“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Albert Einstein
How many precious hours of our day is spent tidying up, picking up, putting away, stacking and arranging things around our house…all in the name of tidiness.
My children are natural mess makers and I’m a natural nagger, constantly reminding them to put their things away or back where it came from. I often say ‘not right now’ to my kids when they are begging to do art and craft simply because I can’t cope with the cleaning up after.
Yet I value creativity but creativity more often than not comes with mess. I’ve noticed how much more painting, drawing, colouring and clay making my kids do during school holidays. We usually set up a fold out table during the holidays and they are ‘allowed’ to do all their art and craft there without having to put it away. They produce volumes of art during this time.
This table is put away after school holidays because I feel it makes the home look ‘ugly’ and ‘messy’. Needless to say their art production dips significantly during school term time. I have come to the unfortunate realization that I have been instrumental in killing my kids’ creativity!!
When I think about it… my creative best involves being messy. On the days where I’m experimenting with balms, serums and masks…my kitchen is taken over by double broilers, bottles, jars and measurement beakers; like a crazy apothecary. When I bake or get into my Michelin star chef mode (rare), there are dishes and pots aplenty. When I’m designing labels and marketing material, every square inch space of my desk is used. Messy yes but the end result is always pure contentment and satisfaction.
The creative process provides a buzz like no other. I literally ‘feel’ my brain cells re-wiring during and post creation mode. I’ve been delving a little deeper and many studies correlate creativity with intelligence, social success and the development of higher information processing (executive functions) that will become increasingly valuable for the 21st century.
The working world is abuzz with cultivating innovation and creativity in a time where machines are able to take over most job functions. Studies also show that whilst clean and minimalist spaces are aesthetically pleasing, they are not ideal for inspiration. Messiness fosters creativity. Evidently tidy environments promote contention and healthy choices but disorderly environments stimulate creativity and thinking ‘out of the box’.
I’m making a decision NOT to be the mom than suffocates my children’s natural creativity and curiosity in order to have a tidy showroom house. At the end of the day the house is nothing if it’s not a HOME and I’m going to choose to cultivate a home….where the kids and creativity can thrive. I will strive to find a happy medium between Vogue Living and ‘organised chaos’. Wish me luck!