Blogging Insights NF #57: Creative Clutter VS Neatness

“I like working among creative clutter.’ It gives me a sense of activity and achievement.

— Fennel Hudson

While I wholly approve of creative clutter, I’m extremely neat. I’m not neat because of some compulsive cleaning urge. I’m neat because if I’m not, I can’t find anything.

The older I get, the more I depend on things being where I expect to find them. This is especially true in the kitchen where if I need a wooden spoon, I need it now, not eventually. This is something my non-cooking husband does not get. You will never find Garry standing at the stove trying to stir two pots at the same time while trying to figure out where someone else put that slotted spoon.

Then there are all my drawing materials. They not all in one room, but I know where everything is or at least, should be. Equally true of cameras as well as associated equipment, batteries and chargers (the bane of my photographic life).

Why does each camera need its own unique battery and charger? Surely batteries could be standardized, especially if the cameras are made by one company.

I have four Olympus cameras that use three different batteries and chargers. I no longer even try to put the chargers away. Finding them again can take me hours and I’ll never get that time back.

About computers. Garry has an iPad and a laptop. I have a Mac and a PC laptop plus a Kindle and many CD card readers.

Thus I am very comfortable with the concept of creative clutter but reality is something else. My aging brain does not see clutter as creative. It sees it as disorganized and in urgent need of dusting.

If I don’t put things where they belong immediately, I will put them down somewhere while I’m doing something else and won’t remember where. Just a suggestion: don’t put important stuff “someplace safe.” Someplace safe really means gone. Forever or until you replace it. Whichever comes first.

I have no idea how it happens, but I have misplaced items without moving. There I am, sitting on the sofa. I put the CD card on the end table. When I turn around, it’s gone. Where is it? I haven’t gone anywhere, so it has to be here, doesn’t it? Maybe I’ll find it. Or, maybe I’ll find it in a few weeks. Maybe I’ll never see it again.

My house is cluttered and a bit artsy. It’s interesting. From wind-up Victrolas and old 78-RPM records, to chiming grandfather clocks, turntables, books, CDs, DVDs, magazines and art in progress — plus about three dozen dog toys. Cameras. Computers. Antique Chinese porcelain. Music boxes. Little brass and porcelain dogs, Navajo pottery and at least 250 strung dolls from the1920s through the early 1970s.

I approve of clutter. I just can’t function if it gets out of hand. I need my stuff to be where it should be. If I fail at basic organization, life becomes chaos. Creativity doesn’t fare well in chaos.

Categories: #Blogging, #Photography, Anecdote, House and home, housework, Humor

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7 replies

  1. True, I can’t function in chaos too.


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