PJ Media

A Perfect Mess

I often run across interesting books at Amazon.com while I am shopping, so I couldn’t help but click through to a book with this intriguing title: a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316114758?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0316114758″emA Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder–How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place./em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0316114758″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / Initially, I started to dismiss the book and move on to something else, thinking, “Great, a book telling people who are basically disorganized and messy to stay that way,” but when I thought about it, this idea started to make sense. br /br /Many people I know who are successful at what they do have a cluttered desk, can’t remember all their appointments, and their closets are so full to the brim with clothes and other items that the door bursts open when you so much as touch it (I won’t name any names). On the other hand, I know people who are so a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anal-retentive”anal retentive /athat they spend all their time organizing and obsessing over what goes where, so much so that nothing else gets done; those who are fans ofa href=”http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=36619″ feng shui /acome to mind. I don’t mean to pick on these organizers; some of what they do, I am sure is of benefit to people, but how much organization is too much? In other words, do cluttered closets make for more creative minds and vice versa, do overly neat and organized closets make for a mind devoid of creativity? br /br /I doubt it is that simple and as the authors of the book suggest, it appears to be emmoderately/em disorganized people and businesses that tend to be more efficient, robust and creative than obsessive neatniks. But how mess is too much mess? Is there a fine line between being an “organized slob” and being just a plain slob? As one a href=”http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/07/RVG8JN6MN21.DTL”book review /aof emA Perfect Mess /emaptly puts it: br /br /blockquoteThe book’s peripatetic path eventually proves that despite what your mother, your boss or your girlfriend tells you, a certain amount of disorder is a good thing. “There is an optimal level of mess for every aspect of every system,” they argue. The question is, how much chaos is too much, before the weight of disorder, the hoarding of junk or worse still, the fear of throwing things out, “disposophobia,” obstructs your ability to function? /blockquotebr /br /So the million dollar question becomes, what is the optimal level of mess for your particular system and how do you know when you have found it?