[posted by dinah]
....blogger won't let me post a pic
I am off shortly for a few days of 'relative' festivities (no blood to be shed) and then a week of real vacation. In case I don't post while away:
This post is dedicated to Roy, with affection.
From the New York Times , Penelope Green writes in "Say Yes to Mess" about how clutter is good, organization over-rated. January is Get Organized Month, but we're told their's a counter movement of people fighting the Get Organized trend, people who shun Staples and The Container Store, organizing items and the pursuit of neatness.
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).
So why on our Psychiatry blog? I can't tell you how much time people spend in psychotherapy talking about how they wish they were more organized, how they have all these household chores to do, how they regret the time they spend in front of the TV or computer (blogging, no doubt), sleeping, gaming, doing other non-organizing things. It's the funny dilemma: they want things changed, but they don't want to change them. Do you realize, I never say, that in the space of this therapy session, an entire closet could be dealt with? And if it's not enough to loathe ones self for all drawers-not-organized, yet even more hours in psychotherapy are spent talking about the spouse/partner/roommate whose sense of neatness is mismatched. There's the "Can You Believe What A Slob She Is?" side and the "What a Neurotic Freak Who Can Never Be Pleased" Side. So, yes, "Say Yes To Mess" fits right in with psychiatry themes.
So I am "pretty neat." I love The Container Store. I only like planned clutter. Everything has a place, my children's doors are kept closed and I mentally write those rooms off. I stock decorative boxes and ottomans with removable tops so mess can be scooped, dumped, and lidded. Throwing things out makes me happy. Sorting is the key to the good life. With kids and a dog with a social life, neighbors with keys, and more remote controls and sports equipment than Sports Authority, it's really more idea than fact, but I am "pretty neat" but not as neat as Camel.
It’s a movement that confirms what you have known, deep down, all along:
really neat people are not avatars of the good life; they are humorless and
inflexible prigs, and have way too much time on their hands.
Umm, gee thanks.
Time to clear out the 2006 psychiatric journals.
Be well, eat well, love well, and don't worry about the clutter.