is beneficial. But those messy spaces in your home or office might just inspire you in ways the clutter-free set has yet to notice.
Clutter Might Not Amuse, But Is It a Muse?
They acknowledge the benefits of a tidy interior space: mainly, the pleasure of easily finding, storing, and keeping track of things. Cleaning out your space can also ensure that it is used more efficiently. And of course, minimalism is important when you go to sell your home.
But when a home is actually lived in, an uncluttered environment, for some folks, may be missing something.
Clutter is conducive to creativity. It stimulates a thought process that veers away from conventional reasoning.
Clutter Has Its Place
You may find that filing away loose papers and neatly storing randomly scattered objects seems to hit an internal "refresh" button. You may suddenly feel more in control, calm...ready to take on all the tasks! Especially when you need to complete organizational work, your stress level should drop after a good tidying up. And if you're a chef, or working on projects requiring absolute precision, tidiness is paramount. But when you're doing work that requires creative thinking, the clutter cost-benefit analysis shifts.
In a tidy atmosphere, writer's block can get the best of you. Tasks that depend on originality and flair may stall.
When that happens, try going to a room with a lot of interesting, scattered things, with all sorts of hues and shapes and fragrances. See what happens.
Synopsis: A Call for Moderated Clutter
Decluttering might enhance productivity, but it can discourage creativity. Often, real creativity is unleashed during a person's least productive days.
Perhaps it's best to keep a balance. Clean when the situation calls for it. Tidy up when you need a break from sitting.
After all, the quest for perfect order can be a source of stress itself. Tidying in a more organic way can be relaxing, and it can help you rediscover unfinished projects that merge well with whatever you're creating today. Let yourself appreciate the serendipity that some disorder creates. Meanwhile, take this as a stress reducer if you've been concerned about your clutter. Rather than trying to keep up with the decluttered Joneses, enjoy your environment—your way!