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The joys of clutter- sort of

Updated on November 4, 2010
This is one of the scans. I must have used half a garden, scanning the things I find.
This is one of the scans. I must have used half a garden, scanning the things I find.

There’s a theory going around that the best way to work is a mess. Busy people, particularly those that work at home, can literally submerge a whole building with their work. The tides of materials are occasionally ordered, but in most cases the surges of mysterious things pile up like debris on the seashore.

Busy people are messy people, more or less by definition. My scanner currently has a range of things I use for artwork still sitting in it. I had a lot of writing to do, and it’s still there, a week later. An in tray with the relics of the last few months needs clearing out. I’ve done the actual work, but it’s still sitting there.

Then there’s the supply of art media, the books, DVDs, and other things, all part of the great work which I will eventually accomplish if I can find anything. This isn’t efficiency so much as expediency. I have at least got everything together, whether I can swing a cat or not in the work area.

I’ve been thinking for years about this situation. I do generally clear everything out when I’ve got a lot of work on hand, honestly intending to get everything all sorted out. Then there’s more work, and I do this while getting more materials. New software, new hard copy, it’s turning into a sort of mosaic of elements, except I haven’t made a picture out of them yet.

I sometimes survey the event horizon of all this stuff and ask myself what, exactly, do I think I’m doing? I’ve learned not to argue with myself on this subject, and since I also won’t accept excuses, the reason for this mess is at least honest:

I need somewhere to put the mess.

The mess is necessary, because it keeps reminding me of my work, every time I look at it. I can put it anywhere, but as long as it is a mess, it’s a constant situation in view. Even when the mess is organized, as occasionally does happen, it’s still a kick in the backside just to look at it.

There are the scanner sized canvases I bought ages ago for my paintings and drawings. The guitars. The video camera and the camera. The web cam. Oceans of art materials, now finally confined to an organized, well, almost, series of drawers. There’s a lot of other things which are actually works in progress, but wouldn’t make a lot of sense to anyone else even if I described them.

Yep, clutter can be fun. Don’t know if I entirely believe my theory that as long as I can see my desk it’s under control, though.


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    • Paul Wallis profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Wallis 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Ah, well, 666divine, the secret is to hide, and make the things find you. Works for me, and gee it's peaceful up here on top of the wardrobe.

    • 666divine profile image


      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Yep, my desk is fulled with an assorted mess. But, amongst the chaos, I know exactly where everything is. My son brought me a filing cabinet to sort things out. Since he restored order, I can't find a damn thing.

    • kathryn1000 profile image


      8 years ago from London

      I found it interesting

    • Paul Wallis profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Wallis 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Er, yeah.... I really wanted to say that...

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      What a reason to put and what a story?


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