Personally, I hate cleaning. It's so boring and hard. I only do it when I really absolutely need to, so I'm used to receiving notes on my desk at work and the like. Just something I've learnt to live with. For a long time, our society has drawn a thin line between messy and lazy. But now journalist John Haltiwanger has come out in defense of, well, slobs, in an Elite Daily article that has since been shared by hundreds of thousands online. According to John, there is no link between being a little messy and being messy in the head. On the contrary! So if you're something of a slob, who's used to judgmental glances, here are three great things to remember.
1. You don’t care about the status quo.
According to Haltiwanger, it isn’t necessary but it can be nice to be a neat and organized person. But we must also learn to embrace chaos because nothing stays neat and tidy forever. Sooner or later, things are back in disarray again.
“Disorganized people have seen the light. They won’t allow their lives to be dictated by propriety and convention,” he says.
2. You find inspiration in your mess.
Did you know that many famous and successful people are known slobs? Roald Dahl, J. K. Rowling, not to mention classic genius Albert Einstein.
In “A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder“, author Eric Abrahamson och David H. Freedman write: “A messy desk can be a highly effective prioritizing and accessing system. On a messy desk, the more important, urgent work tends to stay close by and near the top of the clutter, while the safely ignorable stuff tends to get buried to the bottom or near the back, which makes perfect sense.”
A study by Kathleen Vohs from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, has revealed that messy individuals’ environments help them increase their creativity.
“Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,” explains Vohs. “Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe.”
3. You’re brave and spontaneous.
Messy people “go with the flow instead of swimming against the current,” Haltiwanger says.
Instead of worrying about every detail, messy people focus on the big picture. They would rather spend time and energy on important things than worrying about unimportant components. That, says Haltiwanger, makes them more adventurous and more likely to take risks than neat people.
There is nothing wrong in being organized, but there is nothing wrong with a bit of chaos either. Get inspired by your noisy surroundings and try not to worry about cleaning up right now. At the end of the day, the important thing is to strike the right balance between order and chaos.
“There is simplicity and beauty in living a messy life, which is precisely why it produces such enlightened and innovative individuals,” Haltiwanger says.
Or, as my dad used to say, better to have some dirt in the corners than live in a clean hell.
Are you messy – or know someone who is? Make sure to share these fun findings.