Maintain the Neatness

My new mantra . . . Maintain the Neatness.

I need to repeat this to myself as often as possible. Maintain the neatness. Do it. It’s not that hard, right? Oh, but it is! I am MESSY. Fundamentally, in my bones, messy. It even rhymes with my name. Hi, I’m messy Jessi. (Just writing that makes me cringe.)

I recently read some semi-credible article about how messy people are more creative and intelligent (it could’ve just been creative, and I’m inventing the intelligent part to feel better). It gave me such validation and it made sense. A simple mind needs the order to function and a complex mind is at it’s best handling many stimuli. I so want to believe that it’s true. And yet . . . it feels like an excuse. It also feels like an insult to organized people.  Organized people intrigue me, I admire them, I want to be one of them. But I know that I will never be a truly organized person. It will always take effort, it will always be something to work at.

And the truth is, in some situations, I NEED the mess.   I suffer without it. My work suffers when forced into a state of cleanliness. Take for example my work desk. I can boast of never losing a paper, and while I may lose the occasional black pen (I am actually developing a theory right now that I only lose said pens due to an attempt to keep track of them! I am either genius or straight crazy), I know where everything is. My desk looks like a bomb went off on it, but it works for me. I also crave disorder when I am being creative. My garage is full of sawdust and partially dissembled pallets, but it works while I am in the zone. Now let’s talk about the mantra. Maintain the neatness.

When I am not in the midst of a project or work day, I walk into the mess and it immediately gives me pause. As much as the mess is me and I am the mess, I don’t want to be that way. Let’s look at this from the other side, shall we? I had a small, impromptu, decide on Saturday night, Super Bowl Party. I threw it together in less than 10 hours. All the shopping, all the cooking, all the cleaning, in under 10 hours! I was proud. Second successful house party proud. The next day, I hear a new song on the radio on the way home from work.  I went inside, pulled up the artist’s Youtube playlist and jammed for possibly two hours. I am talking 17 year old, dance like no one’s watching, jam session. Here is where it comes back to the now, mess-less house. I said something to my husband when he came home, like I don’t know what got into me, that was fun! And he, the eternally organized, clean craving man, attributed my giddy-happiness to the clean house. AND HE WAS RIGHT. A clean house is nice. It’s not amazing or incredible or good, it is NICE. It is a subtlety that puts me into a good mood without me even realizing it! Isn’t that nice?

So as I fly home from LA, to spend 6 more (Spring Break) days in a recently cleaned home, I am prepping myself—Maintain the neatness. Do it . It is not that hard. It IS nice. It makes you happy, dance-party, shake your rump, jump around happy. Do it. Maintain the neatness.

So how do you maintain the neatness? Show me your ways!

{This mantra accidentally came from my husband. And it may be the first time since we moved in, that he’s asked his stubborn wife to clean, and I thought, YES! Although, technically, maintaining the neatness isn’t really cleaning. }

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