We place a lot of value in being organized. I see tons of articles on a regular basis with tips and advice for decluttering. In fact, we have a few similarly-themed blog posts here. This post, however, is in defense of clutter. It’s all about the ways that clutter can be good for you – aesthetically, intellectually, and spiritually.
A Little Bit of Untidiness Can Be Stylish
If you don’t believe that clutter can be aesthetically pleasing, check out some of the examples of “good clutter” from this Apartment Therapy post. The trick is to strike a balance between extreme minimalism and an overwhelming mess. Stacked books and art pieces create visual interest without appearing messy.
A little bit of good clutter also makes a room feel more lived-in and inviting. Think about walking into a home with your family that is completely devoid of clutter and looks more like a museum than a home. You’re immediately nervous that someone you’re with is going to make a mess or break something. Kids are the truth tellers of the world, and I heard my own kids say things like “We’d rather go to so and so’s house because it feels more like home.” To them, feels more like home was a synonym for “not perfect”.
This absolutely doesn’t mean that your home won’t be clean though. There is the one downside to the messy-chic living space look. A lot of dusting needs to take place – but no worries! I know someone who can help with that!
Clutter is Linked to Creativity
Apparently, messiness can be good for your brain too. Studies show a correlation between messy rooms and creative thinking. This works in two directions: first, creative thinkers tend to have messier spaces.
Generally, we think of an artist’s studio having things everywhere. Or scientists might have things strewn about everywhere their office. Albert Einstein’s desk was famously a disaster. This happens because they go from one thing to the next on inspiration, and when inspiration strikes you don’t want to stop and clean up what you were doing before.
Second, messy spaces encourage us to think more creatively. Working in a space in which things aren’t in their expected place can encourage more flexible thinking. You might be searching for one thing, and come across something else that completely changes the way you were thinking about your current task. So kick off your shoes at the door and throw those clean clothes on the back of a chair – you’re just practicing creative thinking.
Clutter Can Be Comforting
According to feng shui consultant Amanda Gibby Peters over at the Mind Body Green lifestyle blog, clutter can also provide an important comforting energy at certain life stages. She says for children and teens especially, collecting stuff (toys and other items) can be a way of exerting control over what they can in a world that feels chaotic. When your toddler tells you that getting rid of all of the cheap plastic toys from all the birthday parties they’ve gone to the past six months will ruin their life… there is actual sense behind it. Even if they don’t technically understand why they are saying it.
Even adults sometimes benefit from a little mess, especially when they are going through a difficult life experience. Having a lot of throw pillows or blankets on your couch and being surrounded by pictures and photo albums full of happy times with loved ones might make you feel better when you are feeling down.
However, too much stuff is stressful as well. I know that I feel much better when I clean up the countertops in my kitchen and entryway, freeing them from the stacks of mail, magazines, homework, keys, and change that get strewn there when we are busy. When you start to feel overwhelmed by your environment, you are in the right place to do a bit of decluttering.
So don’t be afraid to embrace the clutter, just a little bit. Being perfect all the time is boring, and if a little bit of clutter gives you comfort then it is worth it. Plus, don’t forget, clutter can be cute.
But even when it’s not, it can still help drive self-expression and creativity for you and your family. To make sure that clutter doesn’t also mean dirty, call Clean and Simple for your complimentary quote on house cleaning. Our expert cleaning professionals will keep your home clean and comfortable, regardless of a little clutter here and there.