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Compliments of lapidim, via Flickr

The authors in “A Perfect Mess” extol the benefits of disorder, and suggest that organizing systems are somehow rigid, lacking in ingenuity, and inhibitive of creative potential. Having been on both sides of the “organizational” fence (both messy and neat nik), I have found that organizing is not about being inflexible, but rather about having only what you need, and possessing those things in a format that does not contribute to further clutter.

The authors’ premise begs the following question: why do you have so many things in the first place? Perhaps your accumulation is the result of requesting documents in a paper (as opposed to an electronic) format, a failure to prioritize, or an overabundance of what Gail Blanke (2010) refers to as “life plaque:” those things that are unnecessary, but which skulk about in our lives because we have not taken the time to eliminate them. Turn the page…

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