Our boys love to collect and create. But my hyper organized self has a hard time accepting the mess that comes with such creative genius. What I want hidden from sight, my boys want to proudly display (to the piano teacher, neighbors, even the exterminator). My trash is their treasure (I know this is true because I often find them creating with things I have recently thrown away). Recently a priest told me that “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” I had to think about this a bit because I spend a whole lot of energy on getting the last 10% of the chaos under control instead of being satisfied that it is 90% under control. Furthermore, I had to admit the reasons I want everything to look picture perfect always stem from my pride. Yes, order is good, but perhaps it can be taken too far?
I also read this great post by Melissa Wiley: Makers Gotta Mess. In it she writes:
I know it isn’t always easy, especially for type-A parents, to live with the clutter and chaos that so often surrounds a creative mind, but there are ways to compromise. For us, it means keeping the front of the house reasonably tidy, one main room where people can count on an uncluttered space, and letting the rest of the house wear a jumble of raw materials with abandon and zest.
I don’t know if I could go quite so far and maintain my type-A sanity, but I like the idea of compromise. The kids need their space (even if it is shared) be it a dresser top or a desk to express themselves. Clutter does not mean the same thing to me as to my 3rd grade budding geologist. His rock collection is organized very throughly as he will be happy to explain to you for as long as you are willing to listen. My first grader can remember exactly who gave him the tiniest lego piece that he added to his creation. They are telling stories in their own way and, instead of brushing them into a bin, I might just need to listen harder.
I follow the maxim that everything must have a home. I start to come unglued if our kitchen or living area is not super tidy. But I need to try to compromise more on some areas!