Inside: Is it possible to be a messy minimalist? Absolutely! Messy people are my kind of people. We need minimalism most of all.
Let’s get one thing straight. This minimalism thing doesn’t work for me because I’m such a neat freak and naturally good at keeping everything organized. It’s quite the opposite really. Minimalism works for me because I’m kind of a slob. Messy people need minimalism most of all!
Messy Minimalism, available where books are sold.
I’m a Slob Because I’m Brilliant
“The messy desk of geniuses is actually linked to their intelligence. If you don’t spend much time cleaning and organizing everything around you, your mind is obviously occupied with more important stuff.”
This study goes on to suggest that messy environments encourage creativity, while tidy environments encourage “convention and playing it safe.”
However, sometimes the genius in me needs a break from all of its awesomeness.
Clutter never bothered me until it did. I’d go about my day, ignoring it all until ignoring it was no longer possible. When I’d finally get around to tidying, it would take forever. Messy people need minimalism so they can focus their genius on more important matters, and have fewer clutter induced breakdowns!
Brace yourself, this is about to get real.
I’m the girl who leaves multiple cabinets open in the kitchen. I feel like there is a good chance a few of you will never look at me the same again now that you know this. I’ve come to learn that people who need cabinet doors shut immediately are very strongly opinionated on the subject.
When I change into my pajamas at the end of the day, 70% of the time I just drop my clothes on the floor…ok, fine…80%! 80% of the time I do not put them away until the next day, or maybe even the day after that.
I’ve never been naturally tidy.
Even as a child, I picked up my room by shoving piles to the walls of my bedroom and calling it clean enough. I spent life as a young adult pretty much doing the same thing.
Then I got married.
My husband and I manage possessions very differently. I lucked out big time, or so it appeared. He has always been really good at taking a disastrous room and making it presentable in just a handful of minutes. You see, for college, he attended a military academy. Moving his belongings out of sight was a skill he mastered pretty much instantly during bootcamp. His ability to tidy is truly a remarkable thing to observe.
However, I’ve got a piece of insider knowledge to share with you about his “mad skills.” He wasn’t organizing or tidying with intention. No! He was simply taking my carefully curated piles and just shoving everything into any available drawer, nook or cranny.
Out of sight, out of mind, was his mantra. While I was grateful, I kind of wanted to stab him. (Ok, not actually stab him. I use that dramatic phrase loosely and frequently).
We lived in a crazy cycle of me piling things up I felt were important, and him ruining my piles by moving them out of sight. We’d argue about it, blame each other, all the while missing what now seems so obvious. We were both wrong!
I recall thinking once I had a family, I would be amazing at organizing. Because well, I was going to be amazing at everything when I became a parent. From nap schedules and discipline, to my social life and spiritual walk, I had a plan and that plan was to be really awesome at it.
Then the kids came along
For some reason I didn’t become Mary Poppins over night. The piles were still there, but now my house was even more full of random items and I was stuck on the couch nursing this little person for hours a day instead of also becoming Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart and Beth Moore, all at the same time.
Each consecutive kid brought more stuff and with it came more shame. I figured I would be nailing this home life thing, but instead I was drowning in it.
Messy People Need Minimalism
My home functions much differently now! It took me far too long to realize that my messiness was only part of the problem. Minimalism has since helped save me from myself!
I still tend to pile, in true messy minimalist style. I still drop my clothes on the floor and leave the cap off the toothpaste (that’s right). Cereal bowls are sometimes left on the counter all day and kitchen cabinets open for hours. If you drop by unexpectedly, you’ll most likely find crumbs on the floor because apparently I’m raising chipmunks.
Messy people need minimalism most of all.
Here are three ways minimalism has made me less of a slob.
1. I Have Less Tolerance For My Messiness.
My brain is less cloudy when my home is picked up. I find what I’m looking for faster. I feel more relaxed when I can see white space in my home. When I begin to feel overwhelmed or anxious, I now quickly recognize where it’s coming from and adjust with ease. I’ve gotten a taste of the good life and there is no going back.
2. My House Can’t Get Nearly as Messy Because We Simply Do Not Own as Much Stuff.
We are a family of five. That’s five people’s shoes, moods, jackets, laziness, socks, crumbs, projects, passions, silverware, books and pistachio shells. My home can most certainly get messy, but not nearly as messy as before.
When the shoes are left out in the hallway it’s because someone was too lazy to put them away, not because they are overflowing from the closet like before. Everything has a place. We are a family of humans, not robots, so things get left out regularly and that’s just life. There is simply less stuff to leave out these days.
3. When it is Messy, it Takes a Fraction of the Time to Pick Up.
My house could be at its absolute worst and in less then thirty minutes it can be tidy from top to bottom. I can slam out my main living space in less than ten minutes. I’m talking, host a dinner party kind of picked up. This was never possible before. That’s why messy people need minimalism!
So there you have it, the real me. The me my family knows. The reason my declaration of minimalism was initially met with eye rolls.
If I can become relatively tidy, so can you! For some of us, it takes more than spring cleaning, new home storage solutions, or a couple of weekends spent decluttering.
It takes a drastic shift in thinking. Messy people! You are not the problem. I’m more convinced than ever that we were never intended to own this much junk in the first place.
Let your shame leave your life right along with your clutter and opt to live a brilliant, creative and tidy life through less.
For more information on Messy Minimalism head to MessyMinimalism.com