My Mess Is Mine, And That's Okay


I am a cluttered person, there are no two ways about it. Everything in my life is kind of a mess: My bag is jammed with old receipts, gum wrappers, and enough crap to live on a desert island for a month. My room is piled high with clothes, old Amazon boxes, and other stuff, much of it unidentified, and my car...well. Let's not even get started on the car. We'll just say that there's a reason I call it The Dumpster and leave it at that. I have tried to de-clutter my life, honestly I have. I have chucked all my bathroom stuff I wasn't using, if you recall, and I have kept the bathroom relatively clutter free, but the rest of my life is just a big mess. And I've come to the stage of my life that I have started accepting that as something that just IS. I am a cluttered person, and that's okay.

That shrieking sound you just heard was my mother, who has been trying to make me an organized person for 40 years, to no avail. Sorry, Mom.

Here's the thing about being a cluttered person. We, for the most part, know exactly where everything is. It might be in a pile of stuff on the floor, but we know exactly WHICH pile of stuff it's under. Our brains are like our cars: Full of stuff that might look like a disaster, but it makes perfect sense to us. For instance, if you looked at my bedroom (please don't) and challenge me to find my Harry Potter Time Turner keychain in the chaos, I will smugly reach into the pile of clothes in the left corner of the room by the door, find a purse I don't use anymore, reach inside AND find it. Wouldn't take me two seconds. If anyone else were to try to do this they might need a St. Bernard to free them from my junk, but that's okay. It's not THEIR junk. It's MINE. And I know exactly where everything is.


Living in a small space like I do has challenges, and keeping tidy is one of them. It seems like the second I have one corner clean, the rest of the stuff expands like The Blob and takes over that corner. I've fought this tendency for chaos for 40 years, and I'm not saying that in a pinch I won't clean up the mess, but I'm through pretending I'm anything other than a messy person. I don't come from a messy family, so I don't know where I got it from, other than the fact that my brain is like my room: Chaotic, messy, but with a familiarity that allows me to go about my day without putting my shoes on the wrong feet or only putting eyeliner on one eye. My brain might be messy, but it works for me, thankfully.


Of course, if I had company, I would clean, let's not get that wrong. I would never force my messiness on someone else, but being untidy works for me. Some people can't function in a mess, I can't function in extreme cleanliness. I get nervous in places that are always spotless with everything in its place, as if I am the bull in the proverbial china shop. So my mess works in my favor.

I'll leave you with this. We're all different in the way we organize our lives. So if this piece of writing horrified you (hi, Mom!) or you're nodding your head in agreement, know that you're not alone on either side of the argument. Messy vs. tidy is just another way that our brains differ from each other, and make us who we are. And if you're kind of a walking catastrophe? You're not alone.